Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

  • Topics
    • Natural Selection and Evolution
    • Human among primates
    • Early hominids and bipedalism
    • Genus homo: brain and dietary change
    • Sex and reproduction
    • The first technology
    • Language origins and development
    • Modern human origins and dispersal
    • Food domestication and urbanisation
    • Human variation
    • The end of human evolution?
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

At the completion of this subject 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 subject
  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.
  • Assignment 1 - Essay (35%)
  • Assignment 2 - Non-Invigilated Exam (20%)
  • Assignment 3 - Non-Invigilated Mid Term Exam (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Quiz (5%)
  • Assignment 5 - Review (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-ANT151

Special requirements

No special requirements

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

This subject 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 subject 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 subject 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 subject also demonstrates how an evolutionary perspective offers new insights into modern human diversity, including both cultural and biological differences among us. The subject 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.

Related degrees