In this degree, you will answer a variety of compelling questions about sex and reproduction, social systems and primate language. You will gain academic and practical skills that prepare you for careers in health and science, community and social services, and education and communications fields.
Shape your degree outside the classroom with extracurricular activities such as open lectures which attract global figures and our thriving student led societies.
Reasons to study Human Biology and Behaviour at Kent
You’ll learn beyond your lectures. Potential excursions to animal parks, archaeological sites and to collections of ancient skulls and bones. You’ll have access to excellent facilities including the 3D imaging palaeoanthropology lab, human skeletal biology lab and the new mini CT-scanner within the Imaging Centre for Life Sciences. You can go to the next level and gain real-world experience by adding a Year in Professional Practice. You can live, study and be immersed in new environments when you add a Year Abroad in the US or Canada. You’ll gain ongoing support through our employability team, regular workshops and alumni talks, as well as our dedicated academic adviser and peer mentoring scheme.
What you'll learn
Venture into a combination of biological anthropology with human biology and psychology. You will develop an integrated understanding of how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social and physical environments, and you will acquire an appreciation of their social and biological diversity.
Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. Staff have been awarded national teaching awards, reflecting the quality of the undergraduate programmes.
Human Biology and Behaviour at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field trips and laboratory sessions. For research project work, you are assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly. You also have access to a wide range of learning resources, including the Templeman Library, research laboratories and computer-based learning packages.
Many of the core modules have an end-of-year examination that accounts for 50% to 100% of your final mark for that module. The remaining percentage comes from practical or coursework marks. However, others, such as the Independent Research Project or Human Skeletal Biology, are assessed entirely on coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- major aspects of human evolution, including significant fossil evidence and its contextual associations, and behavioural and ecological reconstructions based on these
- the similarities and contrasts between humans and other primates, and their significance for human adaptive success
- selected aspects of primate diversity, behaviour, and acquaintance with relevant concepts of primatology
- aspects of human genetic and/or phenotypic diversity, their evolutionary implications and significance for schemes categorising human variability
- the role of human osteology and forensic anthropology in understanding human variation, epidemiology, and forensic identification of human remains
- the range and flexibility of individual biological responses, and awareness of the distinction between such adaptability and population adaptation
- human life history patterns, reproductive influences, population size and structure, and aspects of applied anthropology, including development studies
- the nature, complexity and richness of human biological diversity and an appreciation of its social and ethical implications
- biological anthropology as the study of past and contemporary human and non-human primates in evolutionary and adaptive perspectives.
- the importance of empirical data collection as a basis for the testing of theory: for example, data gathering among contemporary populations, excavation and contextual studies in palaeoanthropology, and the study of non-human primate groups.
- multiple approaches to the evolutionary study of human behaviour, cognition and culture.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- the capacity to express one's own ideas in multiple formats, to summarise the arguments of others, and to distinguish between the two.
- independence of thought and analytical, critical and synoptic skills.
- the ability to make a structured argument, reference the works of others, and assess historical evidence.
- integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, and, in some cases, professional environment.
You gain specific skills in the following:
- an acquaintance with, and ability to interpret, varied information on aspects of human biological diversity
- the ability to analyse and evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative data utilising appropriate techniques
- to design and implement a project involving data collection on some aspect(s) of biological anthropology and to display relevant investigative, analytical and communication skills.
- an understanding of the scientific process, including the ability to read, evaluate and write scientific reports
- a deepened understanding of human biology and behaviour, and qualities of mind associated with intellectual reflection, evaluation and synthesis.
- an ability to understand how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social and physical environments, and an appreciation of their social and biological diversity.
- An awareness of ethical issues associated with biological anthropological methods and theories, including those associated with studying non-human primates, with handling human remains, and with proposals that human behaviour has an evolutionary basis.
- an understanding and appreciation of the Darwinian evolutionary process and our species' place within the natural world
- an ability to apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- collecting and collating primary and secondary data
- communication and presentation
- time, planning, and management
- ability to engage in constructive discussion in group situations and group work
- statistical and computing techniques
- working with equipment in a scientific laboratory.
The programme aims to:
- develop students’ critical and analytical powers with respect to biological anthropology
- develop critical and analytical problem-based learning skills
- provide the skills to adapt and respond positively to changes in the discipline
- provide a broad range of knowledge in the discipline of anthropology, stressing the need for a biological approach to the subject, and showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines such as biology, psychology, archaeology and forensic sciences
- provide a grounding in human and primate biological variation and distinguish the links between biological and sociocultural processes.
- ensure that the research by staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in a manner that is efficient, reliable and enjoyable to students
- prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers through developing students’ transferable skills.