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Last modified: 10 Jan 2018 15:41

Course Overview

Food is such a basic human necessity that we can easily take for granted the huge variety of produce available in our supermarkets. This course explores how familiar foods like coffee, chocolate and citrus were introduced to European tables. Why, in past cultures, has food been so bound up with questions of ethnicity, class, race and religion? How have recipes and diets changed with time, how have people written about and discussed food? And what meanings have been ascribed through the ages to food, eating and cookery? If hungry for knowledge, this is the course for you.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Ben Marsden

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.

Course Description

This course examines the role of food in history. It covers a wide range of historical periods, themes, and locations. A central aim of the course is to understand when and why now-familiar foods like coffee, chocolate and citrus were introduced to new areas, and especially to European tables. Another aim is to study the relationship between food and issues like: ethnicity; class; race; religion; luxury; etiquette and, most recently, globalization. Students taking this course will consider how recipes have changed with time, how people have written about and discussed food - and the meanings that have been ascribed through the ages to food, eating and cookery.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt

  • 1500-word comparative book review (30%)
  • 4000-word essay (60%)
  • Seminar presentation and response (10%)

Resit not normally available.

Formative Assessment



Feedback will be given by course instructors in the form of personal conversation with student in seminar, detailed written comments on all submitted written work, and detailed written feedback on seminar presentations.

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