Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Discussions about humanity's origins pre-date the realisation that material traces of the deep past, in the form of artefacts and fossils, actually exist. During the nineteenth century, the ideas of the Enlightenment scholars, and their Ancient Greek and Roman predecessors, collided with the scientific study of our origins. This subject explores how stories about our origins are written, focusing on how we reconcile intuitively plausible accounts of our past with the rigours of scientific methodology. Three major events in the human journey are studied: the origin of Homo erectus approximately 2 million years ago, the Neanderthals of Ice Age Europe, and origin of modern humans and their complex material culture.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAndy Herries

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesOnline questions and quizzes; essay, tutorial exercises and discussions

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsHUS1THJ

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
COMMUNICATION - Cultural Intelligence and Global Perspective
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Understand the way in which stories of human evolution are put together.
02. Evaluate alternative accounts of human evolution and assess the import of new discoveries as they are announced.
03. Identify the scientific methods and deep-seated beliefs that influence understanding of key events in human evolution.
04. Recognise cultural values, awareness and sensitivities surrounding discussions of human evolutions
05. Evaluate the import of all humanity sharing a deep-time history.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAndy Herries

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.00 hour lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.

TutorialWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.50 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 10 - 22
One 0.50 hour unscheduled online class per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Online weekly quizzes (equivalent to 2000 words)

N/AQuizzesIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO3, SILO5

Essay (2000 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5