Researching Social Sciences: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations
Language of instruction
A basic research methods course (preferably at the master’s level). The students must satisfy the admission requirements for the PhD programme in Social Sciences.
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to
describe and explain the philosophical foundations of social science research
describe and explain the different research paradigms used in social science research, the process of conducting research, and how knowledge is transmitted and developed
formulate a research question and design a doctoral research project
apply the various research methods used in social science research: qualitative, quantitative, and proactive research
apply ethical standards in the dissertation work
The objective of the course is to develop knowledge and skills in the different facets of social science research. The relationship between research problem, design, and methods of analysis including ethical issues, are central elements.
philosophical foundations of social science research
research paradigms and progress in social science
formulating a research question
selecting methods in social sciences (qualitative and quantitative research methods, proactive research approaches, action and design research)
ethical issues in social science research
publishing in social sciences - the process up-close
The course will be conducted as a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars. Students are required to read the assigned literature before coming to each session. Students will be matched to a mentor in the first session who will guide them in developing and completing the term paper.
Participation in every session of the course unless previously agreed exemptions. In the event that a student misses a module or a part of it, s/he will be required to submit a written analysis and critique of a published article that has employed the module’s research method.
Assessment methods and criteria
The students will be evaluated based on a term paper (approximately 7000 words) developing a research design for their doctoral research project. The term paper will be graded as pass or fail, where pass is equivalent to a grade B or better.
The person responsible for the course, in consultation with the student representative, decides the method of evaluation and whether the courses will have a midterm- or end of term evaluation, see also the Quality System, section 4.1. Information about evaluation method for the course will be posted on Canvas.