Course code PAE305

PAE305 Research Methods

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2018 - 2019 .

Course responsible: Anna Marie Nicolaysen
Teachers: Geir Hofgaard Lieblein, Tor Arvid Breland
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
Spring parallel and June block.  The lecures will be given in the Spring parallel with submission of field report in end of May/beginning of June.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Preferential right:
M-AE, students at other master programmes at NMBU are also welcome if available seats
Course contents:

This course offers students the possibility to acquaint themselves with field research methodology, in particular a range of qualitative methods and basic quantitative methods. The course focuses on issues of complexity and change, and challenges of doing research in unfamiliar situations and locations. Critical reflection on various approaches for data collection and analysis, and on the relationship between specific research problems and related methods will be emphasized.

Attention is given to:

  • basic understanding of epistemological and methodological key issues;
  • the strengths and weaknesses of different methods for data collection;
  • choice of appropriate sample: selection of case(s)/participants and sampling within cases;
  • methods of recording data;
  • different procedures for data analysis and processing;
  • writing: presenting and reporting field research;
  • reflection on and ethics of field research.
Learning outcome:

After completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • design research using the range of qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques introduced in the course;
  • assess the strengths and limitations of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their complementarity in research contexts;
  • systematically record, organise, code and analyse empirical field material;
  • assess the use of different field research methods, techniques and procedures of analysis;
  • write a research report that builds on own findings.
Learning activities:
Course contents are conveyed through presentations and workshops combined with individual and group work, with a strong emphasis on discussion and exercises. The exercises are scheduled as part of a research project, in order to facilitate an active learning process where students will engage on a practical basis with research design, methods for data collection and analysis, and reporting research. This will eventually result in a field report. The course ends with a presentation of the research project and a written exam.
Teaching support:

Presentations and workshops, practical exercises and other information will be made available for those not able to attend classes in person or via Skype.

During the course students will share and present their work in groups and in plenum, and get peer- and teacher feedback.


Bernard, H. Russell. 2017. Research Methods in Anthropology. Sixth Edition. AltaMira Press


Additional course readings will be made available in class.

Bachelor degree or equivalent
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Practical exercises leading to a field report and a final presentation of research project
Participation in class/group work 30%, exercises 30%, presentation of research project and field report 40%
Nominal workload:

150 hours

Presentations and workshops: 20 hours / 2 hours per week

Practical exercises: 30-50 hours, individually or in groups with other students

Work with field report, presentations and self-study: 80-100 hours

Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway
Type of course:

Presentations and workshops: 20 hours / 2 hours per week

Practical exercises: 30-50 hours, individually or in groups with other students

Work with field report, presentations and self-study: 80-100 hours

An external evaluator will contribute to the appraisal of the field report
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått