May 22, 2018

London’s Royal Academy of Arts Introduces £34,000 Postgraduate Art Business Course

LONDON, ENGLAND—The Royal Academy of Arts has announced the launch of its first postgraduate degree program in art business, set to begin in October 2018, Cristina Ruiz reports for The Art Newspaper. In collaboration with Maastricht University, the academy will offer an Executive Master in Cultural Leadership at a cost of £34,000 for twelve months of full-time study, on par with comparable art business courses offered but beyond the means of the typical culture worker in the United Kingdom. The Royal Academy offers a tuition-free degree Master’s program for artists through the Royal Academy Schools.

The executive MA is described on the course’s website as “designed for a generation of leaders who want to bring a rich understanding of culture and creativity to their own organizations and aspire to positively shape the arts and cultural sectors by enabling long-term, sustainable, and innovative growth.” The program will accept approximately twenty students and divide time between London and Maastricht, with additional modules in Brussels and Cambridge. The curriculum will cover topics including critical perspectives in art history, collections management, art law, and technology and innovation.

The program was inspired by short professional courses offered by the Guardianthat have proved lucrative for the British publication. “The RA realized it had a fantastic brand and was looking for ways to leverage it,” an anonymous museum education professional told The Art Newspaper. “It is known for its world-class exhibitions, so launching a Master’s degree allows it to use that visibility to generate income.”

Anna Dempster, course co-director and head of academic programs at the Royal Academy, said the executive MA is pitched to professionals “looking for a career change” who have engaged with the art world but “who may not know a lot about it.” Dempster was previously employed by the Sotheby’s Institute, where she was responsible for a restructuring of the auction house’s art business degree program. The prospective student body is expected to be split primarily between North Americans and Europeans, as well as students from emerging art economies in the Middle East, Russia, and Latin America. The academy is actively seeking a corporate sponsor to provide scholarships.

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