Master in Food Culture & Communications

University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG)

Program Description

Master in Food Culture & Communications

University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG)

Each Master program in Food Culture and Communications is a separate and complete Master program with a specific thematic stream. The different streams of the Master share a common core of coursework, complemented by specialized material unique to that stream. Each, however, is designed for international students seeking an innovative approach to the study of food and foodways and the ways in which they are discussed and represented today.

The program offers a wide mix of in-class lessons, exercises, guided tastings, projects, and study trips in Italy and abroad to provide a multi-experiential understanding of both high-quality artisanal and industrial food products, their ecology, agronomy, technology, history, anthropology, sociology, as well as the necessary knowledge and expertise for communicating them.

Instructors include internationally recognized scholars, journalists, and gastronomy experts, including Carole Counihan, Barny Haughton, Corby Kummer, Stuart Franklin, Anne Noble, Carlo Petrini, and others.

Through an approach that merges anthropology, history, ecology, food policy, agronomy, economics, food and sensory sciences, tasting sessions, communications, and a wide range of other subjects, students acquire the tools for developing new conceptualizations, communications, and educational strategies within the realm of high-quality gastronomy. Graduates emerge ready for careers in community-based project management, education, marketing and public relations.

In addition to this breadth of study, each stream of the master also includes a distinct academic focus, falling into the following themes. Note that the four streams of the program each have different start dates.

Each stream of master comprises 90 university credits and leads to a 1st level Master degree. The language of instruction is English. The program lasts 14 months and a minimum of 80% attendance is required.

Master in Food Culture and Communications: High-Quality Products

The Master in Food Culture and Communications: High-Quality Products is characterized by an in-depth exploration of themes related to products that characterize gastronomy as well as artisanal foods of excellence. With these products as its focus, the Master provides an ongoing comparison with agro-industrial foods to grasp their characteristics and differences. The products examined during the course will include beverages such as spirits, wines, and beers, and foods such as cheeses, meats, pasta and rice, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and spices, chocolate, coffee, and tea. High-quality products often have a non-tangible value, are purchased for what they represent, and have roles as status symbols. Many of them, if not all, are profoundly linked to a specific region with which they are closely identified. The objective of this Master is also to understand the cultural appeal of the products, and what constitutes the link between the product and the region. This approach necessitates a change of perspective, that is, starting not from the “region,” but rather from the taste of the product, which will be analyzed, understood, and described, and then working backwards to figure out which factors have created this “taste”: the methods of production, the raw materials, and the “place” and history that led to the product’s origin will also be examined.

The Scientific Director of the Master in Food Culture and Communications: High-Quality Products is Mirco Marconi


A 4-to-8-weeks long internship and 2-to-4-months long internship (in 2016) concludes the master, with each student working within a company or organization in Italy or abroad, or within a UNISG research project. Internships focus on sustainable food production or communication and are the basis for a final thesis presented to an academic committee.

Over the course of the year, master program staff assist students in researching and identifying internships and hosts suited to their individual interests. While some internship hosts may occasionally provide room and board, students are responsible for all expenses related to their internships.

Final Thesis

The final thesis is the culmination of the master program and offers the student the opportunity to synthesize both theoretical and practical coursework, including the internship. The thesis, including methodologies and a report on the internship work, is completed individually and is evaluated by an academic committee.

Subject Areas

Both humanities and sciences are taught within the Master. Practical learning, lab work, and study travel to discover products and their regions of origin complement in-class lessons in order to provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to the world of gastronomy.

The following subject areas comprise the core coursework common to all streams of the Master, with the exception of the last four areas, which are specific to each of the four individual streams.

Coursework includes seminars dedicated to a variety of specific issues, and course content may vary from year to year. The Master also includes events and presentations related to Slow Food programs, coordinated in collaboration with the organization itself.


The university fee for the master programs in Food Culture & Communications is €16,500.

The fee includes:

all academic activities, including conferences, tastings, and seminars study material (in digital format) all study trip expenses as programmed, including travel, food and lodging participation in all UNISG and Slow Food events as included in the Master program civil insurance coverage (during academic activities) health coverage for non-European students wifi internet access on campus all Registar Office certificates 5000 credits on your lunch cards to be used at UNISG Academic Tables (corresponds to €500) Note: Fees do not include the cost (around €180) of obtaining an Italian “permesso di soggiorno” (residency permit). Non-EU citizens must apply for a permesso di soggiorno at the post office, or at the Al Elka Foreigners’ Service, within 8 working days after arriving in Italy.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 27, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
1 year
Full time
16,500 EUR
Study trips and insurance are included
Italy - Bra, Piedmont
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
Italy - Bra, Piedmont
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info