Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


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 and investigate the formation of regional and national cuisines. As well as examine 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 6 in the UK and 16 in the world in the 2019 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 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.

This 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.

May be combined with:

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

  • Arabic
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • South-East Asian Languages: Burmese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese
  • Swahili
  • Turkish (available from 2019/20)

Employment

Skills gained include:

  • The development of analytical and theoretical skills based on a detailed understanding of the social science literature on migration and diaspora.
  • Ability to approach theories and debates from a critical and reflexive basis.
  • Ability 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.
  • Learn photographic and film making techniques through the Media unit.
  • Practice research techniques in a variety of specialised research libraries and institutes.
  • Acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level (in the two-year intensive language pathway).
  • Be able to apply for funding to do a PhD.
  • Be prepared to enter a Social Science PhD programme.

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.

Two years without a background in Anthropology

Year 1 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

  • The Anthropology of Food
  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology

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

  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology

Two years with a background in Anthropology

Year 1 (two years full time)

Discipline Component

  • The Anthropology of Food

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

  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology

List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • Anthropology and Sociology
    • African and Asian Cultures in Britain
    • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
    • Anthropology of Globalisation (PG)
    • Anthropology of Human Rights (PG)
    • Anthropology of Law
    • Issues in Anthropology of Media
    • Culture and Society of China
    • Culture and Society of Japan
    • Culture and Society of South Asia
    • Culture and Society of South East Asia
    • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
    • Culture and Society of East Africa
    • Culture and Society of West Africa
    • Directed Practical Study in the Anthropology of Food
    • Ethnographic Research Methods
    • Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry
    • Issues in Anthropology and Film
    • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
    • Media Production Skills (Group B)
    • Perspectives On Development
    • Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion
    • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology
    • Therapy and Culture
    • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective
  • Centre for Gender Studies
    • Gender in the Middle East
    • Gendering Migration & Diasporas
  • Development Studies
    • Agrarian Development, Food Policy and Rural Poverty
    • Civil society, social movements and the development process
    • Energy Transition, Nature, and Development in a Time of Climate Change
    • Famine and food security
    • Gender and Development
    • Natural resources, development and change: putting critical analysis into practice
    • The Working Poor and Development
  • Religions and Philosophies

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one-year diploma before entering the master's programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.

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.

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)

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Last updated September 26, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
Duration
2 - 4 years
Part-time
Full-time
Price
9,685 GBP
full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,685; Overseas £19,930. Part-time 2 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £4,843; Overseas £9,965. Part-time 3 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £3,228; Overseas £6,643.
Deadline
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Location
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 17, 2022