University of Exeter: Food Studies (MA)

InstitutionUniversity of Exeter View institution profile
Department Sociology
Telephone +44(0)1392 723044
Study type Taught


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

The programme gives foundation to comparative understanding of foodways and food systems in industrialised and non-industrialised societies, and the relation of each of these to global forces.

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 - from the agricultural revolution, to the industrialisation of agriculture and food manufacturing, to the globalisation of food. You will develop an understanding of the place of agriculture and food in the constitution of social identities and institutions - from the family, to social classes and ethnic groups, to the nation. And you will analyse the workings of mainstream and alternative food systems and food chains - from production and processing, to trade and retail, to preparation and service, to consumption and waste.

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 may prepare for further research by taking optional modules in theory and methods in a range of disciplines. 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.

Through these varied forms of study, you will actively engage with vibrant food, farming and fishing sectors in Exeter and the Southwest of England.

Sponsorship info

The University of Exeter invests heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This is in addition to the Government’s Postgraduate Loan Scheme. For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at Exeter, please visit the postgraduate study pages of our website.

2 course options

Qualification MA
Level RQF Level 7
Entry requirements

Usually a good honours degree, 2.1 or equivalent in any discipline. Applications from candidates with relevant professional experience and evidence of good research and writing skills will also be considered.

For full information, including English language requirements and international equivalencies, please see the relevant programme page found in the postgraduate section of our website.


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.


Please note constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.

Some examples of core modules are as follows;

- Food and agriculture in historical perspective
- Food, body and society
- Food systems, alternative food networks and ethical consumption
- Dissertation

Optional modules include:
- Directed practical study: Agriculture and food
- Research methods in the social sciences
- Research design in Archaeology
- Themes in Archaeological theory and practice
- Research skills in classics and ancient history
- Advanced historical research skills
- Social theory
- Food and culture
- The political economy of agriculture and food
- Research and knowledge transfer for food security and sustainable agriculture
- Hospitality service management
- Sustainable livestock and fisheries
- Tourism business: management, impacts and evaluation
- Tourism and marketing
- Entrepreneurship: new venture development
- Zooarchaeology
- Advanced zooarchaeology
- Palaeobotany
- Discovering the past with molecular science

Location Streatham Campus
Northcote House
Queen's Drive


EU 8495 GBP for Year 1
England 8495 GBP for Year 1
Northern Ireland 8495 GBP for Year 1
Scotland 8495 GBP for Year 1
Wales 8495 GBP for Year 1
International 17795 GBP for Year 1

University of Exeter


We are a Russell Group university ranked in the top one per cent of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings). We score particularly highly for ‘international outlook’ and the University welcomes staff and students from over 130 countries. The experience of our overseas students is second to none: in 2017 we won the ‘International Student Choice’ award (WhatUni).

World-leading research

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