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Course content

It is increasingly recognised that reductionist approaches to tackling food-related issues are ineffective and that a more comprehensive, holistic approach is required if we are to better understand the many ways that food affects and shapes our lives, and effectively address the many injustices and inequalities that are manifest in the current food system.

The MSc Gastronomy provides an opportunity to study food in a more complete sense. The course, the first and only one of its kind in the UK, acknowledges the complex nature of food and takes an interdisciplinary approach to shed light upon the often unseen links between food culture and communications, science and systems, production and politics and more.

The course takes an experiential approach, with field trips to a diverse range of food related businesses and organisations - from food banks to Michelin starred restaurants, large-scale agri-businesses to food processors. Through input from a wide range of specialist and expert  speakers, students gain exposure to the diverse dynamics that affect how we produce, consume, represent and understand food.

Scotland is most often the showcase for this, however the concepts covered are transferable to other countries. Whether you’re looking to enhance your career in the food industry, interested in cultivating a broader understanding of food, or are looking for a new direction, please contact us. We’re more than happy to discuss the course with you and help you discover if our unique brand of gastronomy is for you.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Modules will involve elements of inquiry (problem) based learning, report writing, visual presentations, essays and viva voce interviews. Learning therefore will be diverse and teaching will happen anywhere that there is a relationship to food and drink or ancillary industries. This may be in the University, on the streets of Edinburgh, the hills of the Scottish Borders or in a Michelin starred restaurant. The course will therefore embed research-led learning, by requiring students to examine information from a diverse range of sources including academic books/journals, online blogs/ wiki’s relating to food and drink agendas, and primary and secondary data. The importance of working closely with industry colleagues cannot be underestimated.

Opportunities to interact with for example, farmers, North Sea fishermen, and cooks and producers at all levels will enhance the learning experience. Class sizes are normally around 15-20 students. This ensures that students receive fantastic support from tutors and benefit from sharing experiences with classmates.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module consists of 60 hours of teaching time over a 10-week period. There are two core modules planned for each semester, plus a research module that spans the first two semesters. You will be required to carry out independent work and also complete a dissertation.

Links with industry/professional bodies

This course has been developed in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders involved in the food and drink industries.


30 credits: Food & Drink: The Relationship to People and Food/ Science of Food/ The System: From Field to Market/ Food Communications

15 credits: Research Methods

If studying for an MSc, you will also complete a dissertation (60 credits).


Graduates will place themselves in the enviable position of having had exposure to a range of industry experiences and contemporary food issues that will enable them to make interventions and transformations in a wide variety of areas. These may range from education or community work, to advocacy and policy work within the non-profit sector.

Entry requirements

There are several routes to entry.

- Applicants may have a first degree in an associated subject, for example, a BA (Hons) in Hospitality, Culinary

Arts, or Nutrition.

- An honours degree (or equivalent) in a different discipline but where the applicant has a demonstrable passion for food and drink.

- An applicant may potentially be a mature student who has spent a considerable period of time in industry and wishes to formalise their education.

All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed as part of the application process

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score below 5.5

Quick Facts

-This is the first MSc in Gastronomy in the UK.

-The course has 15 funded places available for potential students resident in Scotland and the EU.

Visit the MSc Gastronomy page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!




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Recipient: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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