This course is discontinued

MF9000E – Research methods in medicine and health sciences: Introductory course

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The topic area comprise basic concepts in research methods in medicine and health sciences such as the research process, formulating study objectives, assessing researchability, postulating hypotheses, project planning, data collection and analysis, presentation and publication. The course also comprises core concepts and challenges within ethics and philosophy of science.

Learning outcome

The participants will after the course be able to assess and discuss ethical and theoretical aspects concerning health research. They will know about basic methods within molecular biology, qualitative research, planning and analysis of clinical and epidemiological studies, as well as standard statistical programs.

Goals in philosophy of science:
In the field of philosophy of the natural sciences the participants will be acquainted with the central topics such as causality, scientific models and modes of inference, testing of scientific hypotheses, scientific uncertainty, and gain an understanding of science compared to other social activity.

In the philosophy of the social sciences the participants shall be acquainted with core concepts, such as interpretation, understanding,explanation, power, ideology, interests, validity, and generalisability, as well as their relationships.

Goals in research ethics:
The participant shall have knowledge of basic principles and regulations regarding research involving human beings.

Goals in science ethics
The participants shall be familiar with the basic norms for scientific activity and be able to distinguish and describe different forms of irregular scientific conduct. Particular emphasis is put on authorship, rules for citations and references.

Philosophy of science, ethics of science and research ethics are issues meant to improve the participants’ critical sense and enable them to reflect systematically on the roles of norms in science. The aim is to enable them to see their own research in a broader perspective.

Statistics and study design:
The participants shall acquire knowledge of basic epidemiological principles to be able to assess published papers of clinical and epidemiological nature. They shall be familiar with concepts such as prevalence, incidence, distributions, effect estimates, risk assessments, statistical power and significance and be able to suggest study designs as well as data collection and analysis.


Ph.D. candidates at the University of Oslo and students at the Medical Student Research Programm will get first priority to the course. External applicants will be admitted if there are any available places.

Maximum number of particpants is 60.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


The course consists of lectures and group discussions. The participants will be asked to present and discuss issues from their own research projects.

NB! You have to participate in at least 80 % of the teaching to be allowed to take the exam. Attendance at lectures will be registered.

The course runs for two weeks with a week's break after the first week.

The course is also taugth in Norwegian MF9000 Medisinsk forskningsmetode - Introduksjonskurs


A take-home exam will be given at the end of the course. Grading: pass/fail.

We recommend that the exam regulations at UiO are studied carefully

Facts about this course






The course has been reorganized from the spring semester 2010 and has been replaced by the course MF9010 and the mid-term module

Teaching language