Introduction to Biological Anthropology

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Biological Anthropology

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Biology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to Biological Anthropology, focusing on the biocultural and evolutionary processes and how these have shaped who we are today.

    This course provides an introduction to Biological Anthropology which is broadly defined as the scientific study of humankind from a biocultural perspective. The course will focus on the evolutionary process and how it shaped who we are today. You will be introduced to the study of the evolution of humans from both micro- and macro-evolutionary perspectives - and will thus be introduced to basic evolutionary theory and the application of a biocultural perspective to understanding human evolution and variation. You will then be introduced to principles and concepts from basic genetics, comparative anatomy, primatology, palaeoanthropology (the study the fossil record of hominins), human skeletal anatomy, biomedical anthropology and the evolution of human behaviour.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will:
    - Develop a basic understanding of the key concepts of the field of Biological Anthropology, in particular the biocultural approach and its importance in the study of human history, health, variation and adaptation
    - Develop an understanding of basic evolutionary theory and its application to the history of our species and that of our ancestors and other primates
    - Develop and be able to apply critical thinking skills and basic research skills including essay writing
    - Demonstrate ability to use the University library and electronic resources to undertake basic research
    - Demonstrate ability to write and to use and cite appropriate references in the academic style of the discipline

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.