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

This programme is studied on campus.

The MLitt will appeal to you if you wish to embark on a career in the art and heritage business. The programme is designed for you if you have a background in art, art history, business, economics or business management. A demonstrable knowledge of and interest in galleries and museums where you live is expected.

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.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Degree Content

Degree Content

The course is taught on campus, starting in September. The Masters degree can be pursued on a full-time (one year) or part-time basis (two years). Or students may leave after the taught component (120 credits) with a Diploma.

Compulsory Courses

All Art and Business students will take the following courses:

AW1007 Academic Writing for Divinity, History and Philosophy (0 credit points)
HA5032 Art and Business (30 credit points)
BU50XX Business for the Arts (30 credit points)
LS5XXX Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art and Museums (30 credit points)
HA55XX Connoisseurship: Art in Scotland (15 credit points)

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.

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Art and Business (HA5032) - 30 Credit Points

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.

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Optional Courses

Students choose 30 credit points from the following courses:
BU5573 Marketing Communications (15 credit points)
BU5576 Business Model Innovation (15 credit points)
CS1522 Web Technology (15 credit points)
BU5584 The Leadership Challenge (15 credit points) *note Marketing Communications cannot be taken at the same time as Leadership Challenge

Students with no background in History of Art may wish to audit HA 1004 Introduction to Art History, HA1508 Modern Art and HA2508 Making Masterpieces.

Marketing Communications (BU5573) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Business Model Innovation (BU5576) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Web Technology (CS1522)
The Leadership Challenge (BU5584) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Introduction to Art History (HA1004) - 15 Credit Points

This introductory course will trace major developments in the history of art in the western world from Classical art and architecture in ancient Greece to the beginnings of photography in the nineteenth century. Aspects of European art to be explored, through painting, prints, sculpture and architecture, will begin with Stone-Age cave painting and then range from Greek Classicism to Medieval Gothic cathedrals, the rebirth of Classicism in the Renaissance to the grandeur of the Baroque, the ornament of the Rococo, and the revolutionary order of Neo-Classicism. Download Course Guide

View our course video: (Video) HA1004 - Introduction to Art History

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Modern Art (HA1508) - 30 Credit Points

Beginning with the Romantic period, and the art of Victorian Britain, this course will trace major developments in Western art through to the late twentieth century. Nineteenth-century modernism and modernity in France will be explored through Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the art of fin-de-siècle Paris. Twentieth-century movements will include German Expressionism, the wildness of Fauvism, the analytical eye of Cubism, the anarchy and dreams of Dada and Surrealism, and the rise of American painting with Abstract Expressionism. The move to postmodernism will be traced through Pop Art and beyond.

Video: (Video) HA1508 - Modern Art

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Featured Project

Research by our staff has an economic impact.

Course Availability

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. Classes are small and there is plenty of personal tuition.

  • In preparation for the market, we work on your presentation skills. You will learn different types of writing, including a sales catalogue, press brief, a report for a competitive tender, and academic essays.

  • The cost of field trips is in addition to tuition fees and includes day trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow and 5 days in London.

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Field Work
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

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.

Students may leave after the taught component with 120 credits and a Diploma.

Why Study Art and Business?

  • You are taken to venues including private and public galleries, stately homes and auction houses where you learn to assess their commercial sustainability. We look at the national museums in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the British Museum, National Gallery and Tate Modern.

  • Beyond gallery and auction sales, key topics include urban regeneration, heritage tourism and philanthropy in the arts, charitable organisations and private start-ups. These provide a broad background from which to plan a career.

  • A course on connoisseurship deals with issues of attribution and forgery and the role of the connoisseur within the market place.

  • Students gain a firm grounding in legal aspects of the art world. Each legal issue is prefaced by an artistic case study to illustrate dilemmas about cultural property. Web Technology provides a handle for creating the most important marketing tool of modern business: its web site. Some students are already accomplished web masters but this will help computer novices to pick up an essential skill.

Entry Requirements

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


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Candidates should normally have an Honours degree to at least 2.1 standard in an appropriate discipline or equivalent qualifications (normally a 3.0 GPA in North America). However, for candidates who do not meet this admission criteria, alternative qualifications combined with relevant professional experience and supportive references may also be considered as a means for entry.

Applicants who do not possess the formal degree qualification are required to submit a supporting personal statement.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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

Fees and Funding

Field trips to Glasgow, Edinburgh and London are in addition to the fees. Approximate costs can be provided on request.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £8,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. 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.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


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.

Image for useful fact about this Degree

We don't just do galleries and museums

We look at the economics of art in the big picture. It’s not just about big bucks in the auction houses. It includes heritage, regeneration, tourism and philanthropy.

Develop your passions into sound economic concepts

It’s all about your own interests. We have ranged from the heritage of horsemanship in Outer Mongolia to the economics of museum access for disabled visitors. What gives you a buzz?

Our Experts

Other Experts
Mr John Gash
Dr Helen Pierce
Dr Catherine Ng
Mr Neil Curtis
Programme Coordinator
Dr Aaron Thom

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
University of Aberdeen
50-52 College Bounds
AB24 3DS