• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Geoffrey Kushnick
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings
This course surveys our understanding of parenting and childcare adaptations in humans. As such, its perspective is evolutionary, covering comparative, theoretical, and empirical aspects of how parents, and others, care for offspring in humans and other animals. Particular attention will be paid to: (a) whether an
evolutionary approach helps us explain modern human diversity in parenting and childcare; (b) the relationship between parental and offspring behavior on one hand, and the health and well-being of children and parents on the other; and, (c) the importance of ecological context, and the interplay between biology and culture, in shaping parenting and childcare adaptations.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Master basic principles related to the evolution of parenting and childcare adaptations in humans and other animals.
  2. Discuss the idea that evolutionary theory can help explain variation in parenting and childcare behaviour within and between human societies.
  3. Develop a critical perspective on an independent study topic related to the evolution of parenting and childcare.
  4. Explain a topic or argument in the field orally using a selective case study approach.
  5. Interpret material from a range of scholarly sources relevant to a topic or argument in the field, balancing general argument and evidence.

Indicative Assessment

One 3,000 word essay (55% in total) [Learning Outcomes 3 & 5] with an assessed development cycle including:
- One-page problem statement, 200 words (5%)
- Tentative bibliography, 750 words (10%)
- Rough draft, 1000 words (5%)
- Final draft, 3000 words (35%)

Three quizzes, each worth 10% (30%) [Learning  Outcomes 1, 2]

One 6-minute tutorial presentation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 2 & 4]

Participation (5%) [Learning Outcome 3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks. Students are expected to commit a further 7 hours of independent study each teaching week of the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of Biological Anthropology (BIAN) or Biology (BIOL) courses, or with permission from the course convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN6521.



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

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3729 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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