FHV315 Philosophy of Science and Research Methods, Public Health

Credits (ECTS):15

Course responsible:Kariann Krohne

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:375 hours.

Teaching and exam period:The course starts up in August, but runs through the autumn parallel

About this course

The course provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and various quantitative and qualitative research designs. The course aims to prepare the students for their independent research work with the project plan (FHV353) and the master's thesis (M30-FOL).

Emphasis is placed on giving the students an increased understanding of the philosophy of science, as well as an increased understanding of the connection between different research questions and the choice of research design. The course highlights different qualitative and quantitative research designs, data collection methods, and analytical tools. For example, the students be given a practical introduction to basic statistics, key statistical concepts, and relevant statistics programs, as well as qualitative data collection methods such as interviews, observation, and documents. The course will enable students to critically assess and reflect upon the researcher's role, and work in line with current research ethics and the quality criteria in research.

Learning outcome


  • Have knowledge of important traditions within the philosophy of science and approaches relevant to the field.
  • Have knowledge of the ethical issues related to research in the field.
  • Have knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research design, data collection methods, and data analysis traditions.
  • Have knowledge of assessing the quality of qualitative and quantitative research.


  • Be able to reflect critically and independently on relationships between research questions, research design, choice of methodology and research ethics.
  • Be able to use important qualitative and quantitative methods and software for analysis.
  • Be able to reflect critically on the choice of research design, methodology and research results based on scientific arguments.


  • Be able to apply their knowledge and skills on research related issues
  • Be able to analyze and handle relevant ethical issues connected to practice and research
  • Be able to communicate issues connected to the field, and analyzes and conclusions based on the discipline's expression, both with experts and the public
  • Be able to contribute to innovation in research and evidence-based practice and participate in professional critical reflection.
  • Lectures, lectures via video, group work, data-lab and self study
  • Canvas and access to staff during office hours
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • Combined assessment: Assignments in philosophy of science and in qualitative methods, written exam in quantitative method. Written exam (2 hours) count 40 % and each assignment 30 % of final grade. All parts have to be passed to obtain a final grade. A-F.

    If the student is not able to pass on one or more of the assignments or on the exam, these can normally be taken again within 5 years, after which the entire course must be taken again.

  • External examiner will participate in part of the evaluation.
  • The course is scheduled with 5 gatherings, approx.15 days full time.
  • M-FOL and M-FOL-DEL
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)