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Building on the training programmes for connoisseurship first offered by Sotheby's in 1969, the one-year course places the history and practices of western art and its markets within a traditional framework of business, law, marketing and finance.

The first two 'semesters' include modules in gallery and auction house operations, art collection management and art evaluation, along with seminars and symposia at major art world events, such as Art Basel Miami Beach and the Venice Biennale.

In the final part of the curriculum students can choose to spend their time with Claremont's Drucker School business faculty or at Sotheby's Institute's London or New York campus. The course begins in autumn 2013.

David C. Levy, president of Sotheby's Institute of Art, described the course as the first of its kind and "a unique educational opportunity for students pursuing careers in the international art world".

He added: "The opportunity it affords aspiring art professionals to explore the evolution of the art markets, and to study their foundations, principles and best practices under the direction of a distinguished faculty of practitioners and scholars, is unprecedented and much in demand."