An introduction to Evolutionary Psychology ADED11975E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 5
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The impact of evolution of human behaviour can be a contentious issue, and one that is often misunderstood. In this course we will demystify the process of evolution and look at how it is applied to the understanding of human psychology. We will cover the fundamentals of evolution and see how this has helped in researching areas such as mental health, reasoning and decision making. We will look at how evolution has shaped our perceptual systems, all the way from simple visual illusions up to who we think looks attractive or trustworthy. Students will be exposed to new ideas, the latest research and encouraged to take part in class discussion on contentious media portrayals of Evolutionary Psychology.


Block 4, Weeks 1-5

2 hours per week for 5 weeks

Tuesday 19:00 - 21:00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Online multiple choice quiz (25%) (assesses intended learning outcome 1) 

Evaluative essay (75%) (maximum 1500 words) (assesses intended learning outcomes 2 & 3)

Course Aims

This course aims to:  

■ Introduce students to the core ideas of evolution, and how they are relevant to the study of human psychology

■ Encourage students to think critically when assessing claims about psychological research in non-academic media

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Describe the core concepts of evolution, and differentiate between various modes of evolution


■ Explain how evolution applies to psychology and discuss the benefits of considering evolution in the study of human psychology.


■ Explain and evaluate common misconceptions about, and criticisms of, Evolutionary Psychology

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.