1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Human Sciences: From Cells to Societies

Human Sciences: From Cells to Societies (SCIE10004)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeSCIE10004
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will introduce the perspectives of the major, and the scales at which the varied scientific disciplines of Evolutionary Biology, Physiology, Psychology and Geography understand ‘the human’. This will take up the first 3 weeks of the subject. A question will be identified, that will be analysed by each of the four disciplines in turn; this will take up the next 8 weeks of the semester. (The questions chosen will vary year by year, as the subject is taught by staff with different specialist interests). For example, questions chosen for study in the subject might be: how does a particular disease, in a certain time and place, spread from being an epidemic to a pandemic; what is the relationship of humans to particular natural disasters; over the next century, should (and will) most humans become vegetarian? In the final week of semester, the views of ‘the human’ that are held by the four disciplines will be compared and contrasted, in light of what has been revealed in studying the question chosen for focus. This concluding discussion will demonstrate the aspects of the human to which each discipline gives priority, and at which scales.

Intended learning outcomes

At the completion of this subject, students will have:

  • Understanding of the varied manner in which scientific disciplines understand ‘the human’, at the scales of the cell, body and society, and how this can form a multi-faceted ‘human sciences’ perspective
  • Basic knowledge of the ways in which the four disciplines of Evolutionary Biology, Physiology, Psychology and Geography , contribute to a ‘human sciences’ perspective
  • Capacity to articulate and communicate the contrasting approaches of different disciplines in the study of the human

Generic skills

Upon completion of this subject, students will have skills in:

  • Identifying and comparing questions asked by selected disciplines
  • Appreciating the different kinds of evidence that can be used scientifically
  • Communicating verbally and in writing their own responses to questions chosen for issues-based study

Last updated: 11 January 2018