This course is discontinued

INF9500 – Empirical methods and evidence-based decisions in software development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Important decisions in software development should be based on valid research results and systematic collection and use of experience. This course provides knowledge about and practical skills in support of efficient and good software development decisions.

Learning outcome

The students will learn how to base important software development decisions, such as choice of development method, programming language and development tool, on critical and systematic reviews of existing knowledge.

Topics covered to support improved ability to make good decisions include:
1) Use of evidence-based decisions processes,
2) Use and evaluation of results from empirical studies, and
3) Evaluation of argumentation.

To illustrate the topics and exemplify the use of evidence-based decision processes, the course reviews state-of-the-art knowledge in central software development topics, such as software development methods, estimation methods, model-based development and testing, and, use of empirical methods to evaluate the effect of methods and tools.

In addition, each PhD student will be given an extended curriculum within the field/research area of the course. The syllabus must be approved by the lecturer so that the student can be admitted to the final exam.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

INF1050 – Systems Development (continued)

The course assumes basis knowledge about and some practical experience with software development.


Two hours lectures each week.


Individual project report where skills in use of evidence-based software development decisions are evaluated.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This subject does not offer new examination in the beginning of the subsequent term for candidates who withdraw during an ordinary examination or fail an ordinary examination. For general information about new examination, see /studier/admin/eksamen/sykdom-utsatt/mn/index.html and


Note that the first lecture is mandatory.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)