• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Zoology, Biology, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Alison Behie
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the behaviour, ecology and conservation of living non-human primates. Primates include monkeys, apes, and strepsirhines, as well people. Understanding non-human primates helps us to evaluate and understand the behaviour, culture, language, and biology of our own species, as well as to give us valuable information that is necessary for the conservation of non-human primates, the majority of which are now threatened. Lectures cover a variety of topics including: morphology and distinguishing characteristics of each group of living primates; social organisation, mating, activity and diet as well as community ecology. Once lectures are complete, tutorial work will be done through the collection of behavioural data on primate groups at the National Zoo and Aquarium (NZA). Students will be trained in data collection and assigned a species of primate on which to collect behavioural data. This data will then be used to answer a research question based in one of the theories learned in lecture. Finally, theory and data will be put in the context of primate conservation and how we best conserve the world’s primates. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. identify key basic behavioural and ecological principles as they apply to non-human primates;
  2. use appropriate behavioural observation techniques to record the behaviour of living non-human primates;
  3. put behavioural data in the context of existing primatological and conservation theory to address a research problem;
  4. combine information from a variety of academic resources covering foundational theories, species biology and conservation to explain a current research problem that needs addressing;
  5. succinctly present research results in oral formats; and
  6. critically evaluate the methods used in existing behavioural studies.

Indicative Assessment

  1. One midterm exam, 40 minutes (20) [LO 1]
  2. Data collection assignment (10) [LO 2]
  3. Data analysis assignment (10) [LO 3]
  4. 2000 word Research proposal (30) [LO 2,3,4]
  5. 5 minute presentation of research proposal (10) [LO 5]
  6. 1500 word critical evaluation of methods used in literature (20) [LO 4,6]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 18 hours of lectures and 18 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and

b) 98 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN3127

Prescribed Texts



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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
8603 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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