SUM4011B – Research Methods (II)

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course is open only to CES master students

This course builds on SUM 4011A Research Methods (I) and focuses on the use of multi- and interdisciplinary research methodologies. With a focus on concrete projects and available methodologies and research techniques, the aim is to prepare students for handling their own projects. The course also introduces students to a variety of writing strategies (exposition, argumentation, description, polemic, etc.).

Central issues are

1) how to write a project description,
2) the purpose, planning and handling of fieldwork
3) how to develop good research design.

Particular challenges related to interdisciplinarity are treated. All students will be required to attend this unit.

Learning outcome

To provide students with experience and knowledge in how to design, plan and conduct interdisciplinary research projects, such as their own masters thesis.

The case studies provided by SUM researchers will also be used to provide students who may go on to careers in research and policy areas with practical training.

Part of this course is to write a project description

Project description

The project description encorporates the project goals, approach to the problem with the important hypothesis/questions, theory/background, method and outline of the thesis (10 pages approximately). The writing of the project description will be one of the exercises addressed in SUM 4011B, conducted after Easter in each Spring Semester.

Thesis advisor

In the end of the semester a thesis advisor will be assigned to each student. The advisor councils the student on the project description and recommends final approval to the Masters Program Director.


This course is open only to CES master students


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The Masters study is directed at students with a background in humanities, social sciences or the natural sciences. The minimum requirement for admission is that the students must have a bachelor’s degree (equivalent at least to a good second class honours degree from a reputable university). Students must also have a good working knowledge of English. Those whose language of instruction at school and university was not English must produce evidence of a TOEFL score of at least 580 (paper based) or 237 (computer based) and TWE of 4.5, or an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no individual band below 6.

Students with completed norwegian "videregående" don't have to prove their knowledge of english.

SUM4011b is only open for CES master students


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Term paper in form of a maximum 10 pages project description including;

  • formulation of central question(s)
  • rationale of choice of topic
  • theoretical approach
  • methodological approach
  • timetable, including fieldwork if relevant
  • references

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination


Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






This course will no longer be offered


This course will no longer be offered

Teaching language