Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Researching Global Challenges

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The purpose of this course is to provide methodological foundations for, and practical experience in, conducting research on global challenges. The course provides students with a methodological compass for identifying and choosing suitable research puzzles. By specifying research questions, selecting theoretical lenses, and operationalizing concepts, students are introduced to key debates in the philosophy of sciences and learn how research design choices build on these. Students will learn about the relation between problem identification, developing theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, the choice of methods, as well as data selection and analysis. The course will also address issues of research ethics, including the politics of knowledge production on global challenges.

Learning Outcomes


The student has advanced knowledge of:

  • philosophy of sciences and methodological debates such as positivism vs. constructivism
  • the role - and alignment - of theory, methods, and data in any research design
  • principles, ethical and quality standards for research design


The student can:

  • take informed research design choices and justify them to develop their own high quality research design
  • validate the quality of a study and its findings
  • evaluate and critically assess otherĀ“s research designs

General competence

The student can:

  • apply different perspectives from the philosophy of sciences in order to argue for specific research design choices
  • support fellow students in developing high quality research designs
  • critically discuss the politics of knowledge generation on the governance of global challenges

Recommended Previous Knowledge


Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is open for students who have been accepted to the Master's program in Politics and Governance of Global Challenges.

Exchange students at master level may be accepted upon application. Applications may be rejected due to capacity.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group work and seminars

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The assessment consists of an approved draft research proposal, presentation of the draft proposal at a seminar, discussion of two other studentĀ“s draft and mandatory attendance at a seminar. Compulsory assignments and attendance must be completed to take the exam. Approved compulsory requirements are valid in the current and the following exam semester. Compulsory assignments and attendance must be completed to take the exam.

Forms of Assessment

Submission of a research proposal, 5000 words (+/- 10 %).

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester. Only students who have a vvalid document of absence will be entitled to take a new exam the following semester.

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB.

Course Administrator

The Department of Government at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.

Contact Information

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Research proposal

    Submission deadline
    09.11.2023, 14:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam
    • Digital innlevering, Inspera