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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC3516 Evolutionary Psychology

15 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Colin Hendrie

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of all pass for progression modules in Level 2 of: BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology or BA Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought (and its International and Industrial variants)

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module aims to provide in depth coverage of empirical, conceptual and theoretical issues relating to 'Evolutionary Psychology'. The module will be taught by an expert in the subject.
Students will continue to develop their knowledge in this area of the discipline with particular emphasis on relevant research.

Learning outcomes
The aim of this module is to immerse students in the exciting discipline of evolutionary psychology. It looks at the history, concepts, methods and potential pitfalls of evolutionary psychology.

On successful completion, students should be able to demonstrate in depth critical understanding of:
- human origins;
- the foundations, concepts, methods and potential pitfalls of evolutionary psychology;
- recent empirical research on the adaptive problems of survival, mating, parenting, kinship and group-living;
- the broader implications of an evolutionary perspective for the traditional branches of the parent discipline and for psychiatry.


Topics to be covered:
1. Evolutionary thinking post Darwin and Wallace
2. The last common ancestor
3. Environmental hypotheses of hominin evolution
4. Impact of bipedalism on human behaviour
5. Sperm competition
6. Physical attractiveness
7. Human sexual behaviour
8. Parental investment
9. Developmental considerations
10. Whither Evolutionary Psychology?
11. Course overview and revision

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours107.50
Total Contact hours20.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent learning will include viewing on line educational material referred to in the lectures and/or linked on the slides (22hrs).
Private study will involve:
- reading in detail the material summarised in the lectures and following this up using the appropriate literature databases (5hrs x 11 lectures = 55hrs)
- preparation for essay and end of semester exam: 52.5 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored via a practical exercise 9.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PracticalPractical exercise0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Completion of the practical exercise is compulsory, this work must be completed for progression.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

2hr exam. 2 sections - section 1, the seen question; section 2, one question from a choice

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:21:45


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