PhD-course in Research Design (DUH225)

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


The course offers an introduction to research design particularly related to quantitative and qualitative approaches and mixed-methods. Lectures will present an overview of different types of design within the three main types, with examples from ongoing or recent research projects. In seminars students will take active part in critical and constructive discussions of the designs of fellow students, discussions of examples of research designs as well as creative design processes. The seminars will be the starting point for the work with the course assignment.

Learning outcome


The student will gain knowledge of:

  • What a research design is
  • Different types of qualitative and quantitative designs, and mixed methods designs
  • The foundations and the appropriateness of different design in the social sciences and the humanities.


By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the inherent logic of a research design
  • Discuss and evaluate appropriate research design
  • Reflect on and if necessary revise the design of a research project
  • Develop an appropriate research design

General competence

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand similarities and differences between types of research design
  • Identify and reflect on different challenges related to the development of an appropriate research design
  • Apply skills and knowledge on research design to develop and refine a research proposal

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Folder evaluation 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation will be based on a portfolio consisting of three papers (total of 4000 words +/- 10 %), allowing the students to apply their skills and knowledge on research design:
• Write a new abstract of your PhD project in which your research design is clearly presented
• On the basis of your PhD project, describe and discuss the limitations of your current research design.
• Groupwork: Choose one of the PhD-projects in the group. Formulate a research design to this project where you explore a different research design than the current one.

Coursework requirements

Active participation in lectures and seminars
Attendance at the sessions is obligatory. A student who, for whatever reason, is absent from 25% or more of the sessions will not be permitted to submit the paper.

Course teacher(s)

Study Program Director:

Hein Berdinesen

Course teacher:

Per Henning Uppstad

Course coordinator:

Arne Olav Nygard

Course teacher:

Atle Skaftun

Method of work

The course will be held as lectures and seminars with discussions and student activity.

A detailed timetable will be available to the course participants at the beginning of the semester.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
PhD Course in Research Design (DLV225_1) 5

Open for

The course is open for PhD-candidates at the Faculty of Arts and Education and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stavanger. PhD-candidates at PhD-programs at other research institutions may also participate in the course.

The course is taught in Norwegian unless some of the participants do not understand a Scandinavian language. In this case, English will be the teaching language.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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