The Evolution of Civilization

Programme Code: CCGL9042

Faculty of: Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine

Targeted Students: HKU Undergraduates, Non HKU Undergraduates

Area of Interest: Professionals, Science

Credits: 6

Programme Period: June 28, 2021 to July 30, 2021

Programme Schedule: Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 16:30-18:20. Tutorials: Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday

Programme Fee: HKD 11,600

Discount(s) on Programme Fee:

20% - Alumni Discount
10% - Partner Discount or Referral Discount
5% - Early Bird Discount (Deadline: February 28, 2021) or Private Discount

* All discounts are NOT in conjunction with any other discounts. For further details, please visit here.

Deadline for Application: May 31, 2021

Online Application: APPLY NOW

Note to HKU Students:

*Should you be interested in applying for the above programme, please register in SIS system during the summer add/drop period in June 2021.*


Course Description:

This course draws on economics, evolution, and psychology to address key issues: 1. How did humans go from relatively isolated tribal life to an increasingly cooperative, interconnected, globalized world? 2. How can our knowledge of human nature and past progress be used to help solve major societal challenges? The theme of this course is that natural selection is a useful framework for understanding how humans have progressed from subsisting in relatively isolated groups to where individuals are highly specialized in their productive efforts and highly integrated with the entire world through globalization. The course will explore how this progression may be the result of genetic selection, but likely more the result of selection acting on ideas, or memes, rather than genes, but in an analogous manner. Through an understanding of human evolution, the origin of economic development will be explored. Combined with the psychological perspective of understanding the individual, we attempt to shed light on how complex civilization has come into existence. Lectures will ask one or two main scientific questions and then focus on answering them, showing the types of evidence that can be used to address the question and the logical progression of ideas.

Course Instructor(s):

Dr Larry Baum, LKS Faculty of Medicine

Course Outline:


Programme Schedule:

Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 16:30-18:20.
Tutorials: Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday


• Students of non-credit bearing programmes will receive a certificate upon programme completion. Students of credit-bearing programmes can apply a transcript stated with HKU credits, please contact your home institution about the issue related to HKU credits recognition.

• You understand that you must be available for the entire duration of the programme, from the start to the end of the programme. 20% absence is allowed for emergencies or sick leave with legitimate reason and official letterhead proof for the absence. Students have the responsibility to contact the programme coordinator and/or teacher concerned about this ahead of time. No exceptions will be made, unless prior approval has been given. You are expected to be punctual for all classes and tutorials. Unexcused cases of lateness may count as absence. Students who fail to achieve an 80% of attendance or absence without legitimate reason and official letterhead proof for the absence will not be awarded the HKU Credits or the Certificate of Completion.