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MA Anthropology of Food and Intensive Language

SOAS University of London

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    SOAS, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    SEP

  • Duration

    2 years

Course summary

Overview

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.

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. West was named joint runner-up for the SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize in 2011-2012. 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.

Modules

In the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, most postgraduate modules have a one or two-hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week. Lectures and seminars are often taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject. The majority of the student’s time will be through their own independent study. Students become more active in class through their reading and essay-writing and should greatly enhance their participation in discussion groups.

The Dissertation

These are taken by final-year students only, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).

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

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 20,930per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

SOAS University of London

  • University League Table

    37th

  • Campus address

    SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, Camden, WC1H 0XG, England

SOAS is one of the leading centres for international foundation and pre-master’s study in the UK, bringing 35 years' expertise to innovative programmes.
The programmes allow students to create their own pathway to a degree by combining options from social sciences, humanities and business/ economics.
SOAS is one of the UK's most international universities, with around half of SOAS' students coming from outside the UK.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    15th out of 34 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    156 79%

    9th

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    64 64%

    14th

    2
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.85 77%

    28th

    18

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