JUR9041 – Research ethics, academic writing and dissemination of research

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course covers three distinct, but related components.

  • A first component covers both formal and practical aspects of writing a PhD. -thesis, and of academic writing more generally. The main topics covered are: how to choose, justify and specify one’s research question; the writing process; the PhD. -thesis as a genre; and publishing strategies.
  • A second component covers research ethics. The course will present and critically discuss the legal rules relative to research ethics in Norway, the institutionalized system of research ethics in Norway, as well as the norms of research ethics prevalent both in Norway and in the international research community. In particular, the course will cover norms pertaining to plagiarism and good scientific practice as well as norms and legal requirements pertaining to the protection of participants in research and the processing of personal data. The course will further discuss whether there are specific research ethical challenges pertaining to legal research.
  • The third component covers the dissemination of research. The course will discuss why dissemination of research is an important aspect of academic life and give an overview of the many ways in which dissemination can take place: through blogs, social media, public lectures and debates, op-eds, etc. The course will further include practical workshops where participants can get more experience with different types of dissemination.

In order to profit maximally form the course, we recommend taking the course early in one’s PhD. - period.

Learning outcome

The course will provide:

  • Knowledge of the specific requirements of a PhD.-thesis
  • Knowledge of the obstacles which can hinder the writing process and of what can be done to ensure a good writing process
  • Knowledge of the main norms of research ethics
  • An understanding of the purpose of research ethical norms and an ability to reflect critically on the prevalent norms of research ethics
  • Knowledge of the many varieties of dissemination of research
  • An ability to communicate both one’s own research and one’s field of research to a non-specialist public


The course is compulsory for all PhD candidates at the Faculty of Law and they will be given priority. Research assistants writing a 60 student point masters thesis are also given priority.
In case there are open places, other candidates admitted to a PhD program may apply to take the course. PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply through Studentweb


The course consists of three days of seminar, combining lectures and group discussions. Participation is obligatory in order to pass the course.

Literature list


In addition to obligatory participation in the seminars, students must in advance of the seminar write and submit the following texts:

  • A brief (1-2 pages) description of the PhD.- project and its main research question (details will be given on the semester page)
  • A brief (1-2 pages) discussion of ethical aspects and challenges relevant for the PhD.- project (details will be given on the semester page)
  • A first draft of a text of dissemination of the PhD..-candidate’s research, in one of several formats: blog post, op-ed, etc. (for further specification, see the semester page).

The draft of a dissemination text will be discussed in the dissemination workshop during the seminar, and students must send in a revised version after the course.

Note that the texts submitted in advance of the seminar will be used for group discussion, so copies will be given to the other students.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language