Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Biological anthropology is concerned with the nature of variation and the ways in which the biology and behaviour of humans are influenced by genetic, developmental, ecological and cultural factors. This unit looks at human variation in contemporary populations from the perspective of evolutionary ecology. It focuses on ecological principles as applied to human populations, the emergence of adaptations during the process of gene-environment interaction during development, and the interplay of cultural and biological factors in human behaviour. Topics covered include principles of individual and kin selection, principles of human ecology, genetic sources of variation (beyond mutation), evolution of human development, reproductive and parental investment strategies, biological approach to culture, and evolutionary and developmental perspectives on the human life cycle.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Human Sciences and Data Analytics; Human Science and Neuroscience major sequences
  • Level 2 option in the Anatomy and Human Biology; Gender Studies; Human Sciences (Anatomy and Physiology) major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) learn to appreciate the methods, goals and values of science and the place of evolutionary theory in the sciences; (2) appreciate the value of multidisciplinary perspectives in the biological sciences; (3) understand and clearly define questions about human evolutionary and behavioural biology and ecology, particularly the processes whereby humans adapt to their material and sociocultural environments; and (4) learn and practise critical discussion of social, economic, medical and political issues and debates from human evolutionary and ecological perspectives.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation including prepared responses to tutorial questions; (2) an in-class mid-semester examination

and a final exam; and (3) an analytical paper (semester). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Debra Judge
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
12 points from ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human.
ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human.
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly BIOL1130 Core Concepts in Biology).
BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology.
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell.
ANTH1101 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society.
ANTH1001 Being Human: Culture, Identity and Society.
ANTH1102 Global Change, Local Responses.
ANTH1002 Global Change, Local Responses
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 2
hours per week

Two ethnographies are required:  Nisa (M. Shostak author) and Yanomamo (N. Chagnon, author). Other required reading is provided on-line or in the CMO system at the UWA library.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.