• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Plant Science, Zoology, Evolution and Ecology, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Marcel Cardillo
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

The spectacular plant and animal biodiversity on Earth, and the amazing adaptations of species to their various ways of life, are the products of evolution.  This course explores the principles and processes that drive evolutionary change, using examples drawn from plants and animals. Importantly, the course explores the methods and approaches that can be used to understand evolutionary processes and reconstruct evolutionary history. Topics covered in this course will include: phylogeny and the history of life, natural selection and adaptation, mutation and genetic drift, molecular evolution, speciation, coevolution, macroevolution, and human evolution.  This course is taught interactively through lectures, workshops. Students will examine the milestone research studies that identified the basic principles and processes in evolutionary change, and the most recent experimental and genetic tools to test hypotheses concerning the evolution of life.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Examine, summarise and integrate central ideas underpinning evolutionary patterns and processes from the molecular to the macro scale.
  2. Analyse the role of observation, pattern, experimentation and modelling in the generation and testing of evolutionary hypotheses.
  3. Critically evaluate scientific evidence for and against evolutionary patterns and processes.
  4. Conduct basic evolutionary research and communicate the findings both orally and in writing. 

Indicative Assessment

  • Theory Exams: There will be two theory exams that cover the lecture component of the course (60% in total, 30% each: LO 1-2).
  • Practical Reports: There will be several practical sessions that will require submission of a report (20%: LO 3-4)
  • Group presentation (10%: LO 3-4)
  • Computer workshop report (10%: LO 3-4)

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.


Three lectures per week, 5 - 6 x 3 hour practical or workshop sessions.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed BIOL1003 and at least 48 units towards a degree.

Assumed Knowledge

BIOL1009 is highly recommended



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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
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
8883 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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