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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit covers the basic principles of evolutionary theory with special emphasis on the mechanisms that generate the diversity of life. It examines the genetic structure of populations, factors that maintain variation within populations and causes of divergence among populations, the origin of species and methods of phylogenetic analysis. The emphasis is on the integration of fundamental concepts, approaches to solving problems and the application of evolutionary ideas and methods to questions in fields such as ecology, behaviour, conservation biology and systematics.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Conservation Biology; Genetics; Zoology; Botany; Wildlife Conservation; Biodiversity and Evolution; Plant Biology major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) understand and use the basic terminology of population genetics; (2) solve problems, working from basic principles; (3) analyse data appropriately; (4) formulate questions clearly and evaluate evidence critically; (5) integrate ideas and concepts, rather than simply memorise facts; and (6) communicate clearly and concisely, demonstrating comprehension of the topic.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment ; (2) discussion groups & essay; and (3) final exam. 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)
Dr Jason Kennington and Associate Professor Joseph Tomkins
Unit rules
Successful completion of
MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
or SCIE1500 Analytical Methods for Scientists
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or GENE2250 Principles of Inheritance
SCIE1104 Science, Society and Data Analysis
or STAT1400 Statistics for Science
or STAX1400 Statistics for Science
ANIM3362 Evolutionary Processes
Contact hours
lectures/practicals/discussion groups: average 5 hours per week
  • 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.