spring 2024
HEL-8040 Theory of science, research ethics and research design - 7 ECTS

Type of course

The course is incorporated in the essential part of the PhD education at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and is compulsory for PhD students at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The course can be taken as a singular course

PhD students and students at the Student Research Program at UiT The Arctic University of Norway register for class and exam in Studentweb by September 1st for autumn semester and February 1st for spring semester.

Other applicants apply for the right to study by June 1st for courses that are taught in the fall semester and December 1st for courses that are taught in the spring semester. Application is sent through SøknadsWeb. Please use the application code "9301 - Singular courses at the PhD level". If granted admission to the course students must register for class and exam in Studentweb by September 1st for autumn semester and February 1st for spring semester.


Admission requirements

PhD students and students at the Student Research Programme, or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+2 years (or equivalent) may be admitted.

This course has a maximum capacity of 50 students. If there are more applicants than available seats in the course, students will be given priority from category 1 to 3:

1. PhD students and students participating in the Student research Programme, both at the Faculty of Health Science

2. PhD students and students at a Student Research Programme at UiT and other universities

3. Applicants who have minimum a master’s degree or equivalent, but have not been admitted to a PhD programme

Should we have to make priorities within category 1, students who have gotten the furthest in their course of study and have this course as a compulsory part of their training, will be given priority.


Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

HEL-8010 Research Ethics and Theory of Science 5 ects
SVF-8038 Research Ethics 3 ects
BIO-8301 Basic Course in Biomedical Science 5 ects
PSY-8010 Research ethics 3 ects
SVF-8600 Philosophy and Ethics of Science 3 ects

Course content

This course has three components, theory of science, research ethics and research design. In the course, we will focus on how and why these elements are highly integrated in research.

Theory of science analyses the methods of inquiry used in various sciences. The overall aim is to clarify and question assumptions scientists often take for granted or do not explicitly discuss. The shaping of scientific theories and results is partly due to historical, political, societal and cultural forces. It is also important to clarify cultural and societal consequences of scientific activity. Through the presentation of theory of science, the course focuses on which kinds of activity count as science, and what is the basis of scientific methods.

Both society and science change continually and new ethical challenges have arisen, in relation to e.g. frontiers of new technologies, open science, dilemmas according to authorship and conflicting interests in multi-professional research teams.

Conducting research according to ethical principles is fundamental. The course will address the requirements of international conventions and Norwegian legislation and the importance of reflexivity on ethical dilemmas in one's own research and how such dilemmas may be resolved.

The course will address the requirements of international conventions and Norwegian legislation and the importance of reflection on ethical dilemmas in one¿s own research and how such dilemmas may be resolved.

Both basic theory of science and different schools of knowledge have a strong impact on research designs, defining the nature of hypotheses, problems, research questions, methodology, methods and analysis. The course will address how to develop relevant research hypotheses or problems and choose adequate designs to address these, particularly how to do research in collaborative settings and work with complex interventions.

Overall, the course emphasizes how societal health problems or biomedical challenges are linked to relevant research approaches in terms of e.g. collaboration, engaged research, ethics and complex designs based on relevant theory of science. The aim is to enable students to understand their own research in a wider perspective and to critically reflect upon the basic assumptions, design and ethical dilemmas.


Objectives of the course

Knowledge:

By the end of this course, the candidate has knowledge that enables him/her to:

  • Discuss key topics in theory of science such as the foundation of different types of knowledge and research paradigms.
  • Discuss the scope, foci and limitations of different types of knowledge production.
  • Assess the usefulness and appropriateness of involving patient and the public in research
  • Identify and critically assess key ethical issues in health or biomedical research (e.g consent, plagiarism, authorship, use of animals)
  • Assess the suitability of, and justify choices of different designs when planning research.
  • Assess the consistency between theories of science, research questions, methodology and methods in a research design.
  • Discuss complex intervention designs as an example of addressing contemporary health challenges.

Skills:

By the end of this course, the candidate has skills that enables him/her to:

  • Identify and evaluate key topics in theory of science and how they are relevant to the students¿ fields of study.
  • Analyze and reflect on ethical questions and dilemmas related to the students¿ fields of study.
  • Plan and develop research projects in accordance with guidelines and norms for good ethical practice
  • Plan and develop research projects that incorporate patient and public involvement.
  • Develop appropriate research designs.
  • Critically assess the quality of research articles, e.g. in terms of design and user involvement.

General competence:

By the end of this course, the candidate is able to:

  • Identify and assess how issues in theory of science are relevant to the research undertaken.
  • Show good professional judgement in regards to common ethical dilemmas in research.
  • Define research involving patients and the public and make judgments on its relevance and application.
  • Distinguish between and evaluate the appropriateness of different research designs.
  • Engage in contemporary debates about the definition of, and priorities in health and biomedical research

Language of instruction and examination

The language of teaching will be English.

The language of the written assignments/exam is English or Norwegian.


Teaching methods

Hel-8040 is a 6- day course- given in two 3-day parts.

This course comprises lectures combined with active student teaching groups led by a mentor from Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT.


Schedule

Examination

Examination: Grade scale:
Off campus exam Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Attendance to lectures and group sessions Approved – not approved
Oral presentation of an academic article Approved – not approved
Oral presentation focusing on questions related to theory of science Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

Re-sit examination

Re-sit examination is offered for the course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 7
  • Course code: HEL-8040
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet