• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Colin Groves
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

The place of humans among the primates, the mechanisms of evolution, and the evolution of humans and other primates. The main part of the course details the fossil record of the evolution of the human line since its separation from other primates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify important fossils relevant to the study of human evolution.
  2. Understand the principles of biological evolution.
  3. Understand what is meant by the concept of species, and how these may be recognised in the fossil record.
  4. Compare different fossils with one another, and draw phylogenetic inferences.
  5. Understand the principles of geological dating and environmental reconstruction.

Indicative Assessment

1. A major essay, 2500-3500 words (50%) [Learning Outcome 2-5]

2. Two short class tests, (10% each) [Learning Outcomes 1-3]

3. Tutorial presentation (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5]


1. Major essay - to be submitted at the end of the course, analysing the fossils from a single site, or a particular phylogenetic hypothesis, or the construction of a species in palaeoanthropology.

2. Two short class tests - one in the last tutorial before the break, one in the last tutorial of semester, testing students’ ability to remember key facts about palaeoanthropology and associated theory.

3. Presentation in class - using PowerPoint and the large collection of replicas available in the laboratory. Students will take favoured topics, including fossils or fossil collections, give factual background, recite the various published hypotheses, and then evaluate them. Ability to interest the rest of the class and stimulate discussion is important.

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Two hours of lectures plus one hour of tutorials per student per week. Students will be expected to spend a further seven hours per week in study, revision, and preparation.

My door is always open for assistance and advice.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with PREH2011




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1002 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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