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If you are interested in developing a career in the business of art, this masters level course will prepare you for the opportunities lying ahead. You will develop the key skills and gain the knowledge to understand global art markets within ever-changing artistic, cultural and economic environments.
Making the most of its location in Europe's art market capital in London, this Art Business MA degree draws on a high standard of interdisciplinary academic and practical teaching by recognised scholars. It also offers insights from art market professionals, both those with long-standing careers and those who are rising entrepreneurs of the millennial generation. In short, the curriculum balances skills training with academic rigor, as well as core business and legal concepts with industry-specific knowledge in order to reflect the diverse professional landscape students might wish to enter. Students benefit from frequent field trips to art business enterprises and partnership projects with industry.
The course is delivered in partnership with the Kingston Business School. This unique partnership enables students to benefit as much from state-of-the-art business expertise and campus facilities as from the creative context of the Kingston School of Art. This partnership has allowed the establishment of real-life projects with partners such as CREDIT and others.
See what students have been up to on the course via Instagram.
*This course was previously named Art Market & Appraisal (Professional Practice) MA
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
You will benefit from a systematic approach to understanding the core functions of the art market across different periods and mediums, from pre-modern markets to today, allowing you to cater your studies to your individual interests.
The History of the Art Market focuses your understanding of past and present art business practices and changes to the art market over the past 400 years. Object Analysis & Appraisal asks what an object is and which values it contains, also incorporating questions of cultural heritage and globalisation. It focuses on art valuation and appraisal through lively workshops and seminar sessions with both teaching staff, art market professionals as well as examination of study collections.
The Business and Art module, delivered by Kingston Business School, is designed to open a dialogue between art and commerce; blending these dual imperatives so as to fulfil and sustain personal passions and the aesthetic, while building sustainable revenue streams and investment. It also provides art law basics for operating in the art business environment.
This course gives you both an overview of the art market business and also the opportunity to gain detailed knowledge in a specific area of fine art and/or design.
Fundamental to the course are modules which introduce you to wide ranging subjects, from connoisseurship, object identification and authentication to cataloguing.
The modules will enhance your business practice skills, and through the research element of the programme, you'll develop your critical analysis skills as well as detailed knowledge within a chosen specialist area.
This module introduces you to the history of the art market, an interdisciplinary academic discipline of great dynamism. It draws attention to the developments of the key agents in the art market within their historical perspective, such as notion of patronage, distribution channels for works of art and the auction and dealer systems. The module emphasises the way in which the European phenomena of collecting and exchange were globalised in the 20th century and continue to develop in multiple ways in the 21st century. The module guides you through the resources available for research into the history of the art market and introduces you to the cross-disciplinary skills involving economic, political and collecting histories, which are necessary to develop a rounded understanding of the subject. On completion you should achieve a new perspective upon the history of art within its markets, integrating the aesthetic and the economic. Taught through a series of lectures and seminars, it is assessed by presentation and a critical essay. Independent learning skills will be developed throughout the module, through directed reading and study visits.
This module introduces students to the specifics of object analysis, valuation and appraisal within a primary and secondary market context. Students will examine and critically analyse objects for different purposes. A core element of these classes is an awareness of the meaning of professionalism and professional ethics, professional standards and the role of professional bodies - especially the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), together with the role of different stakeholders within the art market including gallerists, collectors and others, and how valuation affects these.
This module is designed to break down the barriers between art and commerce; blending these dual imperatives so as to fulfil and sustain personal passions and the aesthetic, while building sustainable revenue streams and investment. This module considers the elements of commercialising art in its broadest sense; and building and managing an arts-based business within current local and global environments. The module will react to current opportunities and challenges affecting the broader economy and the art market in particular with a special emphasis on technology and innovation, sustainability and governance. It also considers the role and opportunities presented by art within businesses and the broader commercial environment.
The Major Project is the capstone module of the Masters programme. Focusing on skills of critical research, analysis and presentation, the capstone project enables you to synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course. It provides them with the opportunity to craft their own approach to the field through critical-theoretical and/or creative, practice-based research, supported by a series of taught sessions, enabling a depth and breadth of engagement with research methods. The Major Project can accommodate research projects developed through a range of academic and professional contexts depending on the motivation and interests of the student. It can be presented either as a dissertation or as a creative project, such as a portfolio comprising a chosen medium or media, accompanied by a critical commentary. The intensity of the workload increases across the three teaching blocks, allowing increasing focus in line with the level of your expertise.
The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills to an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject-specific professional skills in your chosen subject. You may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for your subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform your decisions about future careers.
Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.
Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
We welcome applications from mature applicants with proven relevant professional experience.
We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from recognised majority English-speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
The course is assessed through a mix of academic essays, seminar papers and presentations, case studies, and a major research-based project or dissertation. There are no written exams, but a focus on coursework only.
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.
At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.
Year 1: 14 % of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).
The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols between 15 and 20 students. This can vary by academic year and study mode.
This Art Business course is delivered by Kingston School of Art, which has its roots in the studio-based approach of Britain's art school system (the original School of Art was founded in the 1890s).
Course leader, Stephanie Dieckvoss, is a former art market professional who draws on her networks to ensure the course content is current and responsive to the latest industry changes. You'll also hear from numerous art market professionals, who are on hand to share their experience and expertise. Guest speakers have included:
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
For this course you can take part in optional study visits and/or field trips.
You may incur extra costs associated with your studies, which you will need to plan for.
In order to help you budget, the information below indicates what activities and materials are not covered by your tuition fees:
Course leader, Stephanie Dieckvoss, contributed to a panel discussion on art as investment, hosted by Dellasposa Gallery - watch the full discussion in this video. The panel of experts discusses the notion of art and asset for investment. The debate questions whether art can be considered an asset for investment. Trends in the current art market are covered with a forecast for the year ahead, key considerations of value in art, and strategies for collecting art.
There is a wide range of facilities at Kingston School of Art, where this course is based.
Kingston School of Art at Knights Park is our art, design and architecture campus and is situated on the Hogsmill River, with its restaurant and bar opening on to the waterside.
The relatively small campus has a friendly, creative feel and benefits from recently refurbished workshops and studios, a reception area with a gallery, art shop and space, and the light and airy open-plan learning resources centre.
There are also well-equipped lecture theatres, seminar rooms and computer resources on campus.
Many of our art, design and architecture courses focus on studio-based learning - it is here that your ideas come to life. This is why we provide great workshops and the latest equipment to support and enhance your learning experience.
We have recently expanded and upgraded our workshops, enabling you to work alongside and be inspired by students from other creative disciplines.
Our specialist support and technical staff will help you get the most from our facilities. Specialist facilities include:
Find out more about our studios and workshops.
The learning resources centre (LRC) at Knights Park, on the ground floor near reception, is at the heart of the campus and is the perfect place to study. It has specialist book and journal collections, a wide range of electronic resources, including image databases, and a large slide collection.
Find out more about the library and learning resources centre.
Kingston University also has its own galleries:
Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access a wealth of exhibitions, museums and galleries, including the V&A Museum, the Tate Modern and the Natural History Museum.
Our students come from all corners of the world and often take the learning of the course back to their own countries. Graduates from the Art Business MA course set up galleries and online platforms, manage collections and advise collectors, work for auction houses or galleries. More and more students set up their own companies or expand their current businesses. Through our engagement with the RICS we have a large number of students taking up work in auction houses, insurances or as independent valuers.
Many of our courses are accredited by independent professional bodies which could enhance your career prospects. Accreditation for this course is detailed below.
The Art Business MA is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for entry as a probationer practitioner. It is the only RICS-accredited course for antiques and fine art and you can join RICS as a student member when you enrol. RICS student status is exclusively for those working towards a professional career in surveying.
Being a RICS student is free and can help you realise your potential by working to the highest standards of education at college or university. The study support and networking opportunities available to you as an RICS student helps you to not only excel in your course but gives you the support to take your first step to becoming a future leader of the profession.
Successfully completing an RICS-accredited course is the first step to becoming a Chartered Surveyor. RICS works in partnership with universities to ensure that our accredited degree courses are relevant to industry - this means that when you study on an accredited degree this will be recognised by employers as the benchmark of quality.
With an RICS-accredited degree you are eligible to enrol onto the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), RICS' two-year structured training programme. Candidates with a non RICS-accredited degree will typically need to have five years' industry experience before being eligible.
The course provides practical experience; in many ways it's all about meeting professionals from the industry and learning from them, rather than just studying theoretical disciplines.
We had dozens of guest speakers throughout the course, and almost all of them were senior managers, including from amazing organisations like Christie's, Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth.
This course offers a unique insight into the art world, which I thoroughly recommend!
The art market course at Kingston was instrumental for what I am doing today. I doubt I would be at the place where I am now without this course.
What the art market course taught me about the market, the dynamics of it, the history, the stories, the issues on authenticity, connoisseurship, collecting and auction business, continue to help me inspire my team and many more to join our project, as we are about to build the next logical step in art dealing history: a database to systematise the private art market.
So much of what I learned at Kingston helped me also in the masters degree I finished soon after at LSE, in which I focused my dissertation yet again on the art market for a completely different subject (Information Systems).
When I applied for the Art Market and Appraisal MA at Kingston, I was working full time so approached my employer for sponsorship. I wanted to use the masters degree to work towards my RICS accreditation, which my employer positively encouraged. I found that the course complemented my existing job within the auction world, and the staff at Kingston University were sympathetic to any conflicts in my timetable that arose from existing work commitments.
There was a wide range of students from different backgrounds on the course, which brought a depth of experience to the classes. The facilities at Kingston were excellent, with tutors available to give as much or as little help as needed or wanted.
I would recommend the course to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts, especially if they have one eye on becoming a member of the RICS. Juggling work, studies and, in my case, a young family, requires a certain level of dedication and commitment – but the end results are worth it!
I joined the Art Market and Appraisal MA full time. My first degree was in languages – but it was some years since I'd done anything remotely academic. Initially I found the presentation side daunting, but it's amazing how quickly you adjust and start to flourish.
I'd wanted a career change and felt that taking a course was probably the best way in. It gave me the chance to survey the art market from lots of different perspectives; we had seminars with auctioneers, art dealers, art consultants, specialist insurance brokers, and the Met's art and antiques unit, among others.
We also did an extremely useful module in art law - I'm practising stuff now that I learnt in my art and copyright law lectures (thank you Daniel McClean). It was a really comprehensive introduction to the dynamics of the art world but also gave you an insight into the variety of jobs out there.
By the end of the year I'd worked out where I really wanted to be - working for a contemporary art gallery, nurturing and promoting artists. Which is exactly where I am, thanks to the opportunities that opened up to me while I was researching my dissertation. So, all in all, a really positive experience.
Our links with professional practice provide a real-world base for our courses with London, the world's third biggest art market, on our doorstep. London is capital of the European art market and offers an invaluable insight into the industries from the world's largest auction houses to the most innovative start-ups.
Teaching staff on the course also keep close professional links to the art world and ensure your studies are kept up-to-date and relevant to the changing work environment.
Guest lectures and visits to businesses in the art market give you the chance to meet a wide range of professionals directly involved in the art market. Guest speakers have included valuation and art insurance experts, PR professionals, Christie's Auction House experts, independent art evaluators, valuers and appraisers, gallerists and artists, art fair organisers and recruitment agencies.
Visits include trips to auctions houses and secondary and primary market dealers in London, visits to shippers and conservators, public and private collections and foundations.
Visiting speakers include: Tom Dale and Silvia Giambrone (artists), Andrew Davies (Axa Art insurance) Dr. Gareth Fletcher (Sotheby's Institute of Art), Caroline Gillis (Independent Art Valuer), Matthew Hockley Smith (Art advisor), Toby Kidd (Head of Communications, Blain|Southern), Lynda McLeod Associate Director, Librarian, Christie's Archives) and many others.
Behind the scenes tours include visits to: Christie's, Dickinson, Simon Lee, the Fine Art Society, the London Art Fair, Melissa Lewis (Modern British Conservation), Gander & White Shipping, and many others.
The art market has to be experienced. Apart from frequent visits to London, the course offers two optional study trips.
A study trip to TEFAF (Maastricht) gives you access to the most important art and antiques fair in the world while a further study trip to Art Basel offers you insights into the most important contemporary art fair. Please note that there is an extra charge for these trips.
The Art Business MA degree course supports students to engage with the industry through internships or work placements and help students to engage with professionals in their area of interest.
The course work with SOFA, The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers, who provide bespoke internships across the UK as well as with a number of contemporary art galleries, PR agencies and others.
Many of the staff in Kingston School of Art are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.
Kingston School of Art has a well-established and internationally renowned research culture that encourages and supports high-quality, innovative research through practice, history and theory. This rich spectrum encompasses the critical practices of fine artists, curators and cultural commentators and historians, alongside that of designers, film makers and architects, all of whom have extensive professional, industrial and commercial links.
Our aim is to foster a dynamic and stimulating environment that realises and supports individual and collaborative research projects. This is achieved through an exchange of ideas and practices within and across the disciplines, directly benefitting the wider academic community as well as industry, business and the public.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government's advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.