SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Anthropology of Food (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2021 2020

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

Overview

Overview and entry requirements

The MA Anthropology of Food programme offers you the opportunity to explore historically and culturally variable foodways, from foraging to industrial food, from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to Europe and the Americas. You will examine the roles that food classification, production, distribution, exchange, cooking and eating play in social organisation, differentiation, religious practice and cultural identity and in mediating our relationships with non-human beings and surroundings. You will also explore the transregional and transnational movements of foods and culinary practices and the role of food in human migrations, as well as the formation of regional and national cuisines. 

As a student on the MA in Anthropology of Food, you will study the passage of food from plant to palate, and examine who benefits, and who suffers, from contemporary modes of food production, exchange, preparation and consumption. You will address debates on the impact of contemporary food systems on food safety, dietary health, agrarian livelihoods and environmental sustainability and examine concerns over the alleged demise of family meals, traditional food knowledge and cooking skills.

Bird Seller

Food activism, including digital food activism and movements toward sustainable food production and against food waste, and movements advocating fair trade, veganism and vegetarianism are explored in diverse cultural contexts. You will also address initiatives to protect local and artisanal foods, including promotions of heritage foods and food tourism in rural development and nation-building. 

The MA programme in Food Anthropology is run in collaboration with the SOAS Food Studies Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre housed in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Students on the MA programme attend the Centre’s research seminar (the ‘SOAS Food Forum’) and other Centre events. The SOAS Food Studies Centre offers information about events, including links to recordings of SOAS Food Studies Centre Distinguished Lectures and other resources.

Chinese Dishes

This MA programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in food-related government ministries, international organisations, development and media agencies, or non-governmental associations. Other alumni work in the food, hospitality and tourism industries.

Why study MA Anthropology of Food at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK for Anthropology and 16th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings
  • draw on the exceptional regional expertise of our academics in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and politics, many of whom have joined us with a practical working knowledge of their disciplines
  • thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
  • flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or optional modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages; your command of a second language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities.

For more information email: jk2@soas.ac.uk

Scholarships

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

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Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

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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 2021/22

UK fees:
£11,520
Overseas fees:
£22,500

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. This is a Band 3 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's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

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.

Structure

The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed below, except for students with a previous Anthropology degree, who are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology module but may wish to select this as part of their 120 credits from the options lists.

Students without a previous Anthropology degree will be required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology options list.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module. 

Programme

Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Anthropology of Food: Politics, Place and Mobility 15PANH087 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Food: Diet, Society and Environment 15PANH090 15 Term 2
AND

Guided Module(s) from the lists below, to the value of 15 credits.

AND

Guided Module(s) from the lists below, OR from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 30 credits.

Dissertation

Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) worth 60 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
List of modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term
African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World: Cultures of Resistance and the Dissolution of Boundaries 15PANH085 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World: Migration, Space, Identities 15PANH086 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Sustainability: Global Challenges and Alternative Futures 15PANH083 15 Term 1
Body politics: the anthropology of "race", gender and desire 15PANH082 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Directed Practical Study in the Anthropology of Food 15PANH045 15 Full Year
How to Change Things 15PANH093 15 Term 2
Issues in Anthropology and Climate Change 15PANH070 15 Term 2
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 1
Medical Anthropology: Global Perspectives 15PANH089 15 Term 1
Medical Anthropology: Bodies and Cultures 15PANH088 15 Term 2
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1

 

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

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. 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.

Modules

During the academic year, modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and/or seminars. Students can expect an average of two hours of classroom time per week for each module. Outside of the classroom, students explore topics of the module through independent study and through personal exchanges with teachers and fellow students. In some cases, modules are taught by several teachers within the department to provide students with an array of perpsectives on the subject. All modules involve the active participation of students in the discussion of ideas, viewpoints and readings.

Dissertation

The MA Anthropology of Food culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation, based on original research on a topic of the student's own choosing and developed in discussion with a supervisor.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2021/22 entrants, per academic year (Band 3 tuition fee)

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£11,520 £22,500 £5,760 £11,250 £3,840 £7,500 £5,760 £11,250

Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the postgraduate tuition fees page.

Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2021-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-02-15 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2021-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2021-03-08 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2021-06-04 00:00

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

Employment

Employment

The MA Anthropology of Food programme has a first-rate employability record. SOAS graduates move on to find employment in various fields:

  • food-related government ministries
  • international organisations
  • development agencies
  • media agencies
  • non-governmental associations
  • food, hospitality and tourism industries

Find out where our Food Studies alumni are now and how their studies at SOAS helped them in their career.

For graduate destinations and career information, visit our 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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