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This is the study programme for 2020/2021.


This course approaches science from different angles: The philosophy of science, including various topics related to science and the environment, and methods applied in social research, with an emphasis on research design. The overall aim is to present the current understanding of scientific activities, especially within the social sciences, and to stimulate critical thinking by examining a selection of original perspectives on science and the current state of the global environment and sustainable development.

Learning outcome

Knowledge
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
  • demonstrate knowledge about what science is and how it is conducted.
  • understand current perspectives on social research.
  • acquire a frame of reference and concepts that enable them to classify and evaluate scientific contributions from several social science disciplines.

Skills
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
  • apply and analyse various theories of science.
  • reflect on the placement of particular types of research within science at large.
  • reflect critically on different perspectives on science and the environment.
  • understand the relevance of different research methods, both quantitative and qualitative.
  • be able to participate in the methodology discussions in empirical social sciences.
  • be able to evaluate social science research.

General competence
Students who successfully complete the course will acquire the following skills:
  • Capacity for analysis of research based on fundamental philosophy of science.
  • Capacity for contextualizing specific environmental and sustainable development problems with regard to more general perspectives on science and the environment.
  • Ability to relate critically to the choice and application of different research methods.
  • An epistemological foundation for life-long learning.

Contents

The course consists of two elements: introduction to the philosophy of science, including selected topics related to perspectives on science, the environment and sustainable development, and an introduction to research methods in social research, with emphasis on research design.
The introduction to the philosophy of science envelops important concepts such as science, reasoning, knowledge, and rationality.
Both elements of the course will be taught making use of first lectures and then teacher-assisted seminars. In the seminars on research methods in social research, the students will be tasked with assessing academic credibility and stipulating research.

Required prerequisite knowledge

None.

Exam

Weight Duration Marks Aid
Exam at home1/13 daysA - F
The length of the home exam should be approximately 3.000 words (+/- 10%) excluding reference list.

Coursework requirements

Participation in group assignment in the philosophy of science., Participation in group assignment in research methods, Student assignments
Compulsory group assignment.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Tarjei Mandt Larsen
Course teacher
Torvald Øgaard
Programme coordinator
Oluf Langhelle

Method of work

Lectures, seminars, and prepared discussions in class.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Research Methodology and Philosophy (MHR180_1) 10

Open to

City and Regional Planning - Master of Science
Energy, Environment and Society - masterstudium
Societal safety - Master's degree programme

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.

Literature


Link to reading list


This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 07.07.2020