SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Anthropology of Food and Intensive Language (2018 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019 2018

duration:
2 year full-time or 4 years part-time. The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
£9,685
Overseas fees:
£19,930

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. This is a Band 1 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

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

Featured events

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

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

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.

Learn about the modules (courses) for this programme

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.

The two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language courses will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

Convenors

Combinations

May be combined with:

The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA Anthropology of Food

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below. 

In their first year, students on this two-year Intensive Language programme take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 30 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline. 

Students are also required to audit 15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods, i.e. to attend lectures for this module (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments). The module does not count towards the total of 315 credits.

There are two different pathways for the Anthropology of Food component of this programme: one for students without a background in Anthropology, and one for students with previous knowledge of the subject.

For information on the programme structure for the four-year part-time version of the programme, please see the pdf programme specification at the bottom of this page.

Please see the relevant web pages in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics for information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.

Two years without background in Anthropology
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component
Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Anthropology of Food 15PANC013 30 Full Year
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Plus
15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods (non-credit bearing component)

This will not count towards the total of 315 credits, but students are required to audit this module, i.e. to attend lectures (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments).

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below (or relevant options from other departments) to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
Two years with background in Anthropology
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component
Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Anthropology of Food 15PANC013 30 Full Year
Plus

A module(s) from Anthropology and Sociology list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus
15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods (non-credit bearing component)

This will not count towards the total of 315 credits, but students are required to audit this module, i.e. to attend lectures (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments).

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below (or relevant options from other departments) to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
List of modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Directed Practical Study in the Anthropology of Food 15PANH045 15 Full Year
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 2
Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 15 Term 1
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 15 Term 2
Media Production Skills (Group B) 15PANH050 15 Term 2
Perspectives On Development 15PANH033 15 Term 1
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 15 Term 1
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Centre for Gender Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 15 Term 1
Gendering Migration & Diasporas 15PGNH002 15 Term 1
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Energy Transition, Nature, and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 15 Term 2
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
The Working Poor and Development 15PDSH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Religions and Philosophies

 

This is the structure for applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Year abroad

Yes (summer)

Teaching & Learning

Contact Hours

All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.

As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.

More information is on the page for each module.

Aims and Outcomes

  • To introduce students to important areas of contemporary social theory which deal with issues of migration, globalisation, the postcolonial world, and cultural transformations.
  • To ground students in the historical basis of these issues
  • To encourage transdisciplinary thinking on issues of migration
  • To enable students to translate theoretical perspectives for practical application in the material world.
  • To provide students with a near proficient ability in a language.
Knowledge
  • Students will be expected to grasp the key debates in migration and diaspora studies from a critical perspective
  • To understand the global/historical/political and cultural background within which issues of migration and diaspora occur.
  • A critical understanding of the ways that migration has shaped the modern world, and the implications of this for future research.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • The development of analytical and theoretical skills based on a detailed understanding of the social science literature on migration and diaspora.
  • To approach theories and debates from a critical and reflexive basis.
  • To develop their presentation skills and their ability to articulate arguments coherently in order to promote class discussion and critical engagement with ideas and practices.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Communicate effectively in writing, in academic English
  • Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources including print and other forms of mass media
  • Listen to and discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Students with no knowledge of media technologies will have the opportunity to learn photographic and film making techniques through the Media unit.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes
  • In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language
Transferable skills

Students will be expected to learn to:

  • Plan, organise and write masters’ level essays and dissertations.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Understand unconventional ideas.
  • Present (non–assessed) material orally.
  • Function as a student and researcher in a radically different environment.
  • Be able to apply for funding to do a PhD.
  • Be prepared to enter a Social Science PhD programme.
  • An ability to work, and be at ease in, a multicultural environment

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 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 2 year full-time programmes have 2 years of full-time fees - the fee in the second year will be higher than the fee for the first year (the full time fee below is for the first year only).

Full-time
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£9,685 £19,930
Scholarships

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

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