SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Anthropology of Food

duration:
One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only). The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.

Fees 2016/17

UK/EU fees:
£8,295
Overseas fees:
£17,490

This is a Band 2 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

2016 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class BA degree (or equivalent) in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences, or significant experience in a relevant food- and/or agriculture-related career

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  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Food is a fundamental human necessity, essential to the sustenance of the human body. At the same time, food may be associated with pleasure, passion, even luxury. Food is also essential to the social body. Who eats what, who eats with whom, and whose appetites are satisfied and whose denied, are all profoundly social dynamics through which identities, relationships, and hierarchies are created and reproduced. 

The SOAS MA programme in the Anthropology of Food offers students the opportunity to explore historically and culturally variable foodways, from foraging to industrial agriculture, from Europe and North America to Africa, Asia and South America. The programme asks students to trace the passage of food from plant to palate, and to examine who benefits, and who suffers, from contemporary modes of food production, exchange, preparation, and consumption. Students examine food policy at national and international levels, as well as the role played in its formation by the food industry. 

Focus is given to the study of famine and the controversial role of food aid in securing food supplies. Debates over the impact of agricultural biotechnology on agrarian livelihoods and knowledge systems, as well as on the natural environment, are assessed. Movements toward organic agriculture, fair trade, and slow food are also analysed. 

An anthropological approach to the study of food draws upon and challenges the perspectives of other disciplines, whether agronomy or nutritional science, economics or law, history or literature. Dependent upon individual interests and experiences, graduates of the programme may pursue research degrees in any number of academic disciplines, or find employment in food-related government ministries, international organizations, development agencies, or non-governmental associations, as well as in the fields of public health, education, and media, or in the catering industry.

Click here for a last of past Dissertation Titles

Click here for Alumni Profiles

Course teachers Johan Pottier, Harry G. West, and Jakob Klein were awarded the 2009 Excellence in Instruction Award by the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society. West was named joint runner-up for the SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize in 2011-2012. The SOAS MA in the Anthropology of Food was named a Finalist in the Best Food Initiative category in the BBC Food & Farming Awards in 2015.

Scholarships

Applicants for the MA Anthropology of Food may be eligible to apply for Scholarships and Bursaries.

Convenors

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.

Programme Structure Overview

The programme consists of four units in total: three units of examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.

Core Courses:
Foundation Course:
Option Courses:
  • The remaining unit(s) of your programme, either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may then be selected from the Option Courses list below.
  • Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.
  • However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department.  No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.
  • Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

 

Programme Detail

Core Courses
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
The Anthropology of Food 15PANC013 1 Unit Full Year
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 1 Unit Full Year
Foundation Course
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 1 Unit Full Year
Option Courses
Anthropology Option Courses
ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 0.5 Unit Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 0.5 Unit Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 0.5 Unit Term 2
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 0.5 Unit Term 2
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 0.5 Unit Term 2
Anthropology of Urban Space, Place and Architecture 15PANH029 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 0.5 Unit Term 1
Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives A (Masters) 15PANH047 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives B (Masters) 15PANH048 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017 - Must be taken with the first term course - 15PANH047 Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives A (Masters)
Culture and Society of China 15PANC089 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANC086 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANC087 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANC088 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of the Near and Middle East 15PANC097 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANC084 1.0 Unit
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANC083 1.0 Unit
Directed Practical Study in the Anthropology of Food 15PANH045 0.5 Unit Full Year
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 0.5 Unit Term 1
Issues in the Anthropology of Film 15PANH022 0.5 Unit Term 1
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 0.5 Unit Term 1
Media Production Skills 15PANH050 0.5 Unit Term 2
Perspectives On Development 15PANH033 0.5 Unit Term 1
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 0.5 Unit Term 1
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 0.5 Unit Term 1
Courses taught outside the Department of Anthropology

These courses are available subject to approval by the course convenor. Students may take no more than one full unit of courses taught outside of the Department of Anthropology. A language unit taught in the Faculty of Lanuages & Cultures may be taken.

ModuleCodeUnit valueTermAvailability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 0.5 Unit Term 2
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 0.5 Unit Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 0.5 Unit Term 1 Not Running 2016/2017
Gender and development 15PDSH010 0.5 Unit Term 1
Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 0.5 Unit Term 1
Gendering migration & diasporas 15PGNH002 0.5 Unit Term 1
Globalisation and development 15PDSC005 1 Unit Full Year
Jainism: History, Doctrine and the Contemporary World 15PSRC024 1 Unit Full Year
Political economy of development 15PDSC002 1 Unit Full Year
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 0.5 Unit Term 2
Non-Violence in Jain Scriptures, Philosophy and Law 15PSRC062 1 Unit Full Year Not Running 2016/2017
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 0.5 Unit Term 2 Not Running 2016/2017

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 2 tuition fee.

The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
£8,295 £17,490 £4,148 £8,745 £2,765 £5,830

Employment

Please see our Alumni Profiles.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

When I first came here I was very surprised on how kind, polite and caring everyone was. From the staff to the students, everyone was very welcoming and enthusiastic. Coming from a corporate world and living in a big city like London, SOAS has been like an oasis in the desert; a very colourful, blissful environment which makes you feel at home.

Nafsika Papacharalampous

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