Course code AOS240

AOS240 Research in Social Sciences

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Frode Alfnes
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Course contents:

The course is organised around three types of empirical research design used in social science research: explorative design (including interviews and focus groups), descriptive design (including surveys) and causal design (inkluding experiments). 

The course covers opportunities and limitations with different research designs, how different research questions results in different method choice, and how the choice and implementation of methods determines which conclusions can be drawn.

Learning outcome:

After the students have completed the course, they are expected to have acquired the following knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student shall

- have basic knowledge of various forms of research design used in social science research

- have knowledge of the design and conduct of surveys, interviews, focus groups and experiments in social science research

- have knowledge of probability and non-probability samples

- have knowledge of requirements for causal explanations in social sciences

- have knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of different social science methods

- have knowledge of validity and reliability


The student shall

- be able to evaluate what kind of research design is best suited to different issues

- be able to define research questions and testable hypotheses

- be able to understand and use key concepts related to social science methodology

- be able to create web-based questionnaires of good quality

- be able to assess whether causal explanations satisfy common requirements for causal explanations

General competence:

The student shall

- be able to obtain relevant answers to academic issues, through the use of different forms of social science methods

- be able to carry out data collection for a social science master's thesis using surveys, interviews, focus groups or experiments

- be able to critically assess the performance and results of social sciences research

Learning activities:
Lectures, group work, supervision, and quizzes.
Teaching support:

The teacher gives online feedback on the project sketch for the group assignment.

The teacher is available for guidance on the group assignments and other questions during the set office hours for the course.

Textbook and some additional reading. Will be announced in Canvas before the course starts.
Recommended prerequisites:
Basic statistics.
Mandatory activity:
There will be six mandatory quizzes on Canvas that must be passed every two weeks.

Combined assessment: Written examination, 3 hours (counts 60% of the total grade). Group assignment (counts 40% of the total grade). If you fail the written exam, you fail the course. 

The course has combined assessment, and one can therefore only register for the examination at regular time for the final examination. 

The group assignment must be completed in the same semester as the exam. Students who with an approved group assignment from a previous year must complete the group assignment again with a new topic.

Nominal workload:
125 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
2 hours per week with classroom lectures
An external examiner will assess the curriculum and the exam. Grades will be set by the internal examiner (teacher).
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades