Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics

Study facts

Course codeBMED310
ECTS credits5
Teaching semesterAutumn
Number of semesters1
Teaching language
Study levelPostgraduate Courses
Belongs toThe Department of Biomedicine


Contact Information

Objectives and Content

The aim of the course can be summarized as:

1. To provide students with an introduction to scientific ways of thinking and working, and foundational problems within medical biology.

2. To provide students with an introduction to central questions of research ethics and science ethics in the context of medical biology research, including the relation between medical biology, biotechnology and society.

3. To develop the student's ability for critical reading of scientific research literature.

4. To give an introduction in the HSE aspects of experimental research within medical biology.

The course will prepare the students for the transition from lower degree studies to participation in research on the master level. Through critical reading, presentation and discussion of original scientific articles, the student will be introduced to central foundational problems of medical biology, including the problem of reductionism. The studentĀ“s ability to reflect upon research ethics and science ethics is a focal point of the course, as well as the role of research in society and HSE aspects of experimental research. Active participation is required. Evaluation will take place in the form of oral presentation of literature as well as the student's own home assignment. The topic for this assignment can be chosen freely inside the courses' objectives in agreement with the university teacher.

Subject Overlap


Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Lectures, seminars and guidance in work with the semester assignment.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Mandatory lecture participation.

Semester of Instruction


Access to the Course

Master in Medical Biology or Master in nutrition - Human nutrition.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:


  • Know the content of core principles and guidelines of research ethics and science ethics.
  • Give a systematic account of central foundational problems within medical biology research, such as the problem of reductionism.
  • Give an account of central ethical and social aspects of medical biology research.


  • Present main ideas and provide critical assessment of the main content and argumentation from scientific papers written within their own fields of research (in accordance with their masterĀ“s thesis specialization); orally as well as in writing.
  • Identify HSE challenges in particular work situations within laboratory or research work.
  • Identify ethical and social aspects and problems regarding practical research work and specific research assignments, and critically reflect on these aspects orally as well as in writing.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

The students are assumed to have basic knowledge of biology as well as philosophy of science at the level of "examen philosophicum".

Forms of Assessment

Evaluation of both semester assignment and oral presentations.

Grading Scale


Course Evaluation

Written evaluation on My Space/Mi side.