Joining our world-leading Language Evolution and Computation (LEC) research unit, you will investigate the origins and evolution of human language, tackling questions such as ‘what is it that makes us human?’, ‘how did our brains evolve?’ and ‘what are the origins of human language?’.
The LEC is at the cutting edge of research in this area and one of the world’s biggest research groups working on language evolution. You will have the opportunity to become involved with the unit’s research effort, and to make your own contribution to this dynamic field through your dissertation.
The programme focuses on a treatment of language as a dynamic evolving system, bringing together origins, acquisition and change.
It provides a broad introduction to the field of language evolution and cognitive evolution, and can form the basis for further (typically PhD) study for those wishing to continue their research.
The programme draws on many disciplines in the University, including archaeology, biology, linguistics, neuroscience, informatics, philosophy and psychology.
The programme involves two taught semesters and your own research dissertation. Four compulsory courses (in addition to the compulsory dissertation) provide a solid foundation, while optional courses allow you to explore your own areas of interest.
The taught element is delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions. Assessment is by written/project work and examination.
Option courses may include:
You may also be able to take a course from other degree programmes in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, and in some cases from elsewhere in the University.
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained:
This programme provides solid grounding for further research in many associated areas, such as linguistics, cognitive sciences and human evolution.
Our Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.
The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. Fully qualified or intercalating MBBS or BDS students can also apply. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.
The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of Evolution and Human Behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. Recommended modules, include:
-Comparative Cognition (MMB8043)
-Sensory Systems (MMB8019)
-The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Illness and its Treatment (MMB8010)
You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.
The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to Evolution and Human Behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on:
-Psychiatric disorders and their treatment
Research-led seminars delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover evolutionary psychology areas such as:
-Human mate choice
-Altruism and cooperation
-Food choices and obesity
-Comparative and developmental psychology of cognition
Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of Evolution and Human Behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.
The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in psychology and in research.
Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes is one of a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in. See Programme information in our online Prospectus for full details.
Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.
Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.
You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.
Our MRes Evolution and Behaviour provides a unique opportunity to learn from leaders in the field about evolutionary, genetic and functional bases of behaviour, adaptation and speciation, applied to a range of study systems from birds to fish, insects to snails.
Our MRes programme will provide you with an excellent foundation for a career in research or industry. It is ideal preparation for a PhD degree, whilst also providing advanced level skills in research methods, data analysis, and clear communication of research findings, all of which are in high demand from employers.
Our MRes programme is uniquely research-focused. You will be assigned to a research supervisor on the basis of your particular research interests. You’ll be embedded within a research group, working alongside PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff who are at the forefront of their research field. You will conduct an extended research project over several months, with the aim of producing original work of publishable quality.
Each programme has a common element where you will learn about the most recent developments in your research area and discuss them with research leaders from the UK and around the world. You will gain advanced skills in experimental design, data analysis and presentation, as you learn how to become a research leader yourself.
Advanced Trends in Biology
Advanced Biological Analysis
Research and Study Skills in Biology
Research Project (accounts for half of your final grade)
Teaching is via working in a research laboratory or on a field-based research project, tutorials, discussion groups, attendance at seminars, and statistics and other workshops.
Assessment includes, but is not limited to, project report, literature review, critiques, short reports and essays, oral presentations including a viva.