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Postgraduate taught

MA Food Studies

Please note: The below is for 2022 entries. Click here for 2021 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year 2022
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Anthropology

Professor Harry West
Web: Enquire online 
0300 555 6060 (UK)  
+44 (0)1392 723192 (non-UK)

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • We’ll prepare you to understand, critically assess and practically engage with foodways and food systems in industrialised and non-industrialised societies
  • Our core modules provide interdisciplinary perspectives drawing from fields such as archaeology, classics, history, anthropology, sociology, geography and political economy
  • Optional modules allow you to develop focused expertise in areas such as sustainable food production, health and nutrition, community development, education, or business and social enterprise
  • You can choose to undertake a placement or internship to gain valuable experience and develop professional networks
  • Engage with real-world examples, such as the impact of COVID-19, learning about their implications, and rise to the challenges and opportunities they present. Read more here.

Apply online

View 2021 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

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Ranked 9th in the UK in the latest Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence Framework when intensity (100%) and 4* and 3* grades are taken into account

Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Internationally recognised for work in philosophical anthropology and the sociology of culture

Optional work placement or internship

Entry requirements

We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree in any social science, humanities or environmental studies. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Applications from candidates with relevant professional experience and evidence of good research and writing skills will also be considered.

Also, as this is a specialist and multi-disciplinary programme, then students who do not meet the general admissions requirements but who have substantial professional or personal experience which is directly related to the programme will be considered. Students who wish to be considered on the basis of professional or personal experience should submit a detailed personal statement outlining their relevant experience. Students who do not fulfil the general admissions requirements may also be required to attend an interview and/or complete an assignment in order to assess their academic ability.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements


Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Course content

This programme will prepare you to understand, critically assess, and practically engage with foodways and food systems.

Our core modules provide interdisciplinary perspectives drawing from fields including archaeology, classics, history, anthropology, sociology, geography, and political economy. You will survey the historical development of agriculture and food and develop an understanding of its place in the constitution of social identities and institutions. You will also analyse the workings of mainstream and alternative food systems and food chains.

A wide range of optional modules allows you to develop focused expertise in areas such as sustainable food production, health and nutrition, community development, education, or business and social enterprise.

An optional placement or internship will afford you the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and to develop networks, while the dissertation will provide you with the chance to acquire expertise in a particular area of study and to develop research and writing skills.

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is University-based throughout the period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits. Teaching takes place over two terms (October to May), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September). Each taught module spans one term and is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments. The taught element consists of core modules, directed options and free options.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2022/23 entry

UK fees per year:

£10,000 full-time; £5,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£20,500 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students.  

For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.

*Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Teaching and research

Core teaching takes place over the first two terms, leaving the third for your dissertation. Research-centred teaching is at the heart of the programme. Teaching is done in small seminar groups, through individual presentations and round table discussions of common readings. Some optional modules include practical work combined with reading.

Students have the opportunity to engage in a substantial piece of research into a topic of their choosing through the dissertation module. You will be assessed through coursework which will vary depending on the modules you choose, as well as the completion of a dissertation.


Employer valued skills

  • Research skills specific to foodways and food systems past and present on an international scale
  • Understanding of the economic, political and cultural dynamics of food systems and foodways
  • Ability to identify issues and problems faced by a range of stakeholders and the potential consequences of various forms of intervention and transformation
  • Researching, analysing and assessing sources of information
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Managing and interpreting information
  • Developing ideas and arguments

Career paths

Depending upon your interests and career objectives, you may go on to conduct doctoral research, or you may find employment in: food industry or small and medium-sized food businesses and social enterprises; government departments and agencies engaging with agriculture, fisheries, food manufacture, food safety, public health, or culture and heritage; food-focused print, broadcast and new media; or third sector organisations focused on issues such as environmental sustainability, trade policy, food safety, public health, food poverty, or social isolation.

Career support

The College's Employability Officer works with our central Career Zone team to give you access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training, as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.

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