Research course

Culture and Evolution

Institution
Brunel University London · Health and Life Sciences
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis. Potential research students are encouraged to contact members of staff in the area of interest to receive guidance on how to focus the research proposal. Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline.

Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

Find out more about Research Degrees at Brunel.

Research profile
Research in the area of Culture and Evolution focuses on cultural variation in, and evolutionary origins of, psychology and behaviour – integration of proximate and ultimate perspectives, across levels of analysis from individual biology and personality, through group and social processes to the broader culture. Our research brings together outstanding evolutionary, cross-cultural and other psychologists and will include evolutionary approaches to human psychology such as human behavioural ecology categorised in these three strands:
  • Relationships – E.g. interpersonal attraction and mate choice, relationship maintenance and satisfaction, jealousy etc. Also intergroup relations (between cultures and ethnic groups).
  • Morality – E.g. what is considered right and wrong, political beliefs, views on resource distribution etc.
  • Conflict & Cooperation – E.g. interpersonal and intergroup, sexual conflict and intrasexual competition, sources of conflict such as inequality etc.
Some more specific examples of topics emphasised by CCE researchers—all relevant to at least one of the above themes—are listed below, followed by the names of CCE members conducting research in each topic.
  • Attitudes towards, and behavioral consequences of, inequality (Clark, Pound, Price, Scott)
  • Close personal relationships (Gaines, Marshall)
  • Community and wellbeing (Launay, Price)
  • Competitiveness and risk-taking among males (Pound)
  • Cooperation within groups, including between leaders and followers (Price, Scott)
  • Cultural variation in prosocial behaviours (Imada)
  • Emotions in social relationships, such as jealousy (Imada, Marshall, Schuetzwohl)
  • Impact of social media on relationships (Marshall)
  • Music, singing, and social bonding (Launay)
  • Physical and physiological (e.g. gait, muscularity, hormonal) predictors of social and moral attitudes (Clark, Pound, Price)
  • Physical attractiveness, mate preferences and mating strategies (Clark, Pound, Price, Scott)
  • Relationship of facial morphology to political and moral attitudes (Pound, Scott)
  • Relevance of ethnicity in personal relationships (Gaines)
Find out more

Information for international students

English Language Requirements: IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas); Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores); BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas).

Qualification and course duration

PhD

part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Name
College of Health and Life Sciences
Email
chls-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0) 1895 268161