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Course content

Evolutionary theory has radically altered our understanding of human life. The Human Evolution and Behaviour MSc at UCL is designed to provide students with a solid practical and theoretical grounding in issues relevant to the evolution of humans and non-human primates.

Degree information

Students develop the ability to generate, assess and synthesise empirical evidence and hypotheses related to human evolution and behaviour. They gain subject-specific skills, such as measuring skeletal material, interpreting and generating data related to human ecology, reproduction and genetics, and generating behavioural data of humans and non-human primates through observation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), five optional modules (75 credits), and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules - students choose two of the first three modules in the list below. Postgraduate Methods/Statistics I is compulsory for all students.
-Human Behavioural Ecology
-Primate Socioecology
-Palaeoanthropology
-Postgraduate Methods/Statistics 1 (term one)*

Optional modules - students choose three of the following optional modules:
-Advanced Human Evolution
-Anthropological and Archaeological Genetics
-Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers
-Palaeoanthropology
-Evolution of the Human Brain
-Cognition and Language
-Evolution of the Human Brain and Behaviour
-Primate Evolution
-Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull
-Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures including weekly two-hour departmental seminars, and occasional attendance at non-departmental seminars. Assessment is through take-home examination, essays, lab-books, practical tests, and presentation. The dissertation is assessed by a project presentation and the thesis.

Careers

Many graduates are successful in entering fully funded doctoral programmes based on their training and achievements on the programme. Our graduates also go not o work in the media (TV, radio , publishing), in NGOs (community development, nature conservation), government organisations (national statistics, health programmes), in zoos and museums (overseeing collections, co-ordination research), or become school teachers. Moreover, numerous alumni have become notable academics in their own right, teaching as permanent staff in universities across the globe.

Employability
Graduates of the programme will be trained in the fundamentals of scientific inquiry including hypothesis generation, data collection and statistical analysis, data synthesis and reporting of results. Additionally, they acquire advanced training in computer-based quantitative methods, presentation techniques, and the public understanding of science. Students will also gain skills specific to their dissertation research that can include behavioural observation techniques, field data collection, computer modelling, and advanced shape analysis.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. Our excellent results in 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework identify us as the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Our excellent results in the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises show that we are the top broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

Visit the Human Evolution and Behaviour - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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