Evolutionary Anthropology BSc (Hons) Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: V4B1
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33, with no score less than 4 / BTEC : Applications considered
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Module details

Programme Year One

You will be introduced to the archaeology of human origins, evolutionary psychology and the principles of anatomy and human biology.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Principles of Archaeology (ALGY101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims
  • To introduce students to the various theoretical tools, field methods and laboratory techniques that archaeologists use to study and interpret the past.

  • To acquaint students with the types of data archaeologists collect, and how they analyse and interpret these data in order to reconstruct and understand past societies. ​

  • To develop the student''s intellectual skills in terms of knowledge acquisition, research, written and visual communication as well as group work and reflexive evaluation (both self and peer evaluation). ​

  • Learning OutcomesAcquire essential subject-based knowledge.

    ​Become familiar with scientific equipment, techniques and materials that are used and analysed by applied archaeological science.

    ​Become aware of the relevance of the materials, methods and arguments presented in the module for the study of the past in diverse archaeological contexts.

    ​Become familiar with the main schools of thought and intellectual debates involved in the study, and the critical analysis of specific archaeological subjects, research questions and case-studies.

    ​Become aware of appropriate standards of professional conduct, including health and safety protocols.

  • The Origins of Humanity (ALGY105)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims
    1. ​​​To introduce the study of the early human record using a comparative interdisciplinary approach
    2. ​To provide a foundation for studying evolutionary anthropology in greater depth.
    3. ​To provide a basic understanding of the deep past for those interested in more recent archaeological and historical periods.​

    Learning Outcomes

    The student will have gained a broad understanding of the social, biological and technological evolution of humans.

    ​The student will have developed a critical awareness of how early prehistory is constructed using interdisciplinary sources​

    ​The student will have developed skills in evaluating primary and secondary sources of information​ about human evolution.

  • Introduction to Bioanthropology (ALGY119)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To provide a firm background in the anatomy of Catarrhine primates with focus on humans and incorporating additional evidence from the great apes and old world monkeys. Specifically, the course will focus on identification of osteological elements and key muscles with an introduction to the osteology and anatomy of locomotor adaptations including bipedalism, terrestrial/arboreal quadrupedalism and brachiation.

    Learning Outcomes​​Students will be able to identify the major bones and muscles of the human body and understand how these relate to other primates. 

    ​Students will have a good grasp of the major debates in the origin of human bipedalism

  • Evolution of the Human Mind (ALGY140)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with a broad overview of the disparate sources of evidence used to study the mind and its development.

    To develop skills of critical analysis.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students will develop a critical awareness of how biological and behavioural data are used to construct models of the evolution of human cognition.

    ​Students will learn to evaluate critically contemporary debates, making informed judgements about the relative strengths and weaknesses of particular arguments.

  • Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology (ALGY141)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to introduce you to current issues in the still developing field of evolutionary anthropology, and provide a level of understanding that will enable you to choose pathways of progression in Years 2 and 3. The knowledge gained will be a foundation for students interested in Palaeolithic archaeology, the hominin fossil record and in applying the biological sciences to issues of behavioural evolution.

    Learning Outcomes

    You will develop a working knowledge of the methodology and conceptual approaches that define evolutionary anthropology. The format will encourage you to become independent researchers, moving away from secondary texts to primary source material.

    ​You will also develop practical skills of group working and public speaking through participation in the seminars.

Year One Optional Modules

  • Bronze Age Civilizations: Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean (ALGY106)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
    1. ​This module aims to introduce students to the archaeology and history of the ancient Near East and Aegean from ca. 4,000 to 800 BC.

    2. To familiarize students with teh causes and consequences of the world''s earliest examples of urbanization, state-formation, literacy and imperialism and the role that geography, culture and history played in this diversity

    3. To introduce students to the possibilities and problems of combining the evidence from ancient texts and archaeological materials to produce interpretations of developments in the past.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Students successfully completing the module will achieve a basic understanding of the archaeological record of Mesopotamia and the Aegean from ca. 4,000-800 BC, and a particular appreciation of the important evidence this region supplies for issues of global significance, such as the origins of writing, urbanism, state-formation, and imperialism.

    Students successfully completing the module will gain significant experience in absorbing, synthesising, and using unfamiliar archaeological and historical evidence for the purposes of investigating questions of general historical and cultural significance.​

    Students successfully completing the module will further develop their ability to construct and express effective verbal and written argument.​

  • Climate, Atmosphere and Oceans (ENVS111)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    Introduce the climate system, the atmosphere and ocean:

    • Address how the climate system varies and how climate is controlled by radiative forcing;
    • How the structure of the atmosphere is determined and how the atmosphere circulates;
    • How the structure of the ocean is determined and how the ocean circulates;
    • How the atmosphere and ocean vary together.
    • How the past state of the climate system is affected by the ocean circulation
    Learning Outcomes

    1. Knowledge and Understanding
     

    a. Understand how physical processes operate within the climate system, the atmosphere and the ocean.

    b. Appreciate the complexity of the climate system, the effect of radiative forcing, the concept of feedbacks, how rotation affects the circulation; the differences between currents and waves.

    c. Gain awareness of the similarities and differences between the atmosphere and ocean.​

    2. Intellectual Abilities
     

    a. To be able to evaluate the relative importance of different physical processes in the climate system

    b. To develop critical skills in transferring insight gained from one problem to another problem, such as how the atmosphere circulates from one planet to another planet.​

    3. Subject Based Practical Skills
     

    a. Perform simple order of magnitude calculations and make inferences from the results.

    b. Understand the use of dimensions.​

    ​​​​​​

    4. General Transferable Skills
     

    a. Application of numbers, involving order of magnitudes and dimensions.

    b. Time management.

    c. Problem solving.​

  • Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils (ENVS118)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting75:25
    Aims
    • The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the study of sediments and sedimentary rocks and to introduce the main groups of common fossil.
    • The module aims to cover the basic language used to describe sediments and fossils and gives an introduction to a range of physical, chemical and biological concepts.   
    • The students are introduced to the economic significance of sediments and sedimentary rocks and how fossils provide information on geological time, evolutionary history and ancient environments.
    Learning Outcomes

    ​1. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe sediments and sedimentary rocks at outcrop, hand specimen and thin section scales, identifying and naming key structures and fabrics.

    ​2. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between process and product for both depositional and diagenetic features and be able to discuss the utility of sedimentary rocks to determine processs and, to a lesser extent, environment.

    ​3. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe, name and identify and interpret the main features of common fossils.

    4. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how organisms are preserved as fossils, and of the utility of fossils to identify ancient modes of life, environments and relative ages of rocks.
  • Brain, Cognition and Behaviour: Cognitive Psychology (PSYC105)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    This module examines human information processing within the scientific framework offered by cognitive psychology. We will focus particularly on fundamental processes such as visual perception, recognising faces and objects, empirical and theoretical aspects of memory, language comprehension and production, the organisation of knowledge, and the importance of attention.  We aim to give a solid grounding in cognitive psychology in preparation for modules in Years 2 and 3.

    Learning Outcomes
    • A basic understanding of the range of research covered by cognitive psychology, as well as the experimental methods employed by cognitive psychologists and knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles and the types of theories proposed in this area. This understanding should help to prepare students for the second year modules PSYC202 Perception and Memory, PSYC209 Behavioural Neuroscience, PSYC212 Developmental Psychology and PSYC214 Language and Thought, and for third year optional modules in cognitive psychology. 
    • An appreciation of the value of interdisciplinary research in the study of cognitive processes. 
    • An awareness of the difficulties often experienced in cognitive psychology in achieving a theoretical consensus about the interpretation of empirical data. This awareness should provide the basis of the ability of students to critically assess theories and models within cognitive psychology in subsequent years of their course.
  • The Practice of Archaeology (ALGY102)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims
  • This module aims to introduce students to the issues involved in the design and implementation of archaeological research.

  • To introduce students to the challenges facing modern archaeologists.​

  • To introduce students to desk-based archaeological assessments​

  • To introduce students to aspects of archaeological mapping and GIS​

  • To introduce students to aspects of field recording​

  • To introduce students to aspects of archaeological data analysis​

  • To introduce students to issues involved in archaeological project and excavation design​

  • To introduce students to issues involved in the interpretation of archaeological sites and cemeteries​

  • To introduce students to principles of heritage and management of archaeological sites​

  • Learning OutcomesBy the end of the module students should be able to show some understanding of the objectives of archaeological research.

    ​By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate an awareness of how archaeology works in both academic and commercial spheres

    ​By the end of the module students should be able to show critical awareness of the practice of archaeolgical researchand research design

    ​By the end of the module students should be able to show an understanding of how different approaches can lead to different interpretations

    ​By the end of the module students should be able to show an understanding of desk-based assessment

    By the end of the module students should be able to show an understand some basics of archaeological mapping​

    By the end of the module students should be able to show an understanding of basic archaeological data analysis​

    By the end of the module students should be able to deminstrate an understanding of aspects of archaeological field recording​ and data collection

    By the end of the module students should be able toshow an understanding of basic issues around management of archaeological sites​

    By the end of the module students should be able to show an understanding of issues of excavation strategy​

  • Empires and Citizens: the Classical Mediterranean and the Near East (ALGY131)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims
    1. To introduce students to the geographical setting, chronological frameworks and general social, cultural, political and economic developments of the Mediterranean world from the sixth century A.D.

    2. ​To familiarize students with key themes and forms of evidence relevant to advanced study of Mediterranean Archaeology in the Classical period.

    3. ​To introduce students to the direct analysis of material culture from the Classical Mediterranean world as well as the role of museum collections in the study of Mediterranean archaeology.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Students will acquire an introductory knowledge of the geographical setting, chronological frameworks and general social, cultural, political and economic developments of the Mediterranean world from the sixth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D.

    ​Students will be gain a comparative appreciation of key similarities and differences between Classical Greece and Imperial Rome from an archaeological perspective;

    ​Students will be able to analyse a range of material remains and apply core methodological and theoretical perspectives to answer questions about the social and political dynamics of life in the ancient Mediterranean

    ​Students will compare and assess different responses to challenges posed by living in communities and interacting with other communities in the ancient Mediterranean.

  • Animal Biodiversity (LIFE112)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims
  • To foster in students an understanding of structure and function of the basic body plan of the major groups of animals

  • ​To encourage the appreciation of the evolutionary origins of the basic body plan of animals;

  • ​To develop an understanding of how the basic body plan of animals has been modified to adapt to different modes of existence and habitats

  • ​To develop knowledge and understanding in animal biodiversity, and the ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems in zoology.

  • Learning Outcomes

    To identify the structure and function of the basic body plan of the major invertebrate and chordate groups, and the diversity within the groups that has arisen through evolution

    To ​recognize how the basic body plan of animals has been modified to adapt to different modes of existence and habitats

    To ​read and interpret phylogenetic trees
  • Ecology and the Global Environment (LIFE120)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims
  • This module aims to:

    Describe the physical and chemical contexts of the biosphere, the cycling of important elements at different scales, the distribution of biomes and the ecosystem concept;

  • Discuss ecological concepts such as succession, niche, food web theory, ecosystem stability and the impact of human activities;
  • Explain conservation of biodiversity at a range of scales.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding in ecology, and ability to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve problems.
  • Learning Outcomes​Identify a range of global problems facing mankind that have ecological origins;
    Link each of these problems to key ecological concepts;Recognize how interactions of individuals, populations and communities with the physico-chemical environment contribute to determining species distributions and abundance, and to the flows of energy and nutrients;

    Identify the demographic forces underlying the growth and size of populations and the determination of biodiversity.

  • Brain, Cognition and Behaviour: Biological Psychology (PSYC106)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting75:25
    Aims
  • The module aims to:Introduce the basic concepts and principles associated with Biological Psychology.
  • ​Examine the research strategies and methods of investigation in Biological Psychology.

  • Demonstrate the relationship between the biological processes covered during the course and behaviour.

  • Learning Outcomes

    ​On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

    Demonstrate an understanding of the basic structure of the human nervous system.

    ​Demonstrate an understanding of the basics concepts of cell anatomy, neural transmission and endocrine signalling.

    ​Provide examples of how the brain is specialised to carry out certain psychological functions.

    ​Discuss the strengths and limitations of the research methods used to investigate brain function.

    ​Discuss the brain mechanisms involved in the sleep/wake cycle and how these can be affected by sleep disorders

  • Evolution of the Human Mind (ALGY140)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with a broad overview of the disparate sources of evidence used to study the mind and its development.

    To develop skills of critical analysis.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students will develop a critical awareness of how biological and behavioural data are used to construct models of the evolution of human cognition.

    ​Students will learn to evaluate critically contemporary debates, making informed judgements about the relative strengths and weaknesses of particular arguments.

Programme Year Two

The core consists of four modules in archaeology plus your choice of four remaining modules. 

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Human Origins: Archaeology of the Middle and Later Pleistocene (ALGY229)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    1.  This module aims to familiarise students with the main outlines of Old World Archaeology from the prime time of Homo erectus (>500,000 years) to the time when Homo sapiens sapiens is fully established,

    2. This module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of major issues such as language and social evolution.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Become critically aware of the main goals of interpretation in Palaeolithic Archaeology as part of the framework for studying human evolution, particularly through a multidisciplinary approach embracing archaeological evidence, archaeological ideas (‘culture-historical’, processual, post-processual etc.), ideas of evolutionary psychology, and developments in hominid palaeontology and ecology.                      

    Students will be able to identify the types of evidence used by Palaeolithic archaeologists to build frameworks for studying human evolution (artefact analyses, palaeontology, environmental evidence, genetics, modern analogies).

    Students will understand the main biological, cognitive, technological and social developments in human evolution over the last million years in respect of the following phases: 

    The Acheulean of the late Lower/Middle Pleistocene Old World and archaic humans

    The Mousterian/MSA industries associated with both archaic species and early modern humans in Africa, the Near East and Europe

    The Upper Palaeolithic industries of the last 40,000 years in the Near East, North Africa and Europe and the symbolic explosion in Europe

  • The Anthropology of Risk (ALGY284)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims
  • This module aims to provide you with interdisciplinary introduction to the various ways in which human (and hominin) societies respond to risk factors encountered in their environments. Risk is construed as widely as possible so as to take in the perspectives of anthropologists, biologists, and economists, and to provide an overview of the relevant links between these disciplines.

  • ​The module adopts an explicitly evolutionary perspective, examining a combination of short and long-term responses to risk within the context of concepts such as fitness, utility, and optimality.

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students will develop a multi-disciplinary perspective on risk.

    ​Students will become familiar with and learn to employ the basic techniques of evolutionary biology relevant to the analysis of risk, and will be able to assess their relevance and applicability to a series of anthropological case studies

    Through the interdisciplinary nature of the module, students will learn to synthesize approaches from diverse disciplines, and to integrate these into a single, holistic approach

  • Hunter/gatherer Societies (ALGY228)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop a critical awareness of the limitations and potentials of ethnographic data for interpreting the past.

    To apply and develop further analytical skills by assessing critically the use of ethnographic analogies for interpreting the archaeological record.

    To apply anthropological theory and analytical methods to the study of specific hunter-gatherers societies.

    To develop an evolutionary perspective on hunting and gathering societies.

    To develop confidence in public speaking and contributing to discussion.

    To develop confidence in the initiation and completion of independent research.

     

     

    Learning Outcomes​On completing this module the student will have gained a familiarity with the place of hunter-gatherers in the development of anthropological theory.​The student will develop an understanding of the impact of climate (rainfall, temperature) on the structuring of habitats and human responses.​

    ​The student will develop a critical appreciation of the use of hunter-gatherers in evolutionary anthropology.​

    ​The student will build a working knowledge of the diversity of contemporary and historic hunters and gatherers​.

  • Human Osteoarchaeology (ALGY266)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To understand the use of human skeletal assemblages as archaeology and material culture. Specifically, students will develop rudimentary skills in handling, identification and develop a deep understanding of the key topics in human osteoarchaeology such as task-related indicators on the skeleton and ancient genetics.

    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of this module students should be able to describe the principles of handling and identification of human material remains.

    Students will be familiar with a number of the main debates such as different approaches to reconstructing diet and DNA analysis.

    ​At the end of this module students should be able to appraise the archaeological implications concerning the regulations for the retention of human materials.

Year Two Optional Modules

  • Artefacts and Technology (ALGY250)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims
    1. This module provides an introduction to some of the types of information that can be gained from the study of archaeological artefacts. 

    2. ​This module focuses on the artefacts - the materials used, their properties, how far it is possible to determine the origins of raw materials, how materials were processed and how the final artefacts were made and used. A complimentary module, Analytical Methods (ALGY397), is available in year 3 which is concerned specifically with the techniques used and how they work.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students who take this module should gain an appreciation of artefacts as material entities and an understanding the types of information that can be obtained via scientific examination.

    Students will gain knowledge about the raw materials used to make artefacts in past, where they came from and how they were then processed into the finished objects. ​

    Students will gain a basic knowledge of the scientific methods used by professional archaeologists to investigate archaeological artefacts.​

    Students will acquire skills in the correct handling and investigation of archaeological artefacts.​

  • Dynamic Stratigraphy (ENVS281)
    Level2
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    This Module aims to: examine the controls on the stratigraphic organisation of sedimentary strata, and to foster understanding of how a time framework can be established in such strata; examine the differences between lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy and communication of formal stratigraphic nomenclature; introduce the concepts of sequence stratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy and practical core-logging; and enable students to produce well constrained interpretations of the ways in which controlling processes operate to create stratigraphic organization and architecture with particular reference to the dynamic stratigraphy of the UK and Europe.
      Learning Outcomes

      ​Explain the concept of geological time and the differences between lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy, and  be able to analyse stratigraphy in terms of space and time and to interpret likely controls on stratal patterns.

      ​Evaluate the geological controls of stratigraphic development though an understanding of the startigraphic evolution of the British Isles and Europe.

      ​Be able to interpret the geological history and stratigraphic evolution of an area by analysing a geological map.

      ​Apply formal stratigraphic nomenclature to the geological record and construct a chronostratigraphic diagram.

      ​Problem solving through working independently and with others on a range of data types to produce integrated solutions.

      ​Develop simple sequence stratigraphic or seismic startigraphic models from outcrop and/or subsurface data and communicate results though graphical means.

    1. Palaeobiology and Evolution (ENVS283)
      Level2
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting75:25
      Aims

      1. To introduce evolutionary theory and how fossils contribute to the study of evolution.

      2. To provide an overview of the most important events in vertebrate evolution.

      3. To introduce the main groups of microfossil.

      4. To demonstrate the uses of palaeontological field data.

      Learning Outcomes

      ​1a. On successful completion of this module, students will know the characteristic features and applications of the main groups of microfossil​

      1b. On successful completion of this module, students will understand how evolution occurs and how evolutionary relationships can be deduced from fossils


      1c. On successful completion of this module, students will understand the spatial and temporal controls on biodiversity​ and corresponding patterns in the fossil record

       
      1d. On successful completion of this module, students will know some of the key events in the evolution of vertebrates​

      ​1e. On successful completion of this module, students will understand how palaeontological field data can be used to aid interpretation of palaeoecology, palaeoenvironment and geological history


      ​2a. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to explain the theory of evolution and the fossil evidence for it


      ​2b. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to evaluate the arrangement of taxa on a cladogram in terms of evolutionary relatedness


      ​2c. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to combine palaeontological with other geological data to produce a full account of the palaeoenvironment of a given area


      ​3a. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to use the binocular microscope and camera lucida to produce accurate drawings

      ​3b. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to observe and describe the characteristic features of the main microfossil groups

      ​3c. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to make a full systematic description of a common invertebrate fossil

      ​3d. On successful competion of this module, students will be able to construct a simple phylogeny

      ​3e. On successful competion of this module, students will be able to construct a stratigraphic range chart

      ​4a. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed time management skills

      ​4b. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed skills in the systematic observation and recording of data

      ​4c. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed the ability to present information in a variety of alternative formats such as spreadsheets, charts and graphs

      ​4d. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to write scientific reports effectively

      ​4e. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed the ability to search for, gather and utilise information from a variety of sources

    Programme Year Three

    The required modules are the dissertation (weighted as two modules) and a further two core modules.

    Year Three Compulsory Modules

    • Early Human Ancestors: Archaeology and Behaviour (ALGY363)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
      Aims
      1. To make a close examination of the emergence of human behaviour from primate origins.  

      2. To explore the basic evidence recovered from early hominid/hominin living sites aged more than about 0.8 million years and to make a close examination of the issues of the emergence of human behaviour.  ​

      3. Following a look at ''pre-archaeological'' evidence - including sites and environments of the Miocene and Pliocene and issues such as the origins of bipedalism and hominid diet -, to progress to the mainstream archaeological evidence, starting from the major Rift Valley sites of Africa, and working towards important new evidence in South Africa, Asia and Europe.

      4. To consider the nature of the evidence for developments in tool use, language, fire-use, diet, geographical dispersals and behavioural complexity through the Pleistocene period.

      Learning Outcomes

      In this module students will become familiar with the major early hominid/hominin species evidence and early archaeological sites across the Old World

      Skills in research, critical analysis, written argument construction, artefact identification and the preparation and delivery of presentations will be developed in the course of the module.

      ​They will become familiar with the nature of the settings of geological, archaeological and environmental evidence and the evidence preserved

      ​They will become aware of questions and debates concerning the potential and limits of inferences about early hominid/hominin behaviour

    • Dissertation (ALGY450)
      Level3
      Credit level30
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. The purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate that the student can identify a research-related issue or problem.

      2. Students will work independently to design and conduct a scheme of work to explore their chosen research question. ​

      3. Students will assemble and analyse both academic literature (references) and primary evidence (sources) to explore their chosen research question. ​

      4. Students will present a coherent set of data and arguments in order to analyse and interpret the data. ​

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module students will be able to use appropriate research tools and techniques.

      By the end of the module, students will be able to present information and interpretations clearly and systematically, and produce a text written and presented to a professional standard.​

      By the end of the module, students will be able to cite sources and use appropriate academic conventions for referencing them.​

    Year Three Optional Modules

    • Current Topics in Animal Behaviour (LIFE322)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      ​To develop in students an understanding of the use of evolutionary theory to understand animal behaviour

      To develop in students the ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge and understanding, to solve complex problems in the study of behaviour To develop in students an understanding how predictive modelling, experimental, and observational approaches integrate to explain animal behaviour
      Learning Outcomes

      ​To evaluate the use of the adaptationist approach in studying behaviour 

      ​To critically appraise factors affecting the evolution of reproductive behaviour and the evolution of altruism and cooperation

      ​​To assess comparative approaches in the study of animal cognition and critically evaluate why cognitive processes of animals might not be, and often are not, analogous to human cognitive processes

    • Current Skills and Topics in Evolutionary Biology (LIFE324)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
      Aims

      ​To develop in students the skills to construct phylogenetic trees and to use them to infer the evolutionary origins of novel traits, using the latest software packages

       To encourage students to explore key concepts in contemporary evolutionary biology To develop in students knowledge and deep understanding in selected areas of evolutionary biology, providing opportunities for students to apply, critically evaluate and interpret evolutionary knowledge and ideas.
      Learning Outcomes

      ​To construct, graphically display and critically evaluate phylogenetic trees from phenotypic characters and DNA sequences

      ​To use phylogenetic trees to generate and test hypotheses about the evolutionary history of selected traits, and detect molecular signatures of selection within nucleotide or amino acid sequence

      ​To critically evaluate theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence relating to a selection of current research themes in evolutionary biology

    • African Archaeology (after 500,000 Bp) (ALGY360)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module aims to:

      • introduce frameworks for interpreting the later African record
      • provide an overview of African environments - present and past - and their impact on the structure of the archaeological record
      • review the archaeological and fossil record from the late Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene
      • address key issues of behavioural change

      Learning Outcomes

      Students will gain an understanding of the history of archaeological research in Africa

      Students will gain ​a critical awareness of the limitations of the data used by archaeologists to generate theories of behavioural change

      ​Students will gain a working knowledge of regional trends in the African record from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene

      ​Students will gain confidence in synthesising and presenting data

    • Palaeolithic Art in Europe (ALGY361)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      To develop a sound knowledge of the range of artworks produced during the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe

    • ​To develop a critical appreciation of the difficulties in recording cave and portable art works

    • ​To develop a critical appreciation of the research problems involved in the study of Palaeolithic art

    • ​To develop a practical understanding of pigments, paints and lighting appropriate to the making of Palaeolithic images

    • Learning OutcomesTo develop a critical appreciation of the principal techniques and models used to infer symbolic activity from Palaeolithic artefacts

        ​To develop a critical appreciation of the social context of the manufacture, observation and use of art and personal ornaments in hunter-gatherer societies

        ​To develop a critical understanding of problems in dating images in the Palaeolithic

        ​To develop a clear knowledge of the range of parietal art from France, Spain and Germany, its representations and dating evidence

        ​To develop a clear knowledge of the range of portable art from France, Spain and Germany, its representations and dating evidence

        ​To develop a discrete research project on a central theme of the study of Paleolithic art

        ​To develop  a discrete experimental project for the reproduction of a specific Paleolithic image

    • Primate Biology (LIFE353)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims
    • ​To provide an introduction to the biology (adaptations, ecology and evolution) of the major biological groups in our own Order, Primates

    • ​​​To develop knowledge and deep understanding in primate biology, and ability to apply, critically evaluate and interpret this knowledge to solve complex problems
    • Learning Outcomes

      ​To evaluate the evolutionary relationships, diversity and distribution of the Order Primates

       

      ​To critically discuss the functional-anatomical locomotor and dietary adaptations in primates

      ​To evaluate the broad patterns of primate adaptations in relation to body size, distribution and ecology

      ​​To discuss the variation in primate behaviour and cognition

    The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


    Teaching and Learning

    Your learning will flourish through lectures, seminar discussions, practical classes, oral presentations and tutorial sessions, encompassing both individual study and group work. You’ll be working with a wide range of evidence including ancient texts in translation and physical remains. Students on archaeological programmes may have the opportunity to take placements in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology or National Museums Liverpool. Single Honours, Major and Joint Honours students can develop an individual piece of research on a topic of your own by undertaking a dissertation in the final year. An academic adviser will help you focus on and hone the topic, and meet with you regularly to discuss progress and direction. Students will have the opportunity to develop practical skills in archaeology and/or museology. With staff engaged at excavations in Turkey, Southern Africa, Egypt, Greece and Sicily (to name a few), many of our students have been able to gain their experience further afield.