spring 2019

SVF-3025 Methods in social research: An interdisciplinary approach - 10 stp

Sist endret: 12.08.2019

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Type of course

The course is mandatory for students in the Master's of Peace and Conflict Transformation.

It can be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor`s degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences.

An average grade equivalent to C or better in the Norwegian grading system is required.

Course contents

The course is designed to acquaint students with key concepts and skills in relation to research design and methodological approaches. It also contributes to the understanding of theoretical, ethical and practical issues surrounding research planning, data collection and analysis, and report/thesis writing.

Objective of the course

Students, who have successfully completed the course, should have the following learning outcomes:


  • Have an understanding of the aims, principles and practice of social research
  • Have an understanding of the philosophical debates underlying research methods in the social sciences
  • Have an understanding of the interplay between methods (techniques of evidence gathering) and methodology (the theory and analysis of how research should proceed).

Analytical understanding:

  • Have the ability and confidence to determine the contexts within which to use particular social research methods
  • Have a grasp of the key components of a research proposal and the related methods for data collection and analysis
  • Have the ability to sort out the practicalities involved in planning research on sensitive issues and doing fieldwork overseas.

Skills and competences:

  • Capable of applying basic research tools to the design of a master's project that involves data collection
  • Capable of presenting and analysing field data, as well as writing a research report or thesis
  • Capable of managing the ethical and security issues associated with fieldwork
  • Capable of taking responsibility for one's own learning by working independently towards the realisation of the course objectives.

Language of instruction

All lectures, seminar discussions, readings, assignments and the final exam shall be in English.

Teaching methods

A mix of lectures and seminars according to a detailed plan


The learning outcomes can only be achieved through active student participation. Students are thus expected to read and prepare before every lecture and/or seminar session.


The course is to be evaluated at the SSL (Student-Staff Liaison) forum in spring semester, as well as in an anonymous online evaluation every other spring semester.


Candidates will write a school exam of 6 hours, answering several short and one long question. 

Grading will be on the scale of A to F, where F=Fail. 

The course is open for re-sit examination in the following semester.

Date for examination

Written exam 08.03.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Approx. 750 pages.