• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology
  • Major code BIAN-MAJ

Biological anthropology is the branch of anthropology that focuses on the evolutionary and biological aspects of humankind: Homo sapiens as an evolved species - human populations as varied and dynamically changing sets of biological individuals, adaptable but also vulnerable to ever-changing circumstances. It is also concerned with the non-human primates, and with current debates on the biological bases of human social behaviour. The subject thus encompasses what used to be called physical anthropology, as well as primatology, palaeoanthropology and human population biology, including human genetics and the study of human health, nutrition, growth, demography and ecological adaptation, viewed comparatively and synthetically.

The pass degree courses are planned, not to provide specialised professional training, but to present students with an overall understanding of biological anthropology and its main sub-fields. Honours courses offer more specialist training and examine in more depth the discipline's theoretical basis. Students considering the possibility of entering careers as professional biological anthropologists should plan their courses with a view to taking the degree with Honours. Specific preparation for honours work begins in third year.

Learning Outcomes

  1. define the scope of biological anthropology as a discipline and situate it in a wider anthropological context;

  2. apply the discipline's theoretical approaches and research methodologies in the investigation of primate evolutionary and population biology;

  3. critically discuss contemporary and historical research in at least four of the following subfields: fossil evidence for human evolution; evolutionary primatology; behavioural primatology; human skeletal morphology; bioarchaeology; anthropological genetics; human population health, nutrition and environmental adaptability; human population dynamics; and

  4. recognise and reflect on local and international perspectives on research in biological anthropology.
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must consist of:

A maximum of 12 units of courses at 1000 level

A minimum of 6 units of courses at 3000 level

6 units from the completion of the following course:

BIAN1001 - The Human Voyage: Introduction to Biological Anthropology (6 units)

6 units from the completion of the following course(s):

ANTH1002 - Culture and Human Diversity: Introducing Anthropology (6 units)

ANTH1003 - Global Citizen: Culture, Development and Inequality (6 units)

ARCH1111 - Archaeology Uncovered (6 units)

ARCH1112 - From Origins to Civilizations (6 units)

BIOL1003 - Biology 1: Evolution, Ecology and Genetics (6 units)

BIOL1008 - Human Biology (6 units)

24 units from core discipline courses:

BIAN2015 - Human Skeletal Analysis (6 units)

BIAN3113 - Human Evolution (6 units)

BIAN3124 - Evolution and Human Behaviour (6 units)

BIAN3127 - Primate Behaviour and Conservation (6 units)

12 units from the completion of the following courses:

ANTH2026 - Medicine, Healing and the Body (6 units)

ANTH2132 - Food for Thought: Anthropological theories of food and eating (6 units)

ARCH2041 - Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (6 units)

ARCH3028 - Archaeology of Death and Mortuary Practices (6 units)

ARCH3042 - Scientific Dating in Archaeology and Palaeoenvironmental Studies (6 units)

ARCH3043 - Analysis of Vertebrate Remains (6 units)

ARCH3108 - Animal and Plant Domestication (6 units)

BIAN2064 - Anthropology of Environmental Disasters (6 units)

BIAN2128 - Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology (6 units)

BIAN2119 - Nutrition, Disease and the Environment (6 units)

BIAN2130 - Ancient Medicine (6 units)

BIAN3014 - Research Design and Analysis in Biological Anthropology (6 units)

BIAN3125 - Ancient Health and Disease (6 units)

BIAN3129 - Supervised Research in Biological Anthropology (6 units)

BIOL2151 - Genetics (6 units)

BIOL3131 - Behavioural Ecology (6 units)

BIOL3142 - Biomedical Parasitology (6 units)

BIOL3204 - Genetics of Human Disease 1 (6 units)

ENVS2011 - Human Ecology (6 units)

ENVS2012 - Sustainable Urban Systems (6 units)

PSYC2007 - Biological Basis of Behaviour (6 units)

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