Our MA programme in the Anthropology of Food offers you 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.
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 also explore the role of food in human migrations, the formation of regional and national cuisines, and food fears and food safety and concerns over ‘nutrition transition'.
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, veganism and vegetarianism, 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.This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in food-related government ministries, international organisations, development agencies, or non-governmental associations.
Why study MA Anthropology of Food at SOAS?
- our Anthropology Department is ranked 5th in the UK and 13th in the world in the 2020 QS World University Rankings
- we 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
- you will be joining our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
- you will be able to 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: email@example.com
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
- 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.
- 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.
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 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. See below for a detailed programme structure.
Guided Module(s) from the lists below, to the value of 15 credits.
Guided Module(s) from the lists below, OR from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 30 credits.
Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) worth 60 credits.
List of modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Centre for Gender Studies
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 & 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.
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.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
Being at SOAS has been one of the most interesting experiences in my life, from both a social and academic point of view. The School has an atmosphere like no other place I have ever been. In fact, after my first visit to the university, I decided that if I did not get my grades, I would not go to any other place!