module specification

PC6058 - Evolutionary Psychology (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Evolutionary Psychology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Powerpoint presentation
Coursework 50%   Essay (max. 2500 words)
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

A focus on contemporary evolutionary psychology including the origins of psychopathology and artificial intelligence will be included. There is a growing interest in Darwinian ‘medicine’ to supplement the aetiology of disease and psychopathology and how technology can support and promote health behaviours. Further, reference to dating, attraction, bond pairing and mating strategies etc will be provided where students will be encouraged to critically review the literature on EP via assessment and workshop discussions.


Topics will be drawn from: Darwinian medicine, psychopathology, mating strategies, sexual jealousy, cheater detection, pregnancy sickness, parental nurturance and negligence, spatial memory, landscape preferences, aggression and violence. evolution of cognition (e.g. language, reasoning), evolution of the brain, animal behaviour. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The strategy will involve a combination of lectures, discussions and presentations, including both directed and exploratory reading. Online sharing of thoughts and ideas will be encouraged, in addition to some formative online testing.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students will:

1. Be able to explain the fundamental concepts that distinguish the evolutionary approach to psychology from non-evolutionary approaches;
2. Be able to apply concepts of evolutionary psychology to contemporary psychiatry;
3. Be able to critically evaluate research relating to evolutionary explanations of mind and behaviour;

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment will be via a coursework component essay of 2500 words (50%), and a Powerpoint presentation of 10 slides (50%)

Coursework component                                                                                       Percentage of marks               Learning Outcomes being assessed
Powerpoint assignment (10 slides- max 300 words)                                                     50                                              1,2,3
Assignment – essay (2500 words max)                                                                             50                                                     1, 3


Brune, M., (2015). Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine: The Origins of Psychopathology (2ND ed). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
Chandler, C., (2015). Psychobiology. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell.
Moneta, G (2014). Positive Psychology: A Critical Introduction. Hampshire, UK. Palgrave Macmillan

Barkow, J.H., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Buss, David M. (2011). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Campbell, A. (2013). A mind of her own: The evolutionary psychology of women (2nd edition). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Crawford, C., & Krebs, D. (Eds.) (2008). Foundations of evolutionary psychology. NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Emery, N., Clayton, N., & Frith, C. (2007). Social intelligence: From brain to culture. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Rose, H., & Rose, S., (2000). Alas, Poor DARWIN. Arguments against evolutionary psychology. London, UK. Jonathan Cape London.


Journals (available via library catalogue and/or open access)

Evolution and Human Behavior
Evolutionary Psychology
Human Nature
Journal of Evolutionary Psychology