Advanced Topics in Contemporary Science - SACO9920

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module is an advanced treatment of current topics and debates in contemporary science broadly related to various aspects of anthropology and the human sciences. Emphasis is on scientific advances and changes during the past decade, and on the directions of future research. The goal of this course is to understand, and present on scientific topics and, specifically, how research and publication works in a scientific context . You will be exposed to a broad series of topics, opinions, methodologies, journal articles, and ideas in numerous highly relevant fields of research. Seminars will critically examine classic and recent journal articles, considering the quality of research and presentation.


Contact hours

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


MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods
Also available as an elective Level 7 module for other MA/MSc courses within the Division

Method of assessment

Essay (3500 words) (60%)
Seminar Leadership (20%)*
Portfolio of weekly reading summaries (~500 words per topic) (20%)

*This element is pass compulsory and must be passed to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Indicative reading

This module only uses primary literature, much of which is chosen by the students as part of their seminar leadership. As such, the reading list for this module changes from year to year. It will contain the most up to date and/or controversial topics in a variety of fields.

Articles will generally be drawn from the following journals, and other relevant sources where appropriate:
Evolution and Human Behavior
Evolutionary Psychology
Journal of Human Evolution
Human Nature
Human Biology
International Journal of Primatology
Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module you will be able to:
1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and in-depth understanding of theoretical concerns and new research in scientific and evolutionary anthropology
2. gain exposure to evolutionary approaches to the study of human behaviour
3. critically evaluate new research in evolutionary anthropology, and more generally, that of evolutionary science
4. gain an in depth understanding of the internal workings of the research and publishing process in evolutionary and anthropological science


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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