Social Insects (Level 7) (842C1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

The eusocial insects comprise approximately 20,000 species of ants, termites, bees and wasps. Eusociality has given rise to highly-organized societies and eusocial insects are of great economic and ecological importance. They are also key model systems in biology.

Part One of the module provides general background on social insects, use of inclusive fitness theory to understand conflict and conflict resolution within insect societies and how insect societies are organized. Special topics such as fungus farming in social insects or the evolution of eusociality in insects will also be covered.


33%: Lecture
6%: One-to-one (Tutorial)
27%: Practical (Laboratory)
33%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Test)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 33 hours of contact time and 117 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.