Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour - SACO9930

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides an understanding of primate behaviour and ecology at an advanced level, and how this allows us to better understand the evolutionary biology of human behaviour. Set within an evolutionary framework, this module combines established findings with the latest research. Seminars will employ critical analysis of classic and recent journal articles, considering the quality of research and presentation, and the utility of models derived from primate studies for understanding specific aspects of human behaviour. The field trip will allow for an opportunity to observe primate behaviour and practice methods of data collection.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 37

Private study hours: 113

Total hours: 150

Method of assessment

Essay, 4000 words (80%)
Report (Behavioural Data Collection) (20%)

Reassessment: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Fleagle (2013) Primate Adaptations and Evolution, 3rd Edition, Academic Press, San Diego.
Krebs, Davies & West (2012) Introduction to Behavioural Ecology 4th Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
Campbell et al. (2010) Primates in Perspective. 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Strier (2011) Primate Behavioral Ecology. 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Dolhinow & Fuentes (1999) The Nonhuman Primates. Mayfield, London.
Richard (1985) Primates in Nature. W.H.Freeman, London.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of evolutionary theory as it applies to primate behaviour.
2. Show an advanced understanding of the ways in which primates interact with one another & their environments.
3. Apply knowledge and understanding of the patterns and principles that account for the variation in ecology and behaviour of primates, drawing on examples from a wide range of species.
4. A clear appreciation of the use of primate models to understanding human behaviour
5. An understanding of methods of data collection and analysis common to primate behavioural studies.


  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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