Scientific Methods

7.5 Credits
Third Cycle
School of Education, Health and Social Studies
Subject field
Care Sciences (VÅRDVETS)
Educational Work (PEDAGARB)
Microdata Analysis (MIKRODAT)
Approved, 25 January 2018.
This syllabus is valid from 25 January 2018.
Revised, 01 October 2019.
Revision is valid from 01 October 2019.

Learning Outcomes

 The overall aim of the course is that postgraduate students develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of different approaches, designs and methods that can be used in research and of how these choices relate to different research traditions, theories and research questions.

After completing the course, postgraduate students shall be able to:
• evaluate the choice of study designs and methods of data generation based on different research traditions and theories, and the nature of different research questions,
• evaluate and critically review methods for generating quantitative as well as qualitative data,
• discuss and critically review different forms of analyses of both quantitative as well as qualitative data,
• conduct and critically review examples of data generation methods relevant to their own dissertation projects,
• evaluate the validity and reliability, credibility and authenticity of study designs that can be related to various scientific research traditions,
• argue for their own choice of study design for their dissertation project as well as for the choice of others, both in writing and orally, adopting a scientific approach.

Course Content

The course addresses different research traditions, study designs and methods for data generation. Different study designs, such as exploratory, descriptive, causal and experimental, are discussed and assessed in relation to research traditions, theories, and the nature of research questions as well as how methods of data generation can be evaluated in relation to these. The generation, compilation and analysis of data are tested, discussed and problematized based on validity and reliability, credibility and authenticity as well as in relation to theories and research questions.
Forms of data generation can be observation, questionnaire, experiment, interview and text analysis. The course illustrates a scientific approach: students must formulate a research question and choose an approach in terms of method and design, while also considering the generation and analysis of data.


Examination takes place through oral presentations and written assignments.

Forms of Study

Online lectures, seminars and individual assignments with applications for students’ own research projects.


The Swedish grades U–G.


  • General entry requirements for postgraduate studies.

Other Information

The course is taught online. Instruction is in English, and oral and written examinations are in English, unless stated otherwise