NNMK16000U CANCELLED Palaeogenomic Perspectives on Human Evolution and Population History

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology



A general introduction to paleogenomics and the study of human evolution and population history. In a series of lectures and interactive discussion groups we will cover diverse topics including early hominin evolution, the origins and expansion of anatomically modern humans, later population movements, and the origins of modern human genetic diversity. In addition, the course will include hands-on computational sessions introducing basic tools used to analyze human population genetic data. The Natural History Museum of Denmark at KU is a leader in this field, and the course will showcase some of the ground-breaking research currently being carried out at the institution.


Learning Outcome


At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Recognize and describe major milestones in human evolution

  • Explain how ancient biomolecules are being used to reconstruct aspects of human evolutionary history

  • Assess how modern and ancient genetic data have transformed our understanding of human population histories



At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Describe and explain the workflow of a typical human ancient DNA study from the field to the interpretation of the results

  • Perform basic analyses on example paleogenomics datasets

  • Explain how biomolecular data can be used alongside other types of evidence in the study of human evolution and population histories



At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Evaluate and critically assess the results and impact(s) of selected seminal studies in human paleogenomics

  • Draft a research proposal for an ancient DNA project addressing an open research question in human evolutionary history, synthesizing the knowledge and skills acquired during the course and anticipating future progress in the field

Relevant literature will be provided through Absalon.

There are no formal requirements for taking this course, but it is recommended that students attend the “Ancient DNA, palaeoenvironments, megafauna, and domestication” course in Block 2 prior to taking this course.

The course is aimed at students with a background in archaeology, biology, and/or bioinformatics and population genetics.
Lectures, interactive discussion groups and hands-on computational sessions.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Practical exercises
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 120
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written assignment, 20 hours
Assessment will be based on practicals (20%) and a final written assignment (80%).
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Several internal examiners.


As ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome.