Evolution of Consciousness

Subject ANTH30010 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: An average of 8.5 hours per week
Prerequisites: 25 points of 2nd year Arts subjects
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: At least one core 2nd year Anthropology and Social Theory subject. The core subjects are as follows:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 2
Non Allowed Subjects: Student who have studied the second year subject Evolution of Consciousness (121-069) are not permitted to enrol in this subject
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website : http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/

Subject Overview:

This subject will examine recent advances in anthropology, paleontology, the neurosciences, psychology, and evolutionary biology which are producing new ideas about the origins of and relationships between the human brain, mind, language, behaviour, and culture. Specific topics to be discussed will include recent studies of the evolution of culture and language and the relationships between the morphological, mental and cultural evolution of Homo sapiens, with reference to recent advances in the neurobiology of consciousness. On completion of the subject students should have a grounding in evolutionary anthropology and in evolutionary approaches to the study of culture and human sociality.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • acquire a grounding in the role of evolutionary theory in anthropological approaches to the study of language, culture and human sociality.
Assessment: An essay of 2,400 words 60% (due at the start of the examination period) and two 800 word tutorial papers 40% (due in the 5th and 9th weeks of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available from the University Bookshop prior to the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have practice in conducting research and speaking articulately.
  • have practice in writing clearly in a variety of formats and reading with attention to detail.
  • have experience of systematically evaluating a body of empirical data and identifying its theoretical context.
  • have experience of methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills.
  • have acquired awareness of issues relating to cross-cultural communication.
Links to further information: http://www.pasi.unimelb.edu.au/anthropology/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology && Social Theory
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory

Download PDF version.