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PhD course

Research Design, Methods, Ethics and Philosophy of Science

Main content

Course description

Language of instruction

English or Norwegian

Course content

Contents

  • Theory of science (including philosophy of science)
  • Research ethics
  • Research methods/design

General learning objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce and include PhD candidates to the professional academic community and to stimulate their development as innovative and high-quality researchers. Throughout the course the candidates will work on developing an understanding of the presuppositions of science (theory and philosophy of science) and research ethics, and how these topics apply and could be developed within their own field of research. Further, the candidates will learn how 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 different definitions and aims of science
  • 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 such 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
  • Has specific knowledge about the application and interpretation of Norwegian laws and regulations governing research ethics and health research

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 other candidates at the course
  • Can present and discuss issues related to research ethics, philosophy of science and research design/methodology in a written format.
  • Can evaluate the quality of empirical data and research
  • Can evaluate scientific publications in terms of the relation between problem, design, method, data and conclusion

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/or public health.

Compulsory Requirements

Compulsory assignments and attendance:

  • 80 % attendance of the lectures, seminars, group work and demonstrations/ practical activities
  • A short essay (500-1000 words), consisting of a brief description of a student┬┐s project
  • At least one ethical dilemma or question that can be discussed during the course.
  • At least one question to the panel discussing the relationship between science and practice.
  • Oral supervision on a paper draft including a plan for the paper for the course.

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"). 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 at the Faculty of Psychology. Other candidates may apply and will be able to participate if accepted by the course coordinator.

Additional 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 theoretical or empirical aspects (philosophical, ethical, and methodological) of the candidates' projects. In addition, the course aims at providing a general building, relevant across different research projects and academic traditions. The course contains lectures, seminars, group work, panel discussions and demonstrations/ practical activities.

Contact

Course coordinator:

Professor Henrik Berg: Henrik.Berg@uib.no

Administrative contact person:

Adviser Helen C. Green: helen.green@uib.no

Reading list

A reading list is provided for the course.

Contact

Exam information

Study period

Spring term each year.