LLM in Art Law

New for 2018/19

Overview

Why study Art Law at York?

Art Law is an exciting and fast-developing area of commercial, legal and academic research significance and the LLM in Art Law will provide you with opportunities to develop valuable skills used by those working in the art world, whether in such diverse areas as: Private Client legal practice, fine art insurance, the not-for-profit sector, galleries, museums or cultural heritage.

The LLM in Art Law is a unique collaborative and cross-disciplinary programme which will provide you with a deep understanding of the complex legal, artistic, social and ethical problems raised by the global trade in art, which was estimated at over $45 billion in 2017 (TEFAF Art Market Report 2017). Art law is broadly conceived and the main focus of the programme will be on the legal treatment of fine art and cultural heritage, although there will be opportunities to consider some of the problems surrounding definitions of ‘art’ which may be culturally, socially and historically contingent.

Exceptionally, the LLM in Art Law at the University of York is co-taught by academic specialists from both the research-active Department of History of Art and York Law School, thus providing you with a unique integrated and cross-disciplinary learning environment in which to explore legal, practical, commercial, ethical and financial issues arising in the art world, as well as their wider context and implications.

The LLM in Art Law uses a variety of postgraduate teaching methods including ‘Problem Based Learning’ (‘PBL’) which will provide you with opportunities to work collaboratively in a student ‘law firm’, and individually, on a variety of real-life simulations. These simulations provide you with exposure to the multi-faceted nature of art law disputes and will encourage you to develop and apply a broad range of legal skills including: research; document and case analysis; problem solving; negotiation and mediation; and advocacy. Additionally, you will have opportunities to develop your presentation and oral skills in debates and reading group sessions. You will undertake a specific History of Art module (chosen from a range of options) to gain subject-specific knowledge and exposure to this discipline, as well as inter-disciplinary insights. Your dissertation, on an art law topic of your choice and written under the supervision of a member of staff, completes the programme. There will be opportunities to enhance your know-how and networks by taking part in masterclass sessions led by guest speakers, and undertaking the course field trip.

Content

LLM Structure

The programme reflects the unique inter-disciplinary nature of the LLM in Art Law by ensuring that all students, whether or not you have an existing legal or art historical background, gain a fully-integrated appreciation of the complexities of art law.

The LLM in Art Law is a taught programme of one year. It runs from October to the following September. On the LLM you will study 180 credits. 100 credits are studied through a mix of compulsory and optional taught modules, with the remaining 80 credits being obtained by completing a 15,000 word dissertation on an art law topic of your choice. All students are required to take part in the programme Fieldtrip, which is an important element of the degree programme and which will develop your appreciation of the realities of working in this field.

The LLM modules are taught using a variety of different methods. Some modules will be taught as weekly lectures and seminars, others will involve ‘Problem Based Learning’ (‘PBL’). PBL sessions provide you with opportunities to work collaboratively in a student ‘law firm’, and individually, on a variety of real-life simulations. These simulations provide you with exposure to the multi-faceted nature of art law disputes and will encourage you to develop and apply a broad range of legal skills including: research; document and case analysis; problem solving; negotiation and mediation; and advocacy. Additionally, you will have opportunities to develop your presentation and oral skills in debates and reading group sessions, as well as written skills.

Modules

Core and compulsory modules

All students will undertake general legal postgraduate modules which will develop an understanding of research methods and an introduction to different legal systems:

  • Legal Systems: Sources and Operation (10 credits)

This module introduces you to the study of art law in its international context, by considering methods of undertaking comparative legal studies. It provides you with an introduction to the workings of the common law compared to the codified civil law.

  • Research Skills and Methods (10 credits)

This module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation. It will introduce students to a variety of research methodologies and key research skills. At the end of the module, students will prepare a ‘research proposal’ for their dissertation.

Additionally, all students will undertake four further compulsory modules (although there is an element of choice in relation to one of the modules – see below):

  • Art: A Problematic Life Cycle (20 credits)

A wide variety of legal issues arise during the ‘life cycle’ of art and this module considers the key pressure points at which problems arise and their nature. For example, the creation of art work can lead to problems relating to artists’ creative rights under copyright and moral rights, commissioning art, and censorship. The sale of art can raise contractual issues relating to auction house terms of business, consignment contracts and droit de suite rights. The destruction and deaccessioning of art can cause problems with moral rights and can have significant personal property implications.

  • Art: Commodity or Valuable  (20 credits)

There is an inherent tension between art as a financial asset or commodity to be bought and sold, and art as a cultural good often viewed as ‘other’. This module focuses on areas of difficulty raised by the complex nature of art, such as tax regimes and restrictions on the import and export of art, the management and protection of art using trusts and charities law, and ethical conflicts raised by art including the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel.

  • Law and Art: Parallel Perspectives  (20 credits)

This module benefits from being explicitly co-taught by academics from both the History of Art department and York Law School, with joint sessions considering the disciplinary interactions and complexities inherent in art law. The module considers issues such as defining ‘art’, artistic processes and ideas such as copies, reproductions and originality, the multiple roles played by participants in the art world including museums and non-commercial galleries as well as auction houses.

  • History of Art MA module  (20 credits)

All students will undertake a module drawn from those on offer by the Department of History of Art’s MA modules. Individual students will be able to choose from the MA modules on offer in any given year. For example, indicative provisional modules for 2018 include a wide variety of topics including:

  • Painting on Light: Stained Glass in the Medieval Tradition
  • Mapping the World, 1100-1300
  • The Uses of Photography
  • The Art of War: The St. Paul's Sculptural Pantheon
  • Critical Architecture: more than mere containment
  • Landscape Painting in Britain c. 1750–1850 [Tate]
  • Domestic Interiors in Italy 1400-1550
  • Monument, Object, Fetish, Artefact: Contesting ‘Modern’ Sculpture
  • Dissertation (Summer Term and Summer, 80 credits)

Students will write a 15,000 word dissertation on an art law topic of their choice and under the supervision of a faculty member. Students will be supported in the preparation of the dissertation proposal during the ‘Research Skills and Methods’ module. Students have wide flexibility in choosing their topic, depending on their art law interests, and are encouraged to make the most of the interdisciplinary nature of the programme.

About us

About us

York Law School has developed an excellent reputation for offering academically rigorous, innovative, practical and stimulating programmes of study. We offer a rounded student experience – reflecting the best of academic and professional practice – and have a friendly and dynamic team of experienced academics, committed to the best methods of legal education. In addition, we enjoy a close relationship with the legal profession, with practitioners involved in the design and delivery of key aspects of all our programmes.

Exceptionally, the LLM in Art Law also provides a unique opportunity to benefit from not only York Law School’s teaching, but also that of the History of Art department. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost departments for postgraduate study and research, the History of Art department possesses wide-ranging and internationally renowned expertise in western art and architecture from the early medieval to the contemporary periods. Postgraduate students at the History of Art department are drawn from across the UK and around the world and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds. The History of Art department is a supportive and stimulating environment enabling students to benefit from world-leading teaching and research, a large and dynamic postgraduate community, an exciting partnership with Tate, which contributes directly to our MA programme, as well as close links to other national and international galleries and museums.

You'll find studying here for the LLM in Art Law a stimulating and rewarding experience which will equip you for your chosen career.

Teaching

Teaching

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

The LLM in Art Law uses a variety of postgraduate teaching methods including ‘Problem Based Learning’ (‘PBL’) which will provide you with opportunities to work collaboratively in a student ‘law firm’ which will provide you with opportunities to work collaboratively in a student ‘law firm’, and individually, on a variety of real-life simulations. These simulations provide you with exposure to the multi-faceted nature of art law disputes and will encourage you to develop and apply a broad range of legal skills including: research; document and case analysis; problem solving; negotiation and mediation; and advocacy. Additionally, you will have opportunities to develop your presentation and oral skills in debates and reading group sessions. You will undertake a specific History of Art module (chosen from a range of options) to gain subject-specific knowledge and exposure to this discipline, as well as inter-disciplinary insights. Your dissertation, on an art law topic of your choice and written under the supervision of a member of staff, completes the programme. There will be opportunities to enhance your know-how and networks by taking part in masterclass sessions led by guest speakers, and undertaking the course field trip.

Careers

Careers options and employability

It is widely known in the legal sector that those graduating from York Law School with a postgraduate degree possess legal minds of the highest calibre and, as such, our graduates are always in demand.

On average, an outstanding 94.2% of those graduating with a postgraduate degree in Law between 2009 and the present day had secured employment or further study after leaving York.

While most of our postgraduate students choose to enter legal fields, others go on to gain employment in the following sectors: finance, health and social work, public administration and retail. Students from the History of Art Department benefit from excellent relationships with numerous museums and galleries and alumni work in a wide-range of careers including museums, galleries and auction houses, cultural management, heritage and conservation, journalism and media, teaching, academia, education and art administration.

Careers & Development Support

All students on the LLM programme will get active support in careers and development planning, both through structured sessions and workshops as well as individual advice from the Law School’s Employability Tutor, Chris Wilkinson.

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The Law School Careers & Development Programme is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students and we would encourage you to get involved with this. Several employers take part in the bespoke programme, providing an insight into the legal profession and the relevant recruitment processes. There is also help available for those of you who are thinking about non legal employers or academic routes following your LLM.

There are also taught postgraduate and research postgraduate versions of the Employability Tutorial available to you. The Employability Tutorial is an online resource which is aimed at helping you to think about or review your personality and values, to assist you when you are thinking about your options after the LLM and how to move forward with your career plans.

Undertaking further research study

The research skills developed during the LLM are excellent in preparation for further research, including doctoral studies. Many of our successful LLM graduates have gone on to pursue PhD studies, both at York and elsewhere.

Apply

Admission requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree in Law, History of Art, or another subject, with honours (2.1 or higher, or its equivalent).

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English we will need evidence of your English language ability to the required level, in addition to any academic entry requirements.

For up to date information about accepted tests and our English language requirements, please see

Applying to the programme

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

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