Course code REIS310

REIS310 Social Science Research Methods in Nature-Based Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2018 - 2019 .

Course responsible: Jan Vidar Haukeland
Teachers: Kathrin Jathe, Mehmet Mehmetoglu, Øystein Aas, Knut Fossgard, Stian Stensland, John Peter Fredman, Knut Bjørn Stokke
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
The course starts at the spring semester. The course involves teaching/grading during the spring semester. 
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The course is organized around the two most commonly used approaches in social science research for nature-based tourism, outdoor recreation and natural resource management: qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (questionnaires) methods. The course focuses on research design/method, data collection and analysis, and covers the skills needed to write a master thesis, from designing a problem statement to choice of method and collecting data, to analysis and presenting results. Statistical analyses covered include both parametric and non-parametric tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), factor- and regression analyses.

The course has two main assignments. One group assignment (two-folded) based on existing quantitative and qualitative data where students are to analyze and present results. The second, individual assignment is to write a description of the method for an assumed master thesis including a short introduction, a sketch of the problem statement, method, and time plan.

Learning outcome:


The course will give students knowledge how to plan and undertake a master thesis using social science methods focusing on problem statements in nature-based tourism, outdoor recreation and natural resource management. The course provides students the skills to undertake a scientific study. This includes knowledge about opportunities and constraints involved with quantitative and qualitative methods in social science research. The students will also learn how to select an appropriate method based on different problem statements, and how conclusions drawn from the analysis are constrained by the research design.


After completing the course, students will have skills in research design and be familiar with the most common methods used to analyze social-science problem statements in nature-based tourism, outdoor recreation and natural resource management. Students will be able to apply different methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection (interviews, questionnaires). Students will also be familiar with software for quantitative and qualitative analyses, and be capable to apply statistical methods (parametric and non-parametric tests, analysis of variance, factor-- and regression analyses).

General competence:

Students should gain increased insights and understanding how empirical research is undertaken, and what methodological standards, knowledge and resources are needed. Further, the course will give an increased competence in performing empirical research and interact with researchers. 

Learning activities:
The course is based on a combination of lectures, exercises, group and individual work. The course ends with an assignment where each student describes the method for an assumed master thesis. 
Teaching support:
Teachers are available during lectures and exercises, or upon appointment.

Main text book:

Brunt, P., Horner, S. & Semley, N. (2017) Research Methods in Tourism, Hospitality & Events Management. London, SAGE.

Selected chapters (put on CANVAS) from other sources notified upon at course start.

Basic statistics, STAT100 or equivalent.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Compulsory attendance at exercises.
Continuous exam where both individual assignment and the group assignment must be passed in order to pass the course.
Nominal workload:
150 hours.
Entrance requirements:
General study competense (GSK).
Type of course:
2-4 hours of lectures/exercises per week.
An external examiner sets the grade on the group paper in cooperation with an internal examiner. Internal sensors grade the individual paper.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått