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MSc Gastronomy

Course Description

As instances of global and local food injustice are reported with more frequency, the dysfunction of our food system and complexity of food culture is being more widely recognised. Increasingly, it is understood that reductionist approaches to solving food related issues are ineffective. A more comprehensive understanding and holistic approach is greatly needed.

The MSc Gastronomy provides an opportunity to study food and food systems in a more complete sense. This innovative new course - the first of its kind in Scotland - acknowledges the truly complex nature of food and includes studies in nutrition, production and consumer culture, but also delves deeper to consider food culture within the contexts of anthropology, environment,
sustainability, politics and communications.

Through experience of diverse food related businesses - from soup kitchens to Michelin Star restaurants, community allotments to large-scale agri-business, - students will gain all important exposure to the diverse dynamics affecting how we consume, produce, represent and understand food. Scotland will often be the showcase for this, but the concepts are transferable to other countries, for one thing that people require irrespective of nationhood is the ability to feed themselves.

Whether you are looking to enhance your career in the food industry or are simply interested in cultivating a fuller understanding of food, please contact us. We are more than happy to discuss the course in more depth and help you discover if gastronomy is what you’re looking for.

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 star restaurant. The course will therefore embed research-led learning, by requiring students to examine information from a diverse range of sources – academic
books/journals, online blogs/wiki’s relating to food and drink agendas, and primary and secondary data collection. The importance of working closely with industry colleagues cannot be underestimated - in this instance opportunities to interact with for example, farmers, North Sea fishermen, cooks and producers at all levels will enhance the learning experiences. 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 modules planned for each semester. 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 all 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
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.

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!

Entry Requirements

There are several routes to entry; applicants may have a first degree in an associated subject, eg hospitality, culinary arts, or nutrition. An honours degree (or equivalent) in a different discipline but the applicant has a demonstrable passion for food and drink. Or, potentially a mature student who has spent a considerable period of time in industry and wishes to formalise her/his education (Please note, in this instance the applicant will be asked for a written submission of approximately 1,000 words in support of the application). All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed as part of the application process.

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Recipient: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
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