SUM4100 – Research Methods and Project Design
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary research process. The course takes as a departing point the actual research themes of interest to our students and from there students get immersed in developing their own research project. The course examines different research methods and the theoretical assumptions behind each and how they can be put to use in practices. We will also discuss values, ethics and politics of research. The focus of the course is on each student research ideas and project.
The course starts with a reflection and discussion about interdisciplinarity, students define their research theme and work through the course with developing their research question and research project which includes choosing appropriate methods. We recommend students to start thinking about their chosen topic early on. The course consist of a combination of lectures, labs with practical exercises, assignments, group discussions and four extended peer-review workshops. Students are expected to participate actively in all activities of the course. Attending all lectures and participating in all practical exercises is obligatory.
After completing the course, the students will
- Have acquired insight in different research traditions and epistemologies
- Have got a deeper understanding of how research as a process is conducted
- Be able to apply and evaluate methodological and method concepts at an advanced level
- To identify and discuss the challenges and dilemmas involved in applying methods in concrete, practical contexts
- Have command over a broad spectrum of perspectives within different research tradition (quantitative/qualitative/mixed-methods)
- Be able to apply a critical perspective regarding how methods are used in research
- Be able to summarize, present and independently reflect about methods and research
- Be able to collaborate with other students in class
- Be able to criticise and comment the work of fellow students in a respectful, reflected and constructive manner.
- Have developed a deep understanding and respect for the academic way of thinking
- Have developed academic curiosity and respect for academic and ethical values
This course is only for students who are enrolled in the Master Programme Development, Environment and Cultural Change (DECC)
An average of three sessions (lectures or seminars) per week. We expect students to attend all sessions. This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance: https://www.uio.no/english/studies/examinations/compulsory-activities/hf-oblig.html
2019: A portfolio of activities and a 10 pages project description graded pass/fail. All activities are obligatory.
- Assignment 1: Research theme and research question (half a page).
- Assignment 2: Defining research goals and objectives (half a page).
- Assignment 3: An essay on the issue “interdisciplinary research” (1000 words).
- Assignment 4: Research proposal (10 pages).
2018 - : A 10 page project description, graded pass/fail. In addition, students must submit obligatory assignments throughout the duration of the course.
2017: 4 hour School exam in November (reduced because of transition to digital exam instead of hand written). In addition, students must write a 10 page project description to complete the course. The project description is graded pass/fail.
2015 - 2016: 5 hour School exam in December and to complete the course, students must in addition write a 10 page project description (students are awarded either a passing or a failing grade on the project description).
2012-2014: The course has a 3 day Home Exam of maximum 10 pages. To complete the course, students must in addition write a 10 page project description (Students are awarded either a passing or a failing grade on the project description).
Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Withdrawal from an examination
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.