The art market is constantly and rapidly changing; globalization and digital innovations have transformed how art is viewed, bought or sold. Arts professionals must be able to anticipate and forecast these changes and also learn the rules of this fascinating game.

The series Art Studies Online help learners of all categories understand how the art market is an important, dynamic, and growing branch of the cultural and creative economy, describing its complex structures and influential actors. You can pick and choose different courses to give you a broad picture or you can explore different areas to gain more specialist knowledge.

Designed by:


In association with:

Art Review

Intro / Introduction


• You join an interactive platform which provides a gateway to your learning experience

• Videos and assigned readings

• Online discussion room led by a tutor

• Written engagement with your peers

• Certificate of attendance

• The opportunity to join our online and live community of students and professionals

• Attend talks and international art events offered by IESA and ArtReview in Paris, London and other art hubs

• Upgrade to a credit-based course with assignments and tutorials

• You can join at any time as we open the courses the 1st and the 15th of each month and you progress through the sessions at your own pace.


• An understanding of the practices and workings of the art market today with professionals, each with knowledge and expertise in their field

• An overview of the art world and its complexities

• To think critically on important issues in the art market today

• Informed opinions from a specialised bibliography and the videos of the IESA/Whitecube Gallery talk series.

• Develop professional skills for working in the art market from the range of options on offer 


• Any one with an interest in understanding the art market today

• Students or those who plan a future career in the art world and its markets

• Practical artists or professionals working in the field

• Those from other backgrounds who need a professional insight into the art world


• Each course programme consists of eight units, which you navigate at your own pace.

• Each unit consists of video presentations, allocated readings and group discussion

• You complete each unit after finishing the assigned tasks and move onto the next unit

• You can spend up to three months online within each registration period or you can hop from group to group and finish more quickly

• The courses are offered at different levels at an introductory or a more specialised approach


• Upgrade to a credit-based course with assignments and tutorials

• You write two essays over the course, which are assessed by your tutor through written comments

• You can engage directly with your tutor through two tutorials on each programme

• On completion, you are awarded 3 ECTS credits by IESA, leading to an IESA diploma 


• Single course: £350

• Course with certificate and 3 ECTS: £480

• Upgrade: £150 (upgrade from a standard course to a premium course once started)

All courses include access to for the duration of the course

Course 1 / How does the Art Market work?

Participants on this course will develop an understanding of the structure of the contemporary art market and hone their skills in analysing where and how different organisations and individuals contribute to the wider ecosystem. The course utilises two key models - the Sagot-Duvauroux model first depicted in Le Marche De L'art and the Art Eco-system model first outlined in Tastebuds. These two models are used to analyse the roles, activities and behaviours of the key players in the contemporary art market. We take a broad definition of the notion of a market and include both the activities of the public and the private sectors. This is vital as artists, gallerists and collectors work with both over the course of their careers.

Course Tutor: Sarah Thelwall

Sarah is a strategist and consultant in the Creative Industries and founder of, an online financial management and benchmarking business tool. Sarah regularly works with creative entrepreneurs across the UK and overseas to apply their creativity to building and operating a business, providing understanding of how to use business tools for growth and success. This often means helping entrepreneurs grasp how finances shape their business and demonstrating how benchmarking themselves within their industry can help them make informed decisions and run their business, rather than their business run them! Sarah has over a decade’s experience in the Creative Industries working both with small creative firms and political and sector development bodies such as NESTA, British Council, DCMS and NCGE. She delivers training and offers advice to creative entrepreneurs in association with School for Creative StartupsStart Up to Success, The Design Trust, Start Up Day at New Designers, and Folksy Summer School

How does the Art Market work? - Course 1

• Single course: £350

• Course with certificate and 3 ECTS: £480

• Upgrade: £150 (upgrade from a standard course to a premium course once started)

Please request your registration & payment form HERE
After your payment is processed you will receive your login details and start your course right away. 

Course 2 / The Art Market as a Global Business

Summary of the course

The art market is about more than art. The moment we introduce the word “market” we introduce a whole new dynamic. The art market is about business – and business is business, no matter what market we are talking about. Indeed, in some circumstances, the art market has more to do with the world of business, finance and economics, than it does with the art itself. Whatever the reason for your interest, this course is designed to give practitioners an understanding of this complex global business. This course consists of a series of eight sessions, each designed to give participants an insight into this exciting, dynamic and rapidly changing marketplace. Each section is divided into two parts, including further recommended reading and an Exercise for those who are stimulated to explore the topics in more depth. Moving from one session to the next, participants will gain an understanding of the individual topics, as well as of the marketplace as a whole.

Course Tutor: Jeremy Eckstein

Jeremy has spent a substantial part of his working life at the business end of the art market. He is a leading experts on the fine art economy and is a frequent author, speaker and lecturer on both the fine art economy and fine art as an asset class. He started his career as an actuary, before joining Sotheby’s in 1979 as Head of Research, creating the Sotheby’s Index and developing a range of tools and strategies for the treatment of art as an asset class. He advised the British Railways Pension Fund on its art investment funds, and assisted Citibank in setting up its ground-breaking Art Advisory Service in the early 1980s. Jeremy left Sotheby's in 1990 to establish an independent consulting firm specializing in research and economic analysis within the cultural and heritage sectors. He has also been involved in the business of “securitizing” art and in developing innovative specialist financial services for art dealers and collectors. In 2004, Jeremy was a member of the team appointed to evaluate prospective fine art investment funds on behalf of ABN AMRO, and in 2012 he co-founded ArtBanc International, Inc., where he is Managing Director in charge of research and leads the company’s collaboration with Deloitte’s art and finance programme.

The Art Market as a Global Business - Course 2

• Single course: £350

• Course with certificate and 3 ECTS: £480

• Upgrade: £150 (upgrade from a standard course to a premium course once started)

Please request your registration & payment form HERE
After your payment is processed you will receive your login details and start your course right away. 

Course 3 / Emerging art markets and the digital age

Museums, auction houses and art connoisseurs have long served as critical intermediaries in the making of the art world. These traditional gatekeepers have privileged high barriers of entry in art consumption. With the advent of the internet and social media, there is promise of a revolutionary change, allowing for unprecedented democratic participation in the constructing of art experience and knowledge by the public. Furthermore, the rise of emerging markets such as China and India serve as another powerful new intermediary with new art buyers and consumers coming to the art marketplace. This opens new possibilities in cultural consumption and production, influencing how art is discussed and traded online and offline. Thereby, this course focuses on the internet and emerging markets, and how they serve as a game changer in the art world. We have divided this exploration across thematic areas of art expertise, quality, commodification and commercialism of art, digitization and globalization. The goal here is for participants to explore each of these areas as it relates to their own experiences, as well as contemporary events and scholarship concerning the influence of the internet and emerging markets in the art world.

Course Tutors: Filip Vermeylen and Payal Arora

Filip Vermeylen studied early modern European history at the universities of Antwerp and Leuven. In 1993 he went to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University, meanwhile he had taken up a position as a researcher at the Rubenianum in Antwerp where he studied the complex relationship between art and economics in all its facets. After obtaining his Ph.D., he became a postdoctoral fellow for the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders. The dissemination of Flemish art during the Ancien Régime was the focus of this research.

During the Summer of 2006, Filip Vermeylen joined the ranks of the Faculty of History and Arts at the Erasmus University. He teaches various courses in the Master’s program Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship of which he was also the coordinator (2006-2013). He conducts research on a wide range of issues dealing with the economics of art and culture, with a particular focus on art markets past and present. He has recently been appointed Professor in the Cultural Economics of Global Art Markets at the Erasmus University.

Payal Arora has research and consulting experience in both the private and public sector worldwide including with GE, Shell, World Bank, hp, National Health Foundation, The Ministry of Education in Jordan, Sotheby’s, Art Review, Kellogg and the Beirut Chambers of Commerce. Her expertise lies in digital cultures and ICTs in emerging economies for social change.

Payal sits on several boards including the Global Media Journal, The South Asian Media, Arts & Culture Research Center in University of North Texas, Young Erasmus, and The World Women Global Council in New York. She holds degrees from Harvard University (M.Ed. in International Policy) and Columbia University (Doctorate in Language, Literacy & Technology). She is a Visiting Scholar for NYU Steinhardt’s Media, Culture, and Communication department. She is currently based in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Emerging Art Markets & the Digital Age - Course 3

• Single course: £350

• Course with certificate and 3 ECTS: £480

• Upgrade: £150 (upgrade from a standard course to a premium course once started)

Please request your registration & payment form HERE
After your payment is processed you will receive your login details and start your course right away. 


What resources will I need for the courses?

An Internet connection, copies of the readings (which will be provided) and a willingness to think critically are the only things you need!

How do these courses help me in my job?

The series of courses Art Online Studies covers not only the key principles of the Artworld, but also the vocabulary used to describe them. After successfully completing these courses, you will be able to better understand how the Art market works, which could be a very useful knowledge you can use at your current job, to get a new one or simply treasure as a personal culture.

How will I communicate with my classmates and my professor in an online course?

There are numerous ways in which you may be expected to communicate with your classmates and your professor. Depending on the course, you will find and use a variety of tools within the platform to interact such as discussion forums, videos and emails. Our courses are designed to promote interaction and social learning. Using an online learning platform that doesn’t have social features severely diminishes the chances of learning, preventing the students to have a peer-to-peer review in addition to the even more important one coming from the course tutor.

What kind of time commitment is required?

On average, each course requires at least 2.30/3.00 hours of work per week; you can choose your own personal schedule, accessing when is most convenient for you, and progressing at your own pace.

How often will the class meet online? Are there designated times to participate online?

You can log on to your course and participate in the class whenever it is convenient for you each day.

How long is each course?

Each course is eight weeks in duration. Access to the course material and platform will last for two weeks after this period of time, allowing to go back and revise points which are not clear, interact with tutors and fellow students and download readings and exercises.

Who is the series of online courses suitable for?

The courses are designed to attract students, art professional, art collectors and art enthusiasts at all levels.

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing one of the courses?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

Will I get credits after completing one of the courses?

Yes but only if you applied for the certificate option. You will receive 3 ECTS upon completion of the course and the two assignments.

Once I complete one course, how can I learn more?

This course is part of IESA’s Online Courses offer, where you can learn the foundational skills and approaches necessary to address the complex structures of the Art market challenges. The Online Courses are offered at different levels, to allow further analysis and research in the more advanced ones. IESA offers you the possibility to further your knowledge through a wide range of MA programmes, Postgraduate certificates and short courses; for more information please go to

What are people saying about the courses?

Here are some remarks from students that have taken the class:

“The series of online courses Art Online Studies is a fantastic opportunity to learn about art in a simple and engaging way. I live in China and I have always been interested in the art market, but couldn’t find a good course on the subject. The course “the Art Market as a global business” was really helpful in laying out the basic business principles of how galleries and auction houses work, as well as looking at how art is priced. I found it incredibly interesting and useful and it helped me deciding what postgraduate studies I would like to pursue” - Mengxi (China)

The e-learning course How does the art market work? provides a resourceful and collaborative environment to the understanding of the elements that act within the art ecosystem. Each student is encouraged to broaden their previous academic background through the discussion of a wide range of art business / marketing topics provided by the IESA faculty - Felipe (Brazil)