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PhD course

Research Design, Methods, Ethics and Philosophy of Science

Course description

Language of instruction

English or Norwegian

Course content

Contents

  • Philosophical presuppositions of science (philosophy of science)
  • Definitions and aims of science, knowledge and research in psychological, health and educational sciences
  • Research ethics
  • Research planning, organization and financing
  • Research design
  • Research methods

General learning objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce and include PhD candidates into the professional academic community and to stimulate their development as contributors to innovative and high quality research. Throughout the course the candidates will work on developing an understanding for the philosophical presuppositions of science (philosophy of science) and research ethics, and how these topics apply and could be further developed within their own field of research. Further, the course emphasizes development of skills related to research planning, organization, and financing, as well as capacity to select appropriate research design and methodology.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the candidate should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

After completion of the course, the candidate:

  • Has in depth understanding of definitions and aims of science in their field and how these can be met and further developed
  • Has advanced knowledge about the application of philosophy of science in psychological, health and educational sciences and how it can be used to improve the quality of the research
  • Has in depth understanding of the core principles of creative and effective planning, design, organization, and financing of research
  • Has insight into the ethical challenges and considerations in psychological, health and educational sciences
  • Can judge the appropriateness and application of different methodological approaches, i.e., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods
  • Has specific knowledge about the application and interpretation of Norwegian laws and regulations governing researchers¿ responsibilities regarding data security and data storage (incl. the Personal Data Act)
  • Has specific knowledge about the application and interpretation of Norwegian laws and regulations governing research ethics and health research (incl. the Personal Data Act and the Health Research Act)
  • Has insight into the publishing field and open access requirements.

Skills

After completion of the course, the candidate:

  • Can develop and discuss the philosophical, cultural and social basis of their own research project, as well as that of the other candidates at the course
  • Can discuss issues related to research ethics, philosophy of science and research design/methodology in a written scientific format.
  • Can evaluate the quality of empirical data
  • Can evaluate scientific publications in terms of the relation between problem, design, method, data and conclusion
  • Can develop, implement, evaluate and document strategies for systematic searching of literature
  • Can use appropriate reference management software
  • Can locate and understand the use of bibliometric indicators for research impact

General competence

After completion of the course, the candidate:

  • Can identify and reflect on important theoretical, methodological and ethical challenges and dilemmas within their own research field, including researcher visibility, funding issues, and dissemination of findings
  • Can identify and master theoretical, methodological and ethical challenges and dilemmas in other areas of psychological, health and educational sciences

Study period

Spring term each year.

Credits (ECTS)

8 ETCS

Specific terms

Pre-requirements

Master Degree or equivalent in disciplines relevant to educational sciences, psychology and public health.

Compulsory Requirements

Compulsory assignments and attendance:

  • 80 % attendance of the lectures, seminars, group work and demonstrations/ practical activities
  • A short essay (800-1000 words), consisting of a brief description of a student¿s project and a discussion of one or more ethical questions related to the project
  • At least one ethical dilemma or question that can be discussed during the course (up to 100 words)
  • A theoretical issue relating to the candidate¿s own research (up to 100 words)
  • An extended abstract / draft of the final paper (800-1000 words)
  • Written feedback on extended abstracts in a form of a typical academic review

Form of assessment

The evaluation procedures of the Faculty of Psychology will be applied.

Pass or Fail:

  • Approval of a paper (4500 - 6000 words) reflecting on relevant theoretical or empirical aspects of the candidate's project. The paper is to be evaluated ("accepted"/"revise and resubmit") by the course coordinator or the appropriate course instructor. The estimated time effort for the paper is 2 weeks. See a separate document for specific information about the requirements of the paper.
  • Pass with 80 % attendance of the lectures, seminars and group work and demonstrations/ practical activities, submission of essay and approval of course paper.

Who may participate

The course is primarily for doctoral candidates. Others may apply.

Addtional information

Supplementary course information

Teaching Methods:

Based on a summary of the candidates¿ own research proposal, theoretical or empirical challenges will be discussed during the course. The aim is that the course will contribute to identify and clarifying certain theoretical or empirical aspects (philosophical, ethical, and methodological) of the candidates¿ project.

In addition there will be lectures, seminars, group work and demonstrations/ practical activities.

Contact

Course coordinator:

Associate Professor Marina Hirnstein: marina.hirnstein@uib.no

Administrative contact person:

Senior executive officer Helen C. Green: helen.green@uib.no

Reading list

A reading list is provided for the course.

Exam information

Study period

Spring term each year.