Postgraduate Taught

MSc Gastronomy

This MSc provides an opportunity to study food and food systems 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.

This could be the course for you if you are looking to enhance your career in the food industry or are simply interested in cultivating a fuller understanding of food. 

 See a student case study video below


   You will find more case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.


Course Overview

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 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.

Exit Awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

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 Place
  • The Science of Food
  • The System: From Field to Market
  • Food Communication and Consumption

15 credits:

  • Research Methods

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

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (September 17), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to students.

Single Modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Stan Blackley for more information


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.

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.

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 6.0.

Application Deadline

To be considered for a funded place the deadline is the 30th May.

For other self-funding applications the deadline is the first week of July. We may be able to consider late applications on a case by case basis, please check with admissions first



More Information and Contacts

Admissions or Stan Blackley on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Please Note:
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).


See a short film about this course below


Course Overview

At QMU and on location
Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

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