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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Human Origins (ARCA10003)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course provides an overview of human biological and cultural evolution from the first hominins to the emergence of our own species, Homo sapiens, using evidence provided by archaeology, molecular biology, and biological and social anthropology.
Course description The aim of the course is to provide students with a greater awareness of where we came from, and how we have developed physically and culturally over the past seven million years. Topics covered include: how scientists study human evolution; climate change and evolution; primate origins; the earliest hominins and the origins of bipedalism; evolution of the brain, intelligence and language; reconstructing diet and behaviour; the origin and global expansion of modern humans.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Pre-requisites: Archaeology 2A and 2B, or Honours entry to degrees in Classics, or equivalent.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Archaeology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Arsuaga, J.L. and Martinez, I. 2006. The Chosen Species: The Long March of Human Evolution. Oxford: Blackwell.

Cartmill, M. & Smith, F.H. 2009. The Human Lineage. Hoboken, Wiley-Blackwell.

Dinnis, R. & Stringer, C. 2014. Britain: one million years of the human story. London, Natural History Museum

Harris, E.E. 2015. Ancestors in our Genome. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Jobling, M.A., Hurles, M. and Tyler-Smith, C. 2004. Human Evolutionary Genetics: Origins, Peoples and Disease. New York: Garland.

Stringer, C. 2012. The Origin of Our Species. Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsHuman Origins
Course organiserProf Clive Bonsall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2375
Course secretaryMs Amanda Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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