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


This unit will emphasise the global impact that Darwin's theory of evolution has had on a range of human endeavours. The unit provides an engaging environment for understanding how evolutionary principles have shaped contemporary human populations and global human endeavours, such as the need to communicate through language, to feed ourselves, fight disease, design our everyday products, conduct business transactions, and fuel our artistic talents. The unit will also explore the darker side of Darwinism, tackling unsettling topics such as ‘scientific racism', colonialism, and the basis for human conflict. In doing so the unit explores the variation in culture and religious belief that is so important in developing an objective understanding of cultural diversity. Students will gain an understanding of how Darwinian principles can be used to help us understand our own actions, but also to respond to some of the biggest challenges facing humankind, including the loss of biodiversity, climate change and disease. Overall, students will gain a broad understanding of what it is to be human, in the context of evolution, in a culturally diverse and environmentally challenged world..

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Science and Technology in Society; Biodiversity and Evolution major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) have a broad understanding of evolutionary theory and its applications globally and in culturally diverse contexts; (2) appreciate the multidisciplinary impacts of Darwinian thinking on a diverse range of human endeavours and how our own endeavours sometimes feed back into Darwinian thinking and theory; and (3) critically assess contemporary and sometimes controversial topics through discussion, online forums and through online resources.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) final examination; (2) online quizzes and activities; and (3) Formulation of questions for Q&A and Q&A report. 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 Joseph Tomkins and Professor Jonathan Evans
Unit rules
Unit(s) ANIM1001 The Darwinian Revolution (ID 5787)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week (24 hours)
practicals/labs/online assessment activities: Variable hours over 12 weeks
  • 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.