SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Anthropology of Food (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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  • Fees and funding
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MA Anthropology of Food

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 10th in the world in the 2022 QS World University Rankings
  • the Department of Anthropology and Sociology has been ranked 4th overall in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, with 42.4% of our research output rated at 4* (world-leading).
  • 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:


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


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 a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in social science of humanities subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Featured events

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 2022/23

Home students fees:
Overseas students fees:

Fees for 2022/23 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 on the Postgraduate tuition fees page



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.


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

There are three types of taught modules: Compulsory (60 credits), Guided Options (30 credits, chosen from Lists A and B below), and Open Options (30 credits, chosen from Lists A, B or C below or from the School-wide open options list, including languages).


Compulsory Modules

All students take 60 credits of compulsory modules:

Module Code Credits Term
701 Contemporary Anthropological Theory 15PANH102 15 Term 1
702 Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15
722 Food, Place and Mobility 15PANH087 15 Term 1
723 Diet, Society and Environment 15PANH090 15 Term 2
Guided Options

All students choose 30 credits: minimum 15 from List A and up to 15 from list B:

LIST A - Options

Module Code Credits Term
724 Migration, Borders and Space: Decolonial Approaches 15PANH086 15 Term 1
729 Anthropology of Sustainability: Global Challenges and Alternative Futures 15PANH083 15 Term 1
755 Anthropological Approaches to the Body and Embodiment 15PANH088 15
797A Directed Practical Study in the Anthropology of Food 15PANH045 15 Full Year
Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty 15PDSH026 15 Term 2
List B - Regions

Module Code Credits Term
750A Ethnographic Locations: Sub-Saharan Africa 15PANH063 15
750B Ethnographic Locations: East Asia 15PANH062 15
750C Ethnographic Locations: Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15
Open Options

All students choose 30 credits from List C or any module from the School Open Options List or a language

List C – Representative Open Options

Module Code Credits Term
752 Anthropology of 'Race', Gender and Sexuality 15PANH082 15 Term 2
Global Advocacy 15PFFH012 15 Term 2
Global Energy & Climate Policy 15PFFC017 30 Full Year
Global Health and Development 15PDSH051 15 Term 1
Law and Natural Resources 15PLAC126 30 Full Year

All students enrol in the dissertation module

Module Code Credits Term
799A Dissertation (MA) in Anthropology 15PANC999 60 Full Year


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


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.


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 2022/23 entrants, per academic year (Band 1 tuition fee) 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£11,980 £23,400 £5,990 £11,700 £3,955 £7,725

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%.

For full details of postgraduate tuition fees see our postgraduate tuition fees page.

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – The Americas

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-04-05 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

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



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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