Taught course

Anthropology of Food

SOAS University of London · Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

See postgraduate entry requirements for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Anthropology of Food programme offers you the opportunity to explore historically and culturally variable foodways, from foraging to industrial food, from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to Europe and the Americas. You will examine the roles that food classification, production, distribution, exchange, cooking and eating play in social organisation, differentiation, religious practice and cultural identity, and in mediating our relationships with non-human beings and surroundings. You will also explore the trans-regional and trans-national movements of foods and culinary practices and the role of food in human migrations, as well as the formation of regional and national cuisines.

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 address debates on the impact of contemporary food systems on food safety, dietary health, agrarian livelihoods and environmental sustainability and examine concerns over the alleged demise of family meals, traditional food knowledge and cooking skills.

Food activism, including digital food activism and movements toward sustainable food production and against food waste, and movements advocating fair trade, veganism and vegetarianism are explored in diverse cultural contexts. You will also address initiatives to protect local and artisanal foods, including promotions of heritage foods and food tourism in rural development and nation-building.

Why study MA Anthropology of Food at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK for Anthropology and 10th in the world in the 2022 QS World University Rankings
  • 4th in the UK (2023 Times/Sunday Times League Table)
  • Exclusive internship/placement module: you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an area closely related to your field of study
  • 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
  • thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
  • 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.

The MA programme in Food Anthropology is run in collaboration with the SOAS Food Studies Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre housed in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)20 3510 6974