DR441E Research methods.

25 november 2015 00:00 - 27 november 2015 00:00


First gathering: 25. – 27.11.15. Second gathering 11. – 12.04.16.

Application form

Course Description

ECTS credits: 7.5
Level of course: PhD
Type of course: Elective
Duration: 2 semesters.
Study start: 2015/16.
First gathering: 25. – 27.11.15.
Second gathering 11. – 12.04.16.
Last application day: 06.11.15.
Year of study: 1-2
Study place: Steinkjer.
Faculty responsible: Business School UiN
Language of instruction: English.

Course coordinators: Knut Ingar Westeren and Hans Siggaard Jensen
Costs: No costs except semester registration fee and syllabus literature.

Course evaluation: The study programme is evaluated by students by way of course evaluation studies.

Description of the topic:

Course contents: 

First, we will provide an overview of the disciplines that usually are attached to research methods. Then we will look at some important research designs and their relationship to research methods as the hypothetical-deductive method, and the relationships between theory, tests and explanation. Further, the course will go into some key areas where research is being used and see how design/methods plays a role. We will also look at the discussion about quantitative and qualitative methods, and the discussion on measurement and what can be measured. Next, we will give a presentation of some methodological debates - from hermeneutic oriented disciplines to "new" disciplines such as communication and media. We will also look at relationship between objectivity and the normative.

Learning outcomes:

The student will have:
knowledge about the relationship between and research methods and research design and be able to see this in relation to the types of problems we want to solve through research.
knowledge about important discussions within the field of scientific methods, like causality, evidence and measurement.

The student will:
Be able to use the theoretical discussions the course takes up to shed light on important methodological issues in scientific research, for example in a PdD-thesis.
Be able to participate in the general discussion about importance of scientific methods for the interpretation of data

General competence
The student will have:
A general overview of the most important positions in the discussion about the scientific methods.

Especially recommended elective courses: No.

Offered as a free-standing course: Yes

Prerequisites: The student must have knowledge at master level.

Recommended previous knowledge: Not applicable.

Mode of delivery: The course is based on classroom instruction, group work and work with the mandatory assignment. We will follow up and give advice about the mandatory assignment on the Web.

Learning activities and teaching methods:
The course is assembly based, first, a gathering of three days, and some months later a gathering of two days. First gathering: 25.11.15 – 27.11.15. Second gathering 11. – 12.04.16. Attendance at the gatherings is required, shorter absences may be approved upon application. The workload of the course is such that the course section is of 5 ECTS and mandatory assignment is of 2.5 ECTS (both parts required for passing the course and receiving ECTS).
Assessment methods and criteria:
The course consists of the gatherings and the individual mandatory assignment. The mandatory assignment is the exam for the course. The course will be evaluated with the characters “pass” and “not pass”. When the mandatory assignment is submitted and evaluated to “pass” the student has finished the course, eligible to 7.5 ECTS. 

Work placement: Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading: The reading list is subject to amendments at semester start.

Overlapping courses: The course has no overlap with other topics.


 Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods. Oxford university press.

De Vaus, D. A., & de Vaus, D. (2001). Research design in social research. Sage.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

We will also make use of online resources such as us:

As part of the teaching we will use examples from research projects.