Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)


Department: ANTHROPOLOGY (HUMAN SCIENCES) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Queen's Campus Stockton
Tied to C1L6
Tied to B991
Tied to L600


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the concepts of humans as animals, mammals and primates, basic evolutionary theory, the principles of human evolution and the origins of modern humans and the development of human social life.


  • In the first term we will examine humans as part of the biological world, particularly emphasising our animal heritage.
  • We will contrast social behaviour and life in complex social groupings between ourselves and our non-human primate relatives.
  • The basic concepts of evolution and the theory of natural selection will be investigated.
  • We will begin to examine the fossil evidence of our ancestors and the adaptations particular to human evolution.
  • In the second term we will continue the programme of discovering human evolution through the fossil record, moving towards the evolution of social/cultural aspects of human life, e.g. subsistence strategies, technology, language and ritual.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of comparative anatomy.
  • Appreciation of the position of humans in the biological world and their taxonomic heritage.
  • Understanding of the principles and mechanisms of evolution.
  • Awareness of the origins and evolution of humans.
  • Appreciation of the bases of human social life and the development of cultural paterns.
  • Understanding of the evidence for human evolution as provided by the archaeological record.
  • Familiarity with past and current debates surrounding the evolution of humans.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Familiarity with basic techniques used in the study of primate, hominid and human evolution.
  • Collection and interpretation of anatomical and paleoanthropological data.
  • Appreciation of anthropological approaches to the biological and social evolution of humans.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate competence in lab work.
  • Write reports and practical's.
  • Give verbal presentations of class discussions.
  • Work with others to produce a verbal presentation.
  • Write short reports of class discussions.
  • Conduct research on a given subject using print and electronic resources.
  • Formulate a short library research project.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures
  • Practicals
  • Coursework
  • Practical Work

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 As appropriate to nature of material 2 hours 20
Lectures 10 As appropriate to nature of material 1 hour 10
Practicals 10 Alternate weeks 2 hours 20
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2000 word project 100%
Component: Practical work Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
practical worksheets 50%
practical write-ups 50%

Formative Assessment:

Formative project, 2000 words.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University