This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Learning outcome

The following learning outcomes will be achieved after completion of the course:
The PhD candidate will:
  • Possess advanced knowledge of professional relationships in health- and social work as a psychosocial research field.
  • Possess advanced knowledge of relevant methods for psychosocial research.

The PhD candidate can:
  • Critically analyze and reflect upon the relationship between intra-and interpersonal-, institutional- and societal dimensions of experience, and their consequences for the development and sustainment of professional relationships in health- and social work.
  • Apply psychosocial perspectives and methods to study concrete professional relational experiences.

General competence
The PhD candidate can:
  • Organize and present selected research literature with a psycho-social approach to professional relationships in health- or social work and lead discussions in open seminars/groups.
  • Search for and apply psycho-social research literature to analyze a self-selected research problem connected to relationally intensive work that can further be developed into a scientific article.


The course addresses researchers within the health- and social sciences broadly, in the sense that it focuses on professional relationships. Professional relationships are understood as crucial to the health and wellbeing for patients/users as well as the professionals. However, relationships are infused by "the inner world" of emotions and personal experiences, as well as being influenced by "the external world", which include professional traditions, institutional culture and structures and national and international policies. Thus, in this course we apply a psycho-social perspective on professional relationships in order to attend to the dialectic between personal experience and social conditions for relational work. The PhD candidate will be equipped with an understanding of challenges in professional relational work, through in-depth knowledge of the interrelationships between intra- and interpersonal-, institutional- and societal dimensions of experience. This includes learning about analytic strategies for conducting psycho-social research. Care ethics is a key aspect of every professional relationship and the literature will therefore also encompass this perspective.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Master level within medicine, health sciences, societal safety, social science, or similar educations.


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual paper1/1 Pass - Fail
Individual paper of 5000 words (+/- 10 %) on a self-selected topic approved by the course coordinator. List of self-selected literature (approx. 500 pages) to be submitted together with the individual paper. The paper will be assesed as pass/fail.

Coursework requirements

  • To present scientific literature in open seminars/discussion groups.
  • To prepare a short abstract (approx 250 words) on the self-selected research topic to be addressed in the individual paper. The abstract should include background, topic, research problem/question, and plan for relevant literature searches. The abstract is to be approved by the course coordinator.
  • To produce a list of self-selected literature of approx 500 pages relevant for the individual paper.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Birgitta Haga Gripsrud , Ellen Ramvi

Method of work

The working methods of the course may vary depending on the number of participants. Methods include supervision, scientific paper writing, presentation of scientific material, critique and defense. The course will be based on open seminars/discussion groups where candidates present and lead discussions related to the curriculum contents.

Open to

PhD candidates enrolled in PhD programmes at the University of Stavanger (Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Health Sciences) or accredited universities/university colleges in Norway or abroad.  

Course assessment

Early dialogue with the PhD candidates and submission of final electronic evaluation form according to UiS regulations.


Certain adjustments in the mandatory course curriculum can be made. Any adjustments will be published on Canvas at the start of the course.
Armstrong, D. and Rustin, M. (Eds) 2015. Social defences against anxiety. The Tavistock clinic series. London: Karnac Books (p.1-59 and p.111-189 = 138pp)
Clarke, S. and Hoggett, P. (Eds) 2009. Researching beneath the surface. Psycho-social research methods in practice. Explorations in psycho-social studies series. London: Karnac Books. p. 1-29 and p. 121-169 (=77 pp)
Froggett, L. (2002) Love, hate and welfare: psychosocial approaches to policy and practice. Bristol: Policy Press (211 p)
Levine. D.P. (2013) The capacity for ethical conduct. London and New York: Routledge. (p.1- 59)

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 21.07.2019