Human Biology and Identity - SE625

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5)


Prerequisites: ANTS3010 Introduction to Social Anthropology, ANTB3020 Foundations of Biological Anthropology





The module is designed as a bridging module between more biological elements of the BSc programme and the more socio-cultural anthropology courses students take as part of that programme. Being largely a broad survey of human evolutionary biology and identity, it will serve to introduce the more biologically-oriented students to arguments and materials that will place their biological understanding within a broader framework of ideas about what makes people who and what they are and encourage them to explore the socio-cultural aspects of biological science. For the more socio-cultural BA students, the module provides an opportunity to consolidate biological understanding from the Foundations of Biological Anthropology module and learn how to assess the assumptions and limitations of biology in the understanding of human behaviour. We will cover topics such as the human fossil record, human variation, what makes us human and ecological adaptation. By the end of the module the student should have knowledge of the basic principles of biological anthropology, an understanding of human identity, and be able to relate those ideas to wider concepts in biology. The student will be given an overview of the hominin fossil record and its interpretation, and receive in depth study of the different biological and social aspects that define us as human and the evolution of human life histories. The student will be introduced to the genetic and phenotypic variation of the modern human species, how humans have adapted to particular environments, and the importance diet played in human evolution. The student will also acquire some of the practical skills of data collection currently used by biological anthropologists.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


This module is compulsory for BSc Anthropology and BSc Biological Anthropology students.

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods
2,000 word Lab Report (25%)
2,500 word Essay (25%)
Examination, 2 hour (50%).

Indicative reading

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