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Taylor’s University Master of Philosophy (Food Studies)
Taylor’s University

Master of Philosophy (Food Studies)

Subang Jaya, Malaysia

18 Months


Full time, Part time

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USD 14,169 / per year



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Over the last 20 years or so, the status of food has changed dramatically. Rippling food crises, the growing obesity problem and more, have repeatedly put food in the spotlight. On the economic front, the increase in population coupled with rapid economic growth in the past decade has boosted food consumption an explosive rate.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s ‘Global Food and Beverage Market’ report, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for consumer spending on ‘Eating Out’ with the average annual growth forecasted to be 7.5% for the 2017-26 period. With a massive food industry and the increasingly complex global food system, there is a critical skills gap for experts with specialised knowledge who have the ability to explore and explain the relationship between food and environmental, cultural, social, political and economic processes.

The Master of Philosophy (Food Studies) aims to groom graduates into highly qualified professionals who are experts in the field of Food Studies. To achieve this, Taylor’s University and University Toulouse Jean Jaurès (UT2J) have designed a comprehensive curriculum which encompasses components like research skills, anthropology and sociology of food, understanding of the different food cultures, food trends and business outlook, socio-political issues on food nutrition and public health and many more.

The Taylor’s Food Studies Advantage

  • The only Malaysian university with a ‘Chair of Food Studies: Food, Cultures and Health’ – Prof. Dr. Jean Pierre Poulain. He maintains an emphasis in food studies, contributes to academic programmes and provides advice to students and faculty members. A French socio-anthropologist, Prof. Dr. Poulain has a long and successful career in the field of food studies and hospitality education in both academic and international life. He has published numerous books, book chapters and articles, as well as actively delivered keynote and conference presentations around the world on topics such as food sociology, food heritage and tourism practices.

  • The only Food Studies programme to offer Global Field Research Programme (GRP) which provides the opportunity for conducting fieldwork abroad. Students have the exciting opportunity to conduct research work for their thesis abroad if it is focused on a food-related topic specific to a particular country for 3 – 6 months. Choose from an international network of partner universities for research in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan. This will provide students with a more comprehensive research experience as they interact with a different culture, form different perspectives of global issues and engage actively with the global community.

  • An internationalised curriculum. The Global Immersion Programme in Food & Culture (GIF) is embedded within the World Food Cultures module, which requires students to spend two weeks travelling through Switzerland and France. Students will be visiting major players in the food industry and attending seminars led by several Michelin chefs, all to gain a holistic understanding of the food culture in France and Europe. Through the School’s internationalised curriculum, students are challenged to engage in a critical exploration of global interconnections and interdependence, as well as understand different cultural contexts and worldviews.

  • Specialised facilities for research support. These include the R&D Kitchen, experimental restaurant and sensory analysis lab.
    • R&D Kitchen: Equipped with kitchen appliances and food product testing instruments, students get to immerse themselves in culinary creativity, hands-on food science experiments and live and contextual consumption experience.
    • Experimental Restaurant: This restaurant serves as an observatory, where experiments related to areas such as food preferences, presentation, behaviour, design, taste and much more are carried out on guests with their consent for research purposes. Recording of meal services are also possible, providing valuable qualitative and quantitative information during these experiments.
    • Sensory Analysis Lab: Here, food products are analysed for their taste, smell, appearance and colour, among others. It has the necessary equipment for students to engage in evaluating the perception of a new product, examining changing ingredients and researching potential products.

  • Possible financial support on research projects. The Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies (CRiT) aims to promote research, consultancy, training, education and public-private partnership initiatives in the areas of tourism, hospitality and food studies. As the Food Studies programme is supported by CRiT, there will be possibility for financial support for students’ research projects.

  • Dual master’s degree recognition by Taylor’s University and UT2J.Students get the opportunity to learn from two of the best food studies graduate programmes in Asia and Europe and earn a dual master’s degree upon completion of the programme.

Key Research Areas

  • Social and cultural dimensions of food

  • Socio-anthropological approach to food practices in France and abroad

  • Food practices and gastronomic heritage in tourism

  • Relationship between diet and health-related to obesity, and food education programmes

  • Quality of food

  • Taste and obesity

  • Ethnic groups’ behavioural studies

  • Food barometer

  • Nutritional education and health

  • Optimisation of food production

  • Food safety

  • Nutrition and behaviour


The Master of Philosophy (Food Studies) is a Mixed Mode programme involving both coursework and research. It contains (6) core modules and a research project. Students for this programme will have the flexibility of full-time or part-time study.


  • Minimum period: 1½ years (18 months)


  • Minimum period: 2½ years (30 months)

Semester 1

  • Research Methodology

  • Anthropology & Sociology of Food

  • Nutrition and Public Health Issues

  • Hotel and Restaurant Design and Development

  • World Food Cultures

  • Marketing in Food Business

Semester 2

  • Dissertation of 40,000 words

About the School


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