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 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£8,785
Overseas fees:
£18,075

Fees for 2017/18 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

2017 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
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

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.

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 Overview

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.

All students must audit the compulsory module, Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1.  This will not count towards the 180 credits.  Students will be expected to attend only lectures and do not attend seminars or submit any assessments.  Students may choose to take this module (worth 15 credits) as part of their 120 credits from the option lists.

Students with 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.  See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

 

Programme Detail

COMPULSORY MODULES

Students without a previous Anthropology degree are required to take all the compulsory modules, totalled at 90 credits. Students with a previous Anthropology degree are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology module, totalled at 60 credits. All students are required to audit the Ethnographic Research Methods module. This will not count towards your 180 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
CORE MODULE

All students must take the core module worth 30 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
The Anthropology of Food 15PANC013 30 Full Year
OPTIONAL MODULES

Students without a previous Anthropology degree: the remaining 60 credits can be selected from Anthropology and Sociology or other departments or a language module. Students with a previous Anthropology degree: 30 credits of your programme must be selected from the Anthropology and Sociology list; the remaining 60 credits can be selected from Anthropology and Sociology or other departments or a language module.

Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 15 Term 2
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1
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 1
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 1
Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 15 Term 1
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 15 Term 2
Media Production Skills 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 2017/2018
OTHER DEPARTMENTS
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 1
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1
Extractive Industries, Energy, Biofuels and Development in a Time of Climate Change 15PDSH048 15 Term 1
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice 15PDSH031 15 Term 2
The working poor and development 15PDSH030 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Religions and Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Jainism: History, Doctrine and the Contemporary World 15PSRC024 30 Full Year
Non-Violence in Jain Scriptures, Philosophy and Law 15PSRC062 30 Full Year
LANGUAGE MODULES

For a list of language modules, please go to the Faculty of Languages and Cultures webpages - https://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecultures/courses/ - and view the options under the postgraduate modules section for each department.

 

This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

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

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 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2017/18 entrants. 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
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Scholarships
Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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

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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