Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    BIOL/BMSC 241

  • 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
    5 - 6
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    7 - 8
  • Overview

    Origin and development of concepts about biological history including the establishment of modern experimental methods for understanding pattern and process in the origin of new species.

    Course content
    The central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor, through the process of descent with modification. The goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how and why life exists in all its myriad of forms and how it changes over time. Evolution is the most important unifying principle in modern biology and it is a true multidisciplinary science. In this course we will explore the principles, mechanisms and examples of evolution. Major themes will include the history of evolutionary thought, fossils and geology, natural selection, adaptation, speciation, systematics and phylogenetics, sexual selection, human evolution and molecular evolution.

    Course learning objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:

    • Describe the central role of evolutionary theory in the field of biology.
    • Explain how the processes of evolution affect population genetic variation and lead to new species.
    • Use DNA sequence information to reconstruct the evolutionary history of life.
    • Examine the history of life and patterns of adaptive evolution. 
    • Use evolutionary thinking to solve biological and applied problems.

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.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.