• 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 PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
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 complex 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 and argue 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. Synthesize material from a range of cutting-edge and classic scholarly sources relevant to a topic or argument in the field, balancing general argument and evidence.

Indicative Assessment

One 4,000 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, 4000 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

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN2131.


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
2016 $3480
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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