Diploma in Art Law

The Course

This is a distance learning course is designed for practising and academic lawyers wishing to further their knowledge of the law relating to art and antiquities transactions.

Aims of the Course

The course aims to provide specialist knowledge of the main aspects of the law pertaining to the world of art, and also to provide knowledge of relevant comparative law, together with international and EU legislation.


By the end of the course you will:
i) have a thorough understanding of the manner in which the rules of the common law apply to art and antiquities transactions;
ii) be familiar with the relevant legislation of England and Wales, together with the most significant statutes from other jurisdictions;
iii) understand the operation and interaction of the important international conventions relating to the protection of cultural heritage.

Qualifications required

Students should possess a minimum of LL.B. (or equivalent) in English Law, or the equivalent from a university or law faculty of a common law jurisdiction. Students from countries which do not have a common law legal system should also have successfully completed the Preparatory Certificate in Art Law (Overseas Lawyers), or be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Academic Board that their knowledge and understanding of the Common Law is sufficient to follow the course.

Structure of the course

The course is based around ten modules, each addressing key areas of English Law of particular relevance to those who transact in art. These will be as follows:

  • International Conventions and Private International Law
  • Artists’ Rights (including copyright, moral rights and artist’s resale right)
  • Bailment and Art Loans
  • Recovery of Stolen and Looted Art
  • Limitation of Actions
  • Repatriation of Art and Artefacts; Codes and Ethics
  • Museums and Bequests
  • Sites, Monuments, Treasure and Finds
  • Auctions
  • Taxation

Learning materials

Each Each module is supplied electronically and is designed to be fully comprehensive, containing a variety of materials, including:

  • Commentary on each subject area
  • Relevant statutory provisions
  • Published literature on the relevant subject area
  • Series of brief self-assessment questions

Methods of teaching

Non-contact: Self Study
The principal mode of tuition will be self-study, based on the distance learning packages described above.

Contact teaching

Students will also be invited to attend occasional study days at which they will have the opportunity to discuss important aspects of the course.


Assessment will be by means of written coursework, to be carried out in the student’s own time.

Cost of course

The cost of the course is £2,300 + VAT (total £2,760)
The cost of all teaching materials and tuition at study days is included in the course fees. A limited number of bursaries are available to offset some of the costs of the diploma.

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