The Origin of Us

Ref: C3741369

For thousands of years humans have attempted to answer the question of our origins, our place in the family tree and our relationship with other forms of life Science leads us to look for answers in the world around us. We are primates and we start by introducing our ancient ancestors and our expansion out of Africa and finally trace why and where our ancestor, the Neanderthals. became extinct.

Course aim

Where did we come from? How did we evolve from the great apes into Homo sapiens? We go back to our roots, look at our family tree, meet our ancestors. We begin by looking at why we first stood on two legs and end with the extinction of Neanderthal.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Define and identify what we mean by 'being human'
  • Classify and assess our earliest ancestors and justify if you think they were our ancestors
  • Evaluate our closest living relations and demonstrate an understanding of our 'family tree'.
  • Assess research into our DNA, teeth and protein and evaluate its usefulness in this research
  • Discuss the current thinking on whether Neanderthals are extinct or our ancestors. What DNA tell us?

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • To support each lecture students will be given a CD containing a comprehensive set of handouts summarising each lesson, a suggested reading list and a few questions to consider relevant to the lecture given.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

The Origin of Us Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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