• Total units 48 Units
  • Major code HUEB-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Human Evolutionary Biology Major

Humans are as much a part of the natural world as plants and animals, and a full understanding of our anatomy, physiology and behaviour thus requires a deep appreciation of evolutionary principles. This major aims to provide that level of understanding by exploring human evolutionary history, a story spanning the last seven million years, and its relevance for humans today. Students in this major will strive to answer questions such as: How have evolutionary forces shaped the origin and maintenance of human adaptations? How are humans like other animals? What makes humans unique? And What evolutionary processes led to this uniqueness?

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the processes of natural selection, adaptation and
    speciation that underpin the evolution of animals and humans
  2. Explain the characteristics of humans, including intelligence,
    language, culture, morphology and behaviour, and place those in the context of
    our place in the animal kingdom
  3. Interpret and discuss hypotheses as to how and why uniquely human
    adaptations initially evolved.
  4. Critically evaluate and propose hypotheses about the future
    directions of human evolution on the basis of existing evolutionary theory and
    the selective factors acting on humans.

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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must consist of:

18 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

BIAN1001 The Human Voyage: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

BIAN3113 Human Evolution 

BIOL1003 Biology 1: Evolution, Ecology and Genetics


A minimum of 6 units from completion of courses from the following list:

BIOL3131 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

BIOL3186 Human Anatomy

BIOL3206 Evolution of Biodiversity


A minimum of 12 units from completion of courses from the following list:

BIAN2015 Human Skeletal Analysis

BIAN2119 Nutrition, Disease and the Environment

BIAN3124 Evolution and Human Behaviour

BIAN3127 Primate Ecology and Behaviour


A maximum of 12 units from completion of courses from the following list:

BIAN2126 Primate Evolutionary Biology

BIAN2133 Mating and Parenting: Evolutionary Ecology of Human Reproductive Strategies

BIAN3021 Primate Conservation Biology

BIAN3125 Ancient Health & Disease

BIOL2131 Ecology

BIOL2191 Ecology of Health and Disease

BIOL2222 Exquisite Corpse - Insight Into The Human Body

BIOL3204 Genetics of Human Disease 1

BIOL3205 Genetics of Human Disease 2

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