spring 2020
HEL-8041 Researching disability - 5 ECTS

Application deadline

Application deadline for none-UiT students/external applicants is 1 June for autumn semester and 1 December for spring semester. Application code 9303 in SøknadsWeb. In addition you must also write the course code in the commentfield. 

Type of course

The course is available for PhD students on other programs, and course students that meet the admission requirements. 

Admission requirements

PhD students or holders of a Norwegian master´s degree of five years or 3+2 years (or other equivalent Norwegian or international degrees). 

PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered as PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.

Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you see the following list: https://www.nokut.no/en/surveys-and-databases/nokuts-country-database/GSU-list/

Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries

For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document: Proficiency in English - PhD level studies 

The PhD course will be held annually.  A minimum of 8 qualified students must be admitted, in order to start the course. 

Course content

Disability research centres on the methodological approaches and the theoretical perspectives that underpin research and promote the understanding of the phenomenon of disability. The participatory and emancipatory strategies that are two vital components of the inclusive research approach are the focus in this course.

The course explores and critically reflects on the significance of the inclusive research paradigm in qualitative disability research, the challenges in engaging disabled people as active participants in research processes and the ethical concerns in doing disability research. In addition, the course provides a critical evaluation of the main models and perspectives of disability that underlie disability research.

The models to evaluate include the medical, social, relational, affirmative and the psycho-emotional. Attention will be on theoretical perspectives including the sociological, the right to life, disability art and culture.

Objectives of the course

Objectives of the course (Learning outcome)


The student has:

  • in-depth knowledge on the varied conceptions of the disability phenomenon
  • understanding of the complex implications of disability definitions and perspectives
  • overview of the methods and processes in disability research
  • insight into the main methodological and ethical debates in disability research.


The student can:

  • discuss the relevance of disability perspectives in research
  • critically review disability theory and methods literature
  • reflect on and explain the implications of choices made in the research process
  • address ethical issues in inclusive research.

General competence

 The course will enable the student to:

  • develop, evaluate and lead research programs in ways that best address the perspectives of people with disabilities
  • assess the need for and describe strategies for user involvement in research
  • evaluate the ethical issues in disability research
  • participate in debates on issues of importance to people with disabilities.

Language of instruction and examination


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

The course will be taught i English, if any participants do not understand Norwegian. 

Teaching methods

Lectures, group-work/plenary discussion, debates


The following requirements must be met to be admitted to sit the examination (work requirements):

-Obligatory participation in course activities.

-Active participation in the workshop "Doing inclusive research".

-Individual presentation of IR strategies in the students own field at the end of the course week


Home examination, max 5000 words, graded pass or fail.

Work requirements:

- Active participation in the workshop "Doing inclusive research".

- Individual presentation of IR strategies in the students own field at the end of the course week.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Harstad |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: HEL-8041
  • Tilleggsinformasjon
  • Time and place
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet