Aims of the course:
- To introduce evolution by natural selection
- To understand evolution in the light of modern genetics
- To understand the role of sex in natural selection
- To investigate the why survival of the fittest can lead to the development of cooperative behaviour
- To understand the 'mystery of mysteries' - what leads to the evolution of a new species
Course content overview:
During the course, we will investigate the development of the theory of evolution by natural selection. The course will begin with a general introduction of how natural selection works with examples of natural selection in the real world. It will then go on to explain evolution in the light of the modern synthesis and the development of modern genetics. During the course we will try to answer difficult questions faced by evolutionary biologists such as:
- Why has sex evolved?
- How can selfish genes favour the spread of altruistic behaviour?
- How do new species come to be?
We will finish by taking a brief look at the tree of life, the future of species diversity, and threats to biodiversity in the modern world.
Schedule (this course is completed entirely online):
Orientation Week: 23 - 29 October 2017
Teaching Weeks: 30 - 3 December 2017
Feedback Week: 4 - 10 December 2017
Each week of an online course is roughly equivalent to 2-3 hours of classroom time. On top of this, participants should expect to spend roughly 2-3 hours reading material, etc., although this will vary from person to person.
While they have a specific start and end date and will follow a weekly schedule (for example, week 1 will cover topic A, week 2 will cover topic B), our tutor-led online courses are designed to be flexible and as such would normally not require participants to be online for a specific day of the week or time of the day (although some tutors may try to schedule times where participants can be online together for web seminars, which will be recorded so that those who are unable to be online at certain times are able to access material).
Unless otherwise stated, all course material will be posted on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) so that they can be accessed at any time throughout the duration of the course and interaction with your tutor and fellow participants will take place through a variety of different ways which will allow for both synchronous and asynchronous learning (discussion boards,etc).
A Certificate of Participation will be awarded to participants who contribute constructively to weekly discussions and exercises/assignments for the duration of the course.
Try a free 'taster' version of this course >>