MINA310 Methods in Natural Sciences

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Dag Anders Brede

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .

About this course

The course will give masters students practical and detailed understanding on how to plan and conduct a scientific study according to accepted scientific standards. The course is suited for students studying natural sciences (e.g. environmental sciences, ecology, biology, forest science and natural resource management). The various phases of the work on a master’s thesis will be covered in weekly lectures. Students will be introduced to the statistical software R and computer exercises will be given to familiarize the students with the preparation, visualization, and exploration of different types of scientific data. Students shall develop and write a plan and a description of their own future master’s thesis study in English. The course will also guide students on how to recognize and handle common ethical problems that arise in research.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: After completing the course, students will know how scientific studies within environmental sciences, ecology, and natural resource management are conducted according to accepted scientific methods. This include all phases of a research project from practical planning up to writing and presentation of scientific results.

Skills: After completing the course, students will be able to plan and conduct laboratory or field studies under supervision. Students will be able to judge, select, and define problems suitable for scientific studies, identify and gather relevant information, formulate scientific questions and plan how the data should be collected and analyzed. Further, students should be able to present, explain and justify their work in a master's thesis format with a summary, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references following accepted scientific standards and conventions.

General competence: After completing the course, students shall possess the competence in planning, implementing, and presenting scientific research including increased awareness of how research is conducted and of the standards, knowledge and skills required.

  • The course consists of lectures that illuminate the most important topics. An introduction to the statistical software R and computer exercises will be given to familiarize the students with the preparation, visualization, and exploration of different types of scientific data. The course concludes with each student preparing a term paper in English consisting of a plan and description of the student's own future master's degree work.
  • The teachers are present or available for individual questions during the lab exercises, and during lectures and normal office hours.
  • Completed Bachelor´s degree and approved admission to a Master´s degree program in Natural Sciences.
  • The cours is evaluated on the basis of a term paper.

  • The students supervisor on the master project and the course responsible are internal examinator on the term paper. External examinator approve the method of evaluation.
  • Lectures (minimum 80% attendance) and approved statistical group report
  • It is assumed that the students have chosen a topic and a main supervisor for their master thesis no later than March 1st. Participants are required to understand, explain and justify the main elements of their intended projects and, based on that, to provide a written plan (term paper). The main supervisor will assist in the evaluation of the project assignment.
  • Lectures: 15-20 hours. Exercises: 10-20 hours. Own effort: 90-100 hours
  • ECOL300 and MINA310(1) with 5 ects.
  • Special requirements in Science