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Postgraduate course

Research Methods, Ethics and Project Design

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeRELV309
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

10 ECTS

Level of Study

Master

Teaching semester

Spring

Place of Instruction

Online course, and therefore not restricted to Bergen

Objectives and Content

Objectives and Content:

The goal of the course is to learn about and apply research methods and ethics in the field of religious studies as well as to learn how to conduct a research writing project.

The course shall convey knowledge of central methodological issues as well as several core research methods from the human and social sciences used in the study of religion. In addition, the course offers knowledge about how to construct and write a research project.

Content: The course first treats several concepts and issues fundamental to the methodology of studying religion today (epistemology, comparison, feminist approaches to religion, and research ethics). Then it teaches a selection of methods used in religion (participant observation, interviewing, structured observation, content analysis, discourse analysis, history, hermeneutics, philology, and document analysis). The remainder of the course is dedicated to learning and applying techniques and strategies to write an effective research project, culminating in the writing of a proposal for an MA project.

RELV309 is mandatory in the Master¿s program in the Study of Religion, and for the students who take a master in the Study of Religion within the Teacher Education Program in History or Religion.

Learning Outcomes

The student shall by the end of the course have gained the following learning outcome defined in knowledge, skills, and general competence:

Knowledge:

The student

  • has knowledge of several concepts and issues fundamental to the methodology of studying religion today, namely epistemology, comparison, feminist approaches to religion, and research ethics.
  • has knowledge of the following methods used in religious studies mostly (but not exclusively) used in the social sciences: participant observation, interviewing, structured observation, content analysis, and discourse analysis.
  • has knowledge of the following methods used in religious studies mostly but not exclusively used in the human sciences: history, hermeneutics, philology, and document analysis.
  • has knowledge of a number of methods, techniques, and strategies to write an effective research dissertation.

Skills:

The student

  • is able to recognize and differentiate between different methodologies used in the field of religious studies.
  • is able to apply one or more of these methodologies to researching religious subjects.
  • is able to construct a research writing project according to common academic standards and norms.
  • is able to apply various techniques to improve one's written research argumentation and style.

General competence:

The student

has knowledge of and experience with several core issues in doing religious research, several central research methods used in religious studies, and with setting up, composing and improving written research projects.

Required Previous Knowledge

None

Recommended Previous Knowledge

The course literature is in English. Students should therefore have a sound knowledge of English

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

RELV306 and RELV309 are overlapping courses, and cannot be combined. A combination of the two courses will give a reduction of 10 study points/ECTS.

Access to the Course

Admission to the Master¿s Programme in the Study of Religions or other Master¿s Programmes at the UiB.

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and student activities in this course will entirely take place online:

  • short introductory videos.
  • Readings
  • following each video/reading there will be a short quiz, that tests the students basic understanding of the video/reading
  • individual feedback from the instructor
  • discussion entries (Every week at least one short answer to a specific question and a minimum of two responses to entries by other students.) Entries should be a minimum of 50 words long.
  • short written exercises (short assignments in which students practice different aspects of academic writing techniques) and reviews of other students' short written exercises

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • 70% of the total number of online quiz questions must be approved
  • 70% of the discussion entries  (at least 50 words long) must be approved
  • 70% of the short written exercises  and of the reviews of other students' short written exercises need to be approved

Forms of Assessment

Forms of assessment:

Students will write a research proposal for an MA project (2000 words).

Grading Scale

This course will be graded as passed/failed.

Assessment Semester

Spring. There will also be assessment early autumn semester for students with valid mandatory course requirements.

Reading List

The reading list consists of 500-800 pages. In addition, students will need to read discussion postings and submissions of other students.

The reading list is published by June 1st. for the autumn semester and by December 1st.  for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course unit will be evaluated regularly.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee for The Study of Religion

Course Coordinator

The Programme Committee for The Study of Religions, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religions (AHKR)

Course Administrator

Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR)

Contact

Contact Information

Study Advisor: advice@ahkr.uib.no