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Module

PSY3001 : Evolution & Behaviour

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Caroline Allen
  • Lecturer: Dr Gareth Richards
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of: the principles underlying the evolution of behaviour; the types of evidence employed in testing hypotheses based on these principles; and the application of the principles to a broad range of behaviours.

Outline Of Syllabus

Principles of behavioural evolution in historical perspective: natural selection; inclusive fitness; optimality; evolutionary stability.

Theoretical models based on these principles.

Types of evidence in the evolutionary study of behaviour: observations, experiments and the comparative method.

Principles, models and evidence related to a broad range of behavioural areas and species, chosen from: foraging; competition and aggression; anti-predator behaviour; group living; kinship; parental care; social organisation; human social life.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Non-synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading161:0016:00Academic skills activities
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities81:008:00Non-synchronous online - guided activities (combination of group and solo)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study661:0066:00Reading for assessment preparation, essay practice etc
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Present in person
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to impart information related to learning outcomes in a concise manner, to allow students to seek immediate clarification when necessary, and to allow the lecturer to judge the level of understanding of the class.

Online academic skills activities will allow students the opportunity to discuss and seek answers to questions set by the lecturer that address the learning outcomes. These activities will also allow students to practise the skills listed in the Interaction section of the Graduate Skills Framework. The directed research and reading prepares students for these sessions.


Independent study is essential for students to achieve the intended knowledge outcomes and be prepared for the examination.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A10024 hour take home exam - students will answer 2 questions from a choice of 4 (1000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MVoluntary practice at writing exam essay (1000 words) with written feedback. Student decides when set.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen written examination is an efficient means of assessing the students’ success in:
•       achieving the intended knowledge outcomes
•       integrating information from a variety of sources
•       communicating effectively in writing

The formative assessment will form the basis of three online structured learning activities. Additionally students will be able to submit up to 2 further practice essays for feedback from the instructors at any point during the course. Feedback gives students the opportunity to evaluate their likely success in the examination.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Reading Lists

Timetable