Human Biology and Behaviour - BSc (Hons)

Do you want to know more about humans? How hormones influence our behaviour? What are friends for? What happens when we die? Human Biology and Behaviour uniquely examines the evolution, anatomy, psychology and behaviour of humans and our living and fossil primate relatives.

Overview

In this degree, you will answer a variety of compelling questions about sex and reproduction, social systems and primate language. You will gain academic and practical skills that prepare you for careers in health and science, community and social services, and education and communications fields.

Shape your degree outside the classroom with extracurricular activities such as open lectures which attract global figures and our thriving student led societies.

Reasons to study Human Biology and Behaviour at Kent

  • You’ll learn beyond your lectures. Potential excursions to animal parks, archaeological sites and to collections of ancient skulls and bones.
  • You’ll have access to excellent facilities including the 3D imaging palaeoanthropology lab, human skeletal biology lab and the new mini CT-scanner within the Imaging Centre for Life Sciences.
  • You can go to the next level and gain real-world experience by adding a Year in Professional Practice.
  • You can live, study and be immersed in new environments when you add a Year Abroad in the US or Canada.
  • You’ll gain ongoing support through our employability team, regular workshops and alumni talks, as well as our dedicated academic adviser and peer mentoring scheme.

What you'll learn

Venture into a combination of biological anthropology with human biology and psychology. You will develop an integrated understanding of how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social and physical environments, and you will acquire an appreciation of their social and biological diversity.

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Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB including at least one of Human Biology, Biology, Psychology, Chemistry or Mathematics. Applicants with an A level (or equivalent) in Health and Social Care, Sports Science, or Physical Education will also be considered.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C/4

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    We will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please note that subjects such as Hospitality, Catering, Art & Design, Music, Photography and Dance will not be accepted. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL including mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in LZ036 Academic Skills, 60% in LZ045 Life Sciences (1 & 2), and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics (if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Typical entry requirements for 2022 entry remain published on the UCAS course search website. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing applicants. 

During Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades. Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.   

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module is an introduction to biological anthropology and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race and diversity, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history, biology, and behaviour of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and social anthropology staff.

Find out more about ANTB3020

This module introduces students to the range of basic academic and research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes. Students will learn to independently use library resources to conduct scholarly research in their field of study and related fields, how to appropriately analyse that literature, and incorporate it into their own academic writing. Beyond writing, student will learn how to effectively communicate scholarly topics in the format of oral and poster presentations. Students will then be introduced to the basic aspects of collecting and analysing qualitative data as relevant in their own field of study and related disciplines. Finally, the module will focus on the skills needed to organise, analyse, and present quantitative data for the purpose of hypothesis testing in these disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS3080

This module will cover the following:

Cell structure and function: cell organelles; cytoskeleton; DNA/RNA structure; introduction to transcription and translation; introduction to disorders of cells and tissues.

Cell division: mitosis; meiosis; mechanisms of creating genetic variation.

Cell differentiation and body tissues: tissue types; extracellular matrix; cell junctions.

Organ systems of the body including:

• Musculoskeletal system: muscle types; mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction; structure, development and maintenance of bone; types of joints.

• Circulatory system: overview of circulation; composition of blood; cells of blood.

• Immune system: infectious agents; lymphatic system; innate and acquired defences.

• Digestive system: digestive tract and accessory organs; types of nutrients; major digestive enzymes; absorption and assimilation.

• Urinary system and excretion: kidney and urinary tract; urine formation; functions in waste removal, homeostasis.

• Endocrine and Nervous systems: concept of homeostatic loops; endocrine glands and hormones; organisation of nervous system; generation and conduction of a nerve impulse; synapses and neurotransmitters; comparison of neural and hormonal signalling.

Find out more about BIOS3050

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3040

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3050

Optional modules may include

This module explores the emergence of Anthropology as a discipline. It introduces students to the major figures, theories and approaches that have shaped Anthropology, both Sociocultural and Biological. It presents an historical outline of the major schools of thought and discusses the connections between social, cultural, and biological anthropology. It focuses on major figures who have contributed to, and shaped the discipline, and on their theoretical legacies. Students will be asked to think clearly and critically about the development of the discipline (with particular regard to colonialism and racism), and how Anthropological ideas have been applied and misapplied.

Find out more about ANTS3070

This module will consider the anatomy and function of normal tissues, organs and systems and then describe their major pathophysiological conditions. It will consider the aetiology of the condition, its biochemistry and its manifestation at the level of cells, tissues and the whole patient. It may also cover the diagnosis and treatment of the disease condition.

Indicative topics will include:

Cells and tissues

Membrane dynamics

Cell communication and homeostasis

Introduction to the nervous system

The cardiovascular system

The respiratory system

The immune system and inflammation

Blood cells and clotting

The Urinary system

The digestive system, liver and pancreas

Find out more about BIOS3070

The broad aim of this module is to provide students with practical field experience in biodiversity monitoring and assessment methods. Specific aims are to introduce students to a range of basic field techniques and develop their skills in the collection, analysis and presentation of field data. The module provides an essential practical element of the Wildlife Conservation programme.

The module is spread over the term, allowing different groups of organisms to be examined as they become available for survey, and the dates may vary slightly from year to year. Groups of students will each undertake survey or monitoring projects under the supervision of a member of staff. Each project will assess the biodiversity of an appropriate taxonomic group (eg. birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected carry out a range of surveys, analyse the data and write-up their results.

Find out more about HECO3030

This module will introduce students to key topics in Clinical Psychology. In particular, this module will focus on (1) fundamental applications of psychology, as a science, for understanding important clinical issues, and (2) key research methods common in clinical psychological research. Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to apply contemporary psychological concepts and methods to understand the important clinical psychological issues outlined.

Find out more about PSYC3140

The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.

Find out more about WCON3111

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

This module will introduce students to quantitative research methods, with particular reference to biological and scientific anthropology, as well as basic statistics and data handling, through a combination of seminars and practical classes on research methods, statistics, and instruction in the use of computer software to analyse data. The goal of this module is to provide students with an understanding of how scientific research proceeds, and thus how to design and undertake an independent research project. Topics covered include an introduction to parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques, how to use programmes such as SPSS, how to build and tests hypotheses, and how to structure a research proposal.

Find out more about ANTB5590

Much of the material presented in this course forms part of the relatively new academic discipline of evolutionary psychology/anthropology. The goal of this course is to discover and understand the principles of evolutionary psychology and other complementary paradigms. The module explores human behaviour (primarily human sexual behaviours) from an evolutionary perspective. Topics covered are reproductive and mating strategies, parenting behaviour, kinship, cooperation, survival, status striving, jealously, and aggression. The course will provide an excellent understanding of the deeply biological nature of human behaviour, and develop skills in critical thinking. Students will be encouraged to bring relevant questions and observations to seminars and time will be allocated to deal with them.

Find out more about ANTB5650

Humans are unique primates; anatomically peculiar and culturally complex, our 300,000 years on Earth have led us to be a species like no other. This module focuses on the scientific study of what it means to be human, from a combined biological and cultural perspective. The module traces the origins, and subsequent biological and cultural evolution, of modern humans (Homo sapiens) from the late Pleistocene through to the Holocene and modern era, highlighting the concurrent development of diet, cognition, anatomy, behaviour and culture. The proliferation of our species across the breadth of Earth's biogeographic environs will be studied, as will modern human life history, gene-culture co-evolution, variation in growth and biological adaptation – together with their genetic underpinnings – which contribute to our diversity. Our communicative, cultural and technological specialisation will be compared and contrasted with that of other extant primates. The co-dependence and co-evolution of human biology and culture will be assessed using fossil, genetic, artefact, anatomy and primate comparative-based evidence. By the end of the module students will have a thorough grounding in the core principles of biological anthropology as it relates to modern humans, and a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary forces which have shaped our biology, ecology and culture. Laboratory and seminar-based teaching will emphasise practical skills and investigative techniques employed by biological anthropologists in their quest to understand what makes us human.

Find out more about ANTB6250

The study of the human skeletal system is basic to the disciplines of biological anthropology and human biology. This module will examine the fundamentals of human osteology. Students will learn to identify and analyse human bone and evaluate and interpret major research in biological anthropology and human biology hat has as its basis the analysis of bone.

Indicative topics are:

• A detailed consideration of the basic properties of bone growth, development, and function in the human body.

• An examination of all major skeletal structures and the morphological features associated with them. The focus will be on the function of these structures within the body as well as the identification of fragmentary remnants of them in a forensic or archaeological context.

• Major techniques used in biological anthropology to analyse human bone, such as estimation of age at death, estimation of biological sex and stature.

• Evaluation of major research studies involving analysis of human bone.

• Consideration of ethical issues in the collection and curation of human bone.

Find out more about ANTB6280

This module will provide students with a fundamental understanding of human anatomy and how we move our body. Students will learn about the basics of the skeleton, and then focus more heavily on the muscular anatomy and other soft tissues. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of major joints and muscles as well as the basic anatomical and biomechanical principles that allow the human body to move. Students will also learn about the evolutionary origins of human anatomy and how this relates to human behaviour and common injuries and pathologies. This module will cover anatomical structures and movement throughout the body, with a focus on the limbs and trunk. This knowledge will be gained through lectures, core reading of books and peer-reviewed articles, and practical lab and seminar sessions.

Find out more about ANTB6290

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

This module will consider the anatomy and function of normal tissues, organs and systems and then describe their major pathophysiological conditions. It will consider the aetiology of the condition, its biochemistry and its manifestation at the level of cells, tissues and the whole patient. It may also cover the diagnosis and treatment of the disease condition. Indicative topics will include the reproductive system; muscle; nervous system; and endocrine system.

Find out more about BIOS5130

You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

A. Comparative physiology - in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses, reproduction and immunology.

B. Form and Function - in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.

Find out more about FSCI5020

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on motivation, inspired by a wide range of psychological perspectives (e.g., Evolutionary Psychology, Social Psychology, and Existential Experimental Psychology). In this, we will consider what motivates human cognition and behaviour. Specifically we will consider; (a) General Theories of Human Evolution & Motivation(b) Biological Perspectives (c) The self and Self-regulation (d) Human Mating Strategies, (e) Embodiment, (f) Threat Management, (g) Emotion, (h) Religion and Illusion, (i) The Modern Unconscious (j).. Moreover, the module will introduce students to experimental methods and measures applied in the field of research on human motivation. Finally, applications of theory and findings on human motivation to applied settings (e.g., daily life) are discussed

Find out more about PSYC6080

This module will build upon the cognitive theories and research methods explored at stages 1 and 2. It will focus on several forms of neurological deficit each of which affects a different domain of cognition. Students will learn about how different strands of neuroscientific research, relating to behaviour, cognition, anatomy, and physiology, have both advanced our understanding of human neuropsychology, and informed on the design of relevant intervention strategies.

Find out more about PSYC6110

This module gives you grounding in methods, techniques and issues in cognitive neuroscience. It will focus on the biological bases of human behaviour, and on cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, and higher levels of cognition concerned with language and cognitive control, with a particular focus on how these processes are instantiated in the brain. Your will also learn about the methods used to study these processes, such as the recording of physiological signals, brain-imaging techniques, and the study of individuals with brain injury.

Find out more about PSYC6391

The module provides a comprehensive overview of the major theories and scientific discoveries in personality and individual differences, attitudes and social cognition, and the social psychology of group processes, interpersonal relationships and intergroup relations. It emphasises findings from systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings and focuses on key topics in classic and current research. Possible topics include mental abilities, emotions, self-esteem, the self, political attitudes, attraction, stability and change in personality and attitudes, social influence, leadership, social identity, prejudice, and prejudice reduction.

We will consider what personality is, why it differs between people, and what impact personality and individual differences have on life outcomes. We will also focus on the impact of perceptions of the self, others, and groups on attitudes and behaviour within close relationships, within groups and between groups.

Find out more about PSYC6392

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

Find out more about WCON5030

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

Students will be expected to conduct independent research into some aspect of anthropology, human biology, or behaviour and present their research findings in the form of a 12,000 word (maximum 13,200, minimum 9,000) dissertation, and an oral presentation. They will be assigned a supervisor who work with them, one-on-one, over the course of the module, and who will guide them on their choice of topic, data collection and analysis, and research strategy. Students will also have to submit a project participation file which documents their research process. For the project they can collect and analyse their own, original data, analyse previously collected or published data in an original manner, or combine the two approaches. The research must include collecting/analysing quantitative data, and can include other methods of data collection and analysis where appropriate.

Find out more about ANTB5330

This module is designed as an exercise in the critical appraisal of current research in the fields of human biology, human behaviour and biological anthropology. Students are expected to critically engage with a series of research topics and demonstrate their ability to evaluate the scientific contribution. This module is an advanced treatment of current topics and debates in biological anthropology, human behaviour, and behavioural biology including those in genetics, palaeoanthropology, evolutionary psychology, bioarchaeology, and primatology. This module will help students understand the role of research and publication in biological and behavioural science. Students will be exposed to a broad series of topics, opinions, methodologies and journals.

Find out more about ANTB5700

This module will provide students with a fundamental understanding of human anatomy and how we move our body. Students will learn about the basics of the skeleton, and then focus more heavily on the muscular anatomy and other soft tissues. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of major joints and muscles as well as the basic anatomical and biomechanical principles that allow the human body to move. Students will also learn about the evolutionary origins of human anatomy and how this relates to human behaviour and common injuries and pathologies. This module will cover anatomical structures and movement throughout the body, with a focus on the limbs and trunk. This knowledge will be gained through lectures, core reading of books and peer-reviewed articles, and practical lab and seminar sessions.

Find out more about ANTB6290

Optional modules may include

Hominins – the array of species of which ours is the only living representative – provide the clues to our own origins. In this module, the methods and evidence used to reconstruct their biology and behaviour are discussed. This module will provide students with an advanced knowledge of human evolution, as well as techniques used in the examination of behaviour and cognition in fossil hominins. Emphasis is placed on the study of both the fossil and archaeological evidence for human evolution. By the end of the module, students will be able to assess the importance of an evolutionary perspective to the human sciences.

Find out more about ANTB5410

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

The diversity and complexity of primate sociality is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their communication strategies. This module complements the module ANTB5800 (SE580) 'Primate Behaviour & Ecology' by examining the ways in which primates communicate with one another through olfactory, tactile, visual, and acoustic signals. We will address fundamental questions in animal communication including: Is it appropriate to characterize such communication in terms of information transfer? How does communication evolve? What maintains signal honesty, and under what conditions can deceptive communication can evolve? The module will cover the physical and biological bases of signal production and perception. We will explore the extent to which studies of primate communication can provide a window into their minds. Finally, we will delve into the question of the relevance of primate communication for understanding the evolution of human language.

Find out more about ANTB5570

Much of the material presented in this course forms part of the relatively new academic discipline of evolutionary psychology/anthropology. The goal of this course is to discover and understand the principles of evolutionary psychology and other complementary paradigms. The module explores human behaviour (primarily human sexual behaviours) from an evolutionary perspective. Topics covered are reproductive and mating strategies, parenting behaviour, kinship, cooperation, survival, status striving, jealously, and aggression. The course will provide an excellent understanding of the deeply biological nature of human behaviour, and develop skills in critical thinking. Students will be encouraged to bring relevant questions and observations to seminars and time will be allocated to deal with them.

Find out more about ANTB5650

Some diseases leave a characteristic signature on the human skeleton after death, which can be retained in the burial environment. Palaeopathology is the study of these diseases in human skeletons from an archaeological context to infer aspects of life in the past, such as childhood growth, as well as adult diet, activity, health, social interaction (caring, contact), and conflict.

The purpose of this module is to provide theoretical knowledge about the causes and manifestations of skeletal disease, and practical experience identifying and diagnosing palaeopathology. The relationship between skeletal growth and developmental disturbances are considered. Disease, activity, and diet are discussed. Skeletal responses to specific and non-specific infections, as well as neoplastic and traumatic events, are explored.

Find out more about ANTB5690

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', ‘society’, ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

Find out more about ANTS6210

You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

A. Comparative physiology - in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses, reproduction and immunology.

B. Form and Function - in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.

Find out more about FSCI5020

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on motivation, inspired by a wide range of psychological perspectives (e.g., Evolutionary Psychology, Social Psychology, and Existential Experimental Psychology). In this, we will consider what motivates human cognition and behaviour. Specifically we will consider; (a) General Theories of Human Evolution & Motivation(b) Biological Perspectives (c) The self and Self-regulation (d) Human Mating Strategies, (e) Embodiment, (f) Threat Management, (g) Emotion, (h) Religion and Illusion, (i) The Modern Unconscious (j).. Moreover, the module will introduce students to experimental methods and measures applied in the field of research on human motivation. Finally, applications of theory and findings on human motivation to applied settings (e.g., daily life) are discussed

Find out more about PSYC6080

This module will build upon the cognitive theories and research methods explored at stages 1 and 2. It will focus on several forms of neurological deficit each of which affects a different domain of cognition. Students will learn about how different strands of neuroscientific research, relating to behaviour, cognition, anatomy, and physiology, have both advanced our understanding of human neuropsychology, and informed on the design of relevant intervention strategies.

Find out more about PSYC6110

This module gives you grounding in methods, techniques and issues in cognitive neuroscience. It will focus on the biological bases of human behaviour, and on cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, and higher levels of cognition concerned with language and cognitive control, with a particular focus on how these processes are instantiated in the brain. Your will also learn about the methods used to study these processes, such as the recording of physiological signals, brain-imaging techniques, and the study of individuals with brain injury.

Find out more about PSYC6391

The module provides a comprehensive overview of the major theories and scientific discoveries in personality and individual differences, attitudes and social cognition, and the social psychology of group processes, interpersonal relationships and intergroup relations. It emphasises findings from systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings and focuses on key topics in classic and current research. Possible topics include mental abilities, emotions, self-esteem, the self, political attitudes, attraction, stability and change in personality and attitudes, social influence, leadership, social identity, prejudice, and prejudice reduction.

We will consider what personality is, why it differs between people, and what impact personality and individual differences have on life outcomes. We will also focus on the impact of perceptions of the self, others, and groups on attitudes and behaviour within close relationships, within groups and between groups.

Find out more about PSYC6392

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

Find out more about WCON5030

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15900
  • International full-time £21200
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £7950
  • International part-time £10600

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. Staff have been awarded national teaching awards, reflecting the quality of the undergraduate programmes.

Human Biology and Behaviour at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field trips and laboratory sessions. For research project work, you are assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly. You also have access to a wide range of learning resources, including the Templeman Library, research laboratories and computer-based learning packages.

Many of the core modules have an end-of-year examination that accounts for 50% to 100% of your final mark for that module. The remaining percentage comes from practical or coursework marks. However, others, such as the Independent Research Project or Human Skeletal Biology, are assessed entirely on coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop students’ critical and analytical powers with respect to biological anthropology
  • develop critical and analytical problem-based learning skills
  • provide the skills to adapt and respond positively to changes in the discipline
  • provide a broad range of knowledge in the discipline of anthropology, stressing the need for a biological approach to the subject, and showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines such as biology, psychology, archaeology and forensic sciences
  • provide a grounding in human and primate biological variation and distinguish the links between biological and sociocultural processes.
  • ensure that the research by staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in a manner that is efficient, reliable and enjoyable to students
  • prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers through developing students’ transferable skills.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • major aspects of human evolution, including significant fossil evidence and its contextual associations, and behavioural and ecological reconstructions based on these
  • the similarities and contrasts between humans and other primates, and their significance for human adaptive success
  • selected aspects of primate diversity, behaviour, and acquaintance with relevant concepts of primatology
  • aspects of human genetic and/or phenotypic diversity, their evolutionary implications and significance for schemes categorising human variability
  • the role of human osteology and forensic anthropology in understanding human variation, epidemiology, and forensic identification of human remains
  • the range and flexibility of individual biological responses, and awareness of the distinction between such adaptability and population adaptation
  • human life history patterns, reproductive influences, population size and structure, and aspects of applied anthropology, including development studies
  • the nature, complexity and richness of human biological diversity and an appreciation of its social and ethical implications
  • biological anthropology as the study of past and contemporary human and non-human primates in evolutionary and adaptive perspectives. 
  • the importance of empirical data collection as a basis for the testing of theory: for example, data gathering among contemporary populations, excavation and contextual studies in palaeoanthropology, and the study of non-human primate groups.
  • multiple approaches to the evolutionary study of human behaviour, cognition and culture.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • the capacity to express one's own ideas in multiple formats, to summarise the arguments of others, and to distinguish between the two.
  • independence of thought and analytical, critical and synoptic skills.
  • the ability to make a structured argument, reference the works of others, and assess historical evidence.
  • integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, and, in some cases, professional environment.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • an acquaintance with, and ability to interpret, varied information on aspects of human biological diversity
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative data utilising appropriate techniques
  • to design and implement a project involving data collection on some aspect(s) of biological anthropology and to display relevant investigative, analytical and communication skills. 
  • an understanding of the scientific process, including the ability to read, evaluate and write scientific reports 
  • a deepened understanding of human biology and behaviour, and qualities of mind associated with intellectual reflection, evaluation and synthesis.
  • an ability to understand how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social and physical environments, and an appreciation of their social and biological diversity.
  • An awareness of ethical issues associated with biological anthropological methods and theories, including those associated with studying non-human primates, with handling human remains, and with proposals that human behaviour has an evolutionary basis.
  • an understanding and appreciation of the Darwinian evolutionary process and our species' place within the natural world 
  • an ability to apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional. 

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • collecting and collating primary and secondary data
  • communication and presentation
  • time, planning, and management
  • ability to engage in constructive discussion in group situations and group work 
  • statistical and computing techniques
  • working with equipment in a scientific laboratory.

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2022 

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 10th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023

Careers

Studying human biology and behaviour gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies, you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair. 

You learn a set of skills that will allow you to pursue a career in areas such as:

  • advertising
  • civil service and the Home Office
  • international consultancy
  • journalism
  • media, research or production (film, TV, radio)
  • museum work
  • NHS and health charities
  • overseas development and aid
  • postgraduate study, including entry into Medical School
  • public relations
  • research jobs in government, industrial and medical labs
  • scientific publishing
  • social work
  • teaching

Help finding a job

The Division offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you'll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Through your studies you learn how to work independently, analyse complex data and present your work with clarity and flair. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Human Biology and Behaviour - BSc (Hons)

Full-time study

Complete this form to tell us more about you and your experience. This will enable us to make a decision. Remember that you will need to add us as your choice in UCAS to accept any offers that we make to you. There's a short checklist of details you need to help complete your UCAS application simply:


  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code BCL0
  • Institution ID K24

Start your application

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