Evolutionary Anthropology MSc
This taught course is designed to give students both a broad and deep introduction to the discipline of Evolutionary Anthropology. This involves an advanced investigation of evolutionary and adaptive processes and their interactions through the study of the evolution of primates (human and non-human, living and fossil) and evolutionary theory in relation to social behaviour. Students develop skills and understanding relating to human evolution and the biological underpining of human behaviour.
The MSc provides the theoretical background, subject-specific knowledge, and practical skills that generate an advanced understanding of primate (including human) adaptation and behaviour. It provides the perfect foundation for those interested in pursuing PhD-level research and many of our former students have go on to do PhDs, both here in Durham and elsewhere. It also provides advanced training for those wishing to improve the knowledge and skills gained in their undergraduate degree, for those returning to university as a mature student, and for subsequent employment in fields where a sophisticated understanding of human behaviour is required.
This course is full time and runs for one year, beginning in October. Students have 10 contact hours per week plus dissertation supervision. The course consists of two terms of teaching, during which students are introduced to the range of current research in Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group (EARG). Students also focus on a narrower field for their dissertation, leading to the design, development and implementation of an independent research project. Students work closely with academic staff, and have the opportunity to become involved in active research projects.
Teaching methods include interactive lectures, student-led seminars, practical sessions and workshops. We use a diverse range of assessment to support the development and demonstration of a range of competences and skills, including a skills portfolio, projects, essays, critical reviews, written examinations and the dissertation. Staff provide feedback on formative work for all modules. Students work closely with a member of staff for their dissertation.
The MSc is taught in Durham by the Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group (EARG). EARG comprises staff, post-docs, PhD students and MSc students and is one of the largest and most diverse group of evolutionary anthropologists in the world. It is an active, interdisciplinary research group involved in cutting-edge work on the behaviour, morphology, and evolution of humans and other primates. EARG organises regular seminars with outside speakers, as well as more informal seminars on work in progress by members of the group. We also encourage students to sit-in on lectures for relevant undergraduate modules.
To be admitted to do a taught master’s course you should have normally have received an appropriate upper second or first class undergraduate degree, or its equivalent for overseas candidates. If you are unsure whether your first degree is appropriate, please contact the degree director. References will also play an important part in the admissions process.
Application forms (the form is the same for all postgraduate degrees) are available from the Applying to Durham University page. You should apply online and make sure you complete all relevant sections.
The Graduate School website gives details of fees.
There is no deadline for applications, but we recommend that you apply by the end of August at the latest, so that we have time to process your application and issue an offer (if applicable) in time for the October start. If you apply before you have the result of your Bachelors degree, then any offer we make will be conditional on the final result of your degree.
Please note that we have made some minor changes to the degree ready for 2012/13, which are reflected in this description, but we are awaiting final confirmation of these.
Evolutionary Theory (15 credits)
This module Introduces the major conceptual and theoretical issues in evolutionary theory and promotes acquisition of specialised research skills in this area.
Academic and Professional Skills in Anthropology (15 credits)
This module provides research skills needed by all anthropologists, focusing on topics such as writing and presenting academic papers, grant proposals, and conference attendance.
Statistical Analysis in Anthropology (15 credits)
This module provides essential numerical and statistical skills.
Dissertation in evolutionary anthropology (60 credits)
This module furnishes the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in evolutionary anthropology.