Human Evolution and Diversity - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Essay (35%) , Non-Invigilated Exam (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as ANT151 Human Evolution and Diversity.

This unit explores the evolution of our species, what makes humans distinct, and how we have developed the biological, cultural and technological diversity we now see around us. The unit examines new research, highlighting the most recent discoveries and theoretical breakthroughs, encouraging students to learn more about the major debates, key discoveries, and important theories in the study of human evolution. Specifically, the unit provides students with a background in evolutionary theory, genetics, anthropology, paleoarchaeology, and comparative primatology in order to address a number of topics: the development of the human brain; bipedalism; language; families; social life; sexuality; reproduction; hunting; diet; clothing; art; stone tools and technology; domesticated plants and animals; cities; and the first civilisations. The unit also demonstrates how an evolutionary perspective offers new insights into modern human diversity, including both cultural and biological differences among us. The unit does not require a background in the biological or evolutionary sciences. It provides an excellent foundation for understanding and evaluating important contemporary issues such as whether sexuality is hardwired, how technology affects us, if genetic racial differences are significant, what makes our species distinct, and how humans might look in the future.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field
  2. provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence
  3. help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations
  4. improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit
  5. actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  6. analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.
  • Essay (35%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (20%)
  • Non-Invigilated Mid Term Exam (20%)
  • Quiz (5%)
  • Review (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • ANT151 — Human Evolution and Diversity

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Natural Selection and Evolution
2Human among primates
3Early hominids and bipedalism
4Genus homo: brain and dietary change
5Sex and reproduction
6The first technology
7Language origins and development
8Moden human origins and dispersal
9Food domestication and urbanisation
10Human variation
11The end of human evolution?

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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