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Unit of study_

OLET1508: Evolution Health and Disease

2023 unit information

This unit of study has been developed by academics in the University's Charles Perkins Centre, an interdisciplinary education and research hub where researchers produce novel solutions to chronic disease. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death, disability and reduced quality of life across the world. Generating innovative solutions to combat these global health challenges requires us to rethink our traditional approaches to their causes, where medical or biological factors are considered in isolation from their societal, and environmental contexts. In this OLE, students will learn how an approach to these challenges using evolutionary thinking can generate new ways of identifying potential solutions. Global leaders in the field will provide an insight into the topics: introduction to evolutionary thinking; life history and health; materno-fetal conflict and its longer-term health consequences; human variation and its health consequences; and an overview of the many other topics in the physiology and medicine of chronic disease that can be addressed from an evolutionary perspective. By the end of this OLE students will be able to utilise evolutionary thinking for a truly multidisciplinary approach to hypothesis development to address health challenges.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code OLET1508
Academic unit Philosophy
Credit points 2

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. 1 Describe the key concepts of evolutionary theory 2 Demonstrate knowledge relating to the thematic modules of evolutionary concepts in disease 3 Demonstrate principles of evolution and its application in the broader context of human reproduction and lifestyle choices 4 Apply the principles of evolutionary medicine to examples of non-communicable diseases

Unit availability

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Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2023
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Semester 1 2021
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

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Important enrolment information

Additional advice

Refer to the unit of study outline