Methods in Water Science and Technology (MLJ690)

Methods in Water Science and Technology seeks to fill the gap between the theoretical courses of a master programme and the experimental and/or theoretical work to be conducted as part of the master thesis. Practical and theoretical introduction to scientific thinking, and especially experimental methods will be discussed, including basics of the philosophy of science, literature work and methods development and validation. All activities undertaken as part of the course will be applicable for the candidate's individual master thesis, and will be planned, conducted and evaluated in cooperation with the candidate's master thesis advisor.

Course description for study year 2022-2023


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Three modules will be undertaken:

1) Introduction to the philosophy of science and experimental thinking. Historical and modern aspect of the philosophy of science will be introduced including paradigms, scientific laws and theories, hypothesis and testing hypothesis, models and model thinking, induction and intuition, observations and experiments. Furthermore, theory and methods for experimental design will be introduced, and complemented with repetition/introduction of practical statistics for the experimentalist (error estimation, error propagation, data rejection, statistical hypothesis testing, etc.).

In module 2) students will learn how to seek relevant scientific information, and how to critically evaluate the quality of that information, Furthermore, reading and writing the scientific way is discussed. Introduction to ways of scientific communication is presented, and applications and rules for citations introduced. Practical training on application of scientific databases will be given, using the university library resources and applied on the individual student's master topic. In cooperation with the agreed master thesis advisor, students will define a core syllabus consisting of 6 to 12 articles to be studied. Each student will then write a review article on the core syllabus subject.

In module 3) students and the appointed advisor will single out a method or technique to be applied as part of the master thesis work and students will individually study, establish and validate the method. A method report is to be submitted that will include a thorough description of the theory behind the method, materials and methods used to establish and test the method, reporting results from testing, calibration and validation, and discuss limits of applications and conclusions for the application of that method in the master thesis project.

Learning outcome

After passing this course the students should be able to:
  • Have a scientific and experimental basis to start thesis preparations, know how to search the literature within his/her research area, and be able to write a scientific report on his/her work.
  • Understand and be able to reflect upon the philosophy of science, scientific methods within natural science and technology, scientific communication and methodological planning, experimental design and scientific evaluation and reporting.
  • Identify, search and interpret scientific information, including plan and perform structured database searches, correctly apply references and perform critical review evaluation of scientific/pseudoscientific material.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Students must have passed a minimum of ECTS within the scope of the master programme and be in position of starting their master thesis project upon completion of this course. For further information, see Regulations for Bachelor's and Master's thesis.


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

Portfolio evaluation based on assignments in module 1, 2 and 3; and an evaluation from your advisor. The assignments count 1/3 each, and will be marked as Pass/Fail. All of the assignments must be passed to be able to have the final grade. The final grade in this course is Pass or Fail.If any of the assignments are evaluated to a non-passing grade, the student will be given a second chance to submit the assignment within a date defined by the course lecturer. 

Method of work

A total of 40 hours lectures, 60 hours supervised self studies and 80 hours laboratory/method work. 

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Methods in Water Science and Technology (MET110_1) 10

Open for

Master i Environmental Technology. Open on demand and by request from lecturer.

Course assessment

Forms and/or discussion according to the faculty quality assurance programme.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto