MA Anthropology of Food

General

Program Description

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.

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.

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.

Dissertation

Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words)

  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology

For students without previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

  • The Anthropology of Food

Compulsory Module

  • Ethnographic Research Methods
  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology

and

  • Guided Option
    Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below to the value of 60 credits.

or

  • Choose modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List to the value of 60 credits.

For students with previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

  • The Anthropology of Food

Compulsory Module

  • Ethnographic Research Methods

and

  • Guided Option
    Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below or from the Postgraduate Open Options List to the value of 30 credits.

and

  • Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below to the value of 60 credits.

or

  • Choose modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List to the value of 60 credits.

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
    • 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
  • Language Modules

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.

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.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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