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Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes

Evolution and Human Behaviour MRes

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MRes - Master of Research

Subject areas

Evolutionary Biology Behavioural Biology

Course type


Course Summary

The MRes is a research-based course with a taught component. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences, psychology or anthropology. Fully qualified or intercalating MBBS or BDS students can also apply. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

What you'll learn

The taught component of the course includes training in research approaches relevant to the area of Evolution and Human Behaviour. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting a set of three complementary modules. Recommended modules, include:

Comparative Cognition (MMB8043)
Sensory Systems (MMB8019)
The Biological Basis of Psychiatric Illness and its Treatment (MMB8010).

You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.

The core module on the biological study of behaviour introduces the central questions related to Evolution and Human Behaviour research (adaptive consequences, proximate mechanisms, development, and evolutionary history) and the research methods associated with each. Other relevant modules focus on:

Comparative cognition
Sensory systems
Psychiatric disorders and their treatment

Research-led seminars delivered by members of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution cover evolutionary psychology areas such as:

Human mate choice
Altruism and cooperation
Food choices and obesity
Comparative and developmental psychology of cognition.

Your project

Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of Evolution and Human Behaviour under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Graduates from our programme have gone on to competitive PhD studentships, as well as jobs in psychology and in research.


This module aims to provide a thorough training in the skills and concepts required for the study of behaviour from a biological perspective. The concepts taught are equally applicable to students whose main interests are in human behaviour, and those whose main interests are in the behaviour of non-human animals. The module will also be of benefit to students who are likely to conduct behavioural assays with laboratory animals in the course of medical research. Students will gain an understanding of current research in behavioural science. They will also acquire skills in the use of mathematical models to predict behaviour, the recording and quantification of spontaneously occurring behaviour, the design and conduct of behavioural experiments, and working with laboratory animals.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in: any biological or behavioural science discipline, including anthropology, psychology and linguistics or an MBBS/BDS degree. This programme accepts both medical and dental students wishing to take a master's degree as an intercalation. You will need to have successfully completed your third or fourth year of study. Practical laboratory work experience is desirable, although not essential. The modules you can study may depend on your academic background.

University information

Newcastle University is a world-leading university, advancing knowledge, providing creative solutions and solving global problems. The university is a founding member of the prestigious Russell Group, one of 24 leading research-intensive UK universities. In recent years, Newcastle University has developed a presence in two similarly vibrant and globally-connected locations – Singapore and Malaysia. These provide both a global identity and...more

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