Course code EDS312

EDS312 Research Methods

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2015 - 2016 .

Course responsible: Elisabeth Molteberg
Teachers: Grete Benjaminsen, Christin Marsh Ormhaug, Siri Camilla Indreland Aas Rustad
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Department of International Environment and Development Studies
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
90 students
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel, Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2012-2013
Preferential right:
M-DS, M-IES and M-IR
Course contents:
The course addresses issues and develops skills related to methods and methodology that are relevant to the different master programs. Its focus is on providing an understanding of philosophy of science, as well as on various social science and historical approaches to research design, data collection, and analysis. Interdisciplinary and issues concerning combining quantitative and qualitative approaches are discussed, and students are encouraged to reflect on course subjects in relation to work on their own upcoming research. The course also offers a basic introduction to the use of a statistics software program.
Learning outcome:

Students are given an understanding of theory and practical approaches to research and knowledge generation in the fields of environment, development and international relations, with an interdisciplinary approach. Students carry out a qualitative and a quantitative research process during the course: research design and planning, sampling, data collection and handling, analysis, and written presentation. Students are encouraged to experiment with and reflect on use of design and methods tools, and the significance of choices made to the quality of results. Methodology issues concerning theory of science, research ethics and interdisciplinarity are addressed, and students are provided with the tools needed to carry out their own thesis research.

Students will be enabled to

  • assess data, concepts, theory, and research, drawing on a critical understanding of approaches to knowledge creation relevant to their academic field, as well as of the significance of epistemological and ontological positions
  • appropriately design and conduct own original research on a complex issue, choosing and combining relevant tools and procedures for addressing the chosen topic
  • contribute to their chosen field of enquiry through effectively communicating own research problems, objectives, research design, findings, and conclusions
Learning activities:
Lectures and discussion, exercises and assignments constituting an entire qualitative and an entire quantiative research process: design and planning, sampling, data collection, registration, analysis, and reporting. Lectures and discussion in methodology issues and practical skills towards proposal and thesis construction
Teaching support:
Information and communication in Fronter. Feedback on mandatory hand-ins, support during work on assignments. Support from Writing Center for term paper writing.
A list of compulsory and recommended literature will be made available by the start of the semester. Students will be given some relevant reference materials during the course period.
Bachelor degree or equivalent
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Participation in group and individual assignments and hand-ins. Attendance is mandatory at first lecture in autumn and in spring semester. Attendance throughout is in practice mandatory due to compulsory activities carried out in classes. Approval of all mandatory hand-ins is required for receipt of a course grade.
Individual term paper on qualitative research in autumn parallel, counting for 35% of grade; individual research paper on quantitative research in spring parallel, counting for 35% of grade. Written exam at end of spring parallel, counting for 30% of grade. All mandatory group and individual activities must be approved in order for the student to obtain a grade. All hand-ins, papers, exam are to be given and submitted in English only.
Nominal workload:
450 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
1x2 lecture hours per week during autumn parallell + 2x2 lecture hours per week during spring parallell (a total of around 80 hours). Lectures and seminars/workshops with practical exercises and simulations of quantitative and qualitative research design and planning, data collection, and analysis. In addition, students will do group and individual independent work. The total number of working hours for students is about 450 hours.
Every student must have access to a portable computer where statistics software program "R" can be downloaded.
An external examiner will be involved in grading exams.
Allowed examination aids: No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått