Art and Business MLitt

Art and Business, MLitt


MLitt Art and Business prepares you for a dynamic career in the commercial world of art and heritage.

Key Facts

1 Year / 2 Years
Study Mode
Full Time / Part Time
Start Month
Learning Mode
On Campus Learning

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The MLitt will appeal to you if you wish to embark on a career in art and heritage business. The programme is designed for you if you have a background in either history of art or business. If you have no academic background in either subject you will need to provide clear evidence of life experience to equip you for this programme. You are not expected to have knowledge of both disciplines prior to entry.

The taught MLitt in Art and Business is designed around the excellent resources available at the University of Aberdeen. Through the study of both art in situ and contemporary business theory and practice, you will gain first hand experience of the art and heritage market place. Options provide training in art history, as well as legal and business methods. The programme is delivered as a collaboration between leading commercial professionals and academics. The core business skills are taught in the Business School, alongside an international cohort of MBA students.

In addition to our taught programme, we also offer an MLitt in History of Art as a research degree. For more information about this option, please click here.

What You'll Study

The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MLitt programme which runs in September.

Degree Structure

Compulsory Courses

Stage 1: AW1007, BU5021, BU5043, HA5033, HA5032
Stage 2: Below
Stage 3: HA5904

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

Business Economics (BU5021)

This course focuses on the economics of business allowing students to understand the economics that underlie a whole host of business issues. The course will cover the functioning of markets, consumer behaviour, pricing, production and costing problems, monopoly and the business implications of inflation, economic growth and economic policy.

Marketing Decision Making (BU5043)

The fact that money (and understanding money) really matters in business and all managers need to understand issues like cashflow and profit might depress you, but it is true. Financial viability of customers? Deciding on the likely financial viability of a project? Reporting to shareholders about performance? Does the word “sustainable” appear in a finance dictionary? All questions we will try and address.

Connoisseurship: Art in Scotland (HA5033)

This course is appropriate both for budding professional art historians and those hoping to enter the art trade. It provides training in making decisions about attribution, fakes and forgeries through studying classic puzzles about forgery, deception and attribution. Modern methods of authentication, such as technical analysis, will also be examined to develop the key skills of visual and scientific analysis that are essential for art dealers. Download course guide.

Art and Business (HA5032)

This course, which combines theoretical learning with a hands-on approach, exposes you to the realities of the art market and financial aspects of art dealing and heritage conservation. You will engage with professionals in the field who explain the reality of running an art business, including different types of gallery, an auction house, an historic venue, and an individual artist. The role of art as a major economic and social catalyst is explored through various regeneration schemes. There will be onsite visits to galleries and auctions, during which you will interview key practitioners in the field. Download course guide.

Art and Business Dissertation (HA5904)

To conclude the course you will produce a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words on a topic agreed with co-supervisors in both History of Art and Business, or other relevant discipline. In identifying the area of research, formulating the appropriate questions and writing your dissertation, you will have the opportunity to reflect and draw on the knowledge you have obtained during the year and to consult with your supervisors. Working independently to a tight deadline, you will deliver a thesis accompanied by the correct academic apparatus.

Optional Courses

Students with no background in History of Art may wish to take or audit

  • HA5029 Introduction to Art History for Business (15 credit points)

Stage 2: 30 credits from BU (Business) courses: BU5573, BU5576, BU5584 and either: LS55UU or AT5508

Introduction to Art History for Business (HA5029)

This introductory course will trace major developments in the history of art in the western world, from cave painting in the Stone Age to the beginnings of photography in the nineteenth century. Other aspects of European art to be explored through painting, prints, sculpture and architecture will include: Classicism in Greece and Rome, the rise of the Medieval Gothic cathedrals to the rebirth of Classicism in the Renaissance, the grandeur of the Baroque to the ornament of the Rococo, and the revolutionary order of Neo-Classicism to the imagination and emotion of Romanticism.

Marketing Communications (BU5573)

Through a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshops, debates and in-course assessment, this course encourages students to critically reflect upon: Social theory and its relevance to marketing communications; Concepts and contemporary thought within the practice of marketing communication; expressive practice.

Business Model Innovation (BU5576)

This course is about business development and the application of new business models. Increasingly companies have to radically rethink the way they do business if they are to remain competitive. To do this organisations need to be prepared to analyse and challenge their current business models. Through a practical business development project and the analysis of case companies you will be encouraged to explore the tools, techniques and theories used by successful business developers. The course will be especially useful for those interested in strengthening their skills for identifying and evaluating business opportunities.

The Leadership Challenge (BU5584)

This course provides an opportunity to explore and develop an understanding of your own leadership behaviour. Through seminars, group activities and discussions we investigate how personality, past experience, current situations and culture shape the way each of us behave in a leadership role. Using this information as a starting point we then explore how different leadership theories and approaches can be used as frameworks for developing a deeper understanding of leadership behaviour. You will also have an opportunity to try out a range of practical tools and techniques to assist you in the development of your own approach to leadership.

Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums (LS55UU)

Taught by museum and law academics, this course will examine cultural property issues such as treasure trove, looting and repatriation, forgery, sacred and street art, and the derogatory treatment of art. Objects from the University Museum and collections worldwide will be drawn on to illustrate aspects of the course. Museum practice and operational experience will also inform certain aspects. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own ideas. Facilitating this, the course will include a programme of case studies and/or issue papers to be presented by students for class discussion.

Curating an Exhibition (AT5508)

The ‘Curating an Exhibition’ course leads to the creation and opening of the summer exhibition in King’s Museum. Working together as a team, each student also takes on a specific role, including research, writing, design, installation, events management and marketing, working closely with the relevant members of museum staff. The course makes extensive use of the University’s internationally-important museum collections and gives students an opportunity to reflect on an important aspect of museum practice.

Degree Structure

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

  • You will learn to assess the art and heritage market in a wide sense and explore opportunities for yourself within the field.
  • Assessed work includes presentation skills, different modes of writing for marketing, tendering and academic purposes.
  • The cost of field trips is in addition to tuition fees and includes day drips to Edinburgh and Glasgow and 3-4 days in London.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Field Trips


Assessment is based on written work (essays/exams) and moderated according to University standards. Oral presentation skills are developed. The taught courses total 120 credits and the dissertation is 60 credits. Teaching is carried out by lectures, seminars, field trips and private tutorials.

Procedures Students may take this programme full time for one year, or part time across two years. Students may leave after the taught component with 120 credits and a Diploma.

Why Study Art and Business?

  • You learn the essentials of business theory and practice in a general context which enables you to pursue any commercial career.
  • The art side is taught through a sequence of personal encounters with practising professionals in the art and heritage world. The sensitive relationship between artist and dealer is explored.
  • You are taken to venues including private and public galleries, stately homes and auction houses.
  • Key topics include urban regeneration, heritage tourism and philanthropy in the arts, charitable organisations and private start ups.
  • A course on connoisseurship deals with issues of attribution and forgery and the role of the connoisseur within the market place.
  • Options allow you to develop crucial technical knowledge of the law in the art market. Here each legal topic is prefaced by an artistic case study to illustrate legal dilemmas about cultural property. Another option allows you to develop gallery skills which culminates in an exhibition on campus.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fees and Funding Table for HOME, EU, RUK and International Students
Nationality Status Amount
Home / EU / RUK Students Tuition fee for main award £6,000
International Students Tuition fee for main award £14,300
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trip courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


View all funding options in our Funding Database.

IESA UK Scholarships

IESA, The Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts, was created in 1985 in Paris to provide vocational education. Art and Business benefits from its links and visits

Entry Requirements

For more information about the application process, including details about which supporting documents you will be asked to provide, please click here.


Candidates must normally have an Honours degree to at least 2.1 standard in an appropriate discipline or equivalent qualifications and experience.

Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

  • Degree Transcripta full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
  • Personal Statementa detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Degree Certificatea degree certificate showing your qualifications


Students who have taken this course have gone on to work in major galleries in London and abroad. They have worked in museums and art journalism, museum teaching and started their own business.

Our Experts

Professor Jane Geddes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds


AB24 3DS
+44 (0)1224 272890
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