This course is discontinued

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course presents and discusses methodology issues that are central to empirical research. First of all, different types of explanations will be presented. Next, the formulation of the issues and research questions and the interrelationships between choice of research question and research design will be discussed. Then, different methods of collecting and analysing data material will be reviewed. Finally, selected topics within statistical analysis will be presented and discussed.

Learning outcome

This course has three objectives. Firstly, it will enable you to conduct independent scientific investigation of a broad spectrum of issues linked to conflict and peace. Secondly, it will enable you to assess existing research in an independent manner. Finally, it will develop your ability to discuss a defined methodological issue in a systematic manner.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

It is not possible to sit for this exam as a private candidate. Only students with admission to classes in this course may sit for this exam.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor/cand. mag degree in Arts or Social Science

All students on the master’s program in Peace and Conflict Studies are required to have prior knowledge in research method. It is therefore presupposed that new students to the program have read the method book “Making sense of the Social World: Methods of investigation” by Chambliss and Schutt (2003) or an equivalent work covering basic social science method.

Chambliss, Daniel F. and Schutt, Russell K. 2003, Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with PECOS4021 – Research Methods


The course will comprise a lecture series of 13 lectures, each lasting 2 x 45 minutes, and two seminars. The first seminar will consist of three sessions, each lasting 2 x 45 minutes, and will give you training in statistical analysis. The second seminar consists of a one-day session during which students will present outlines for their term papers. All students must present their own term paper outlines, and all students must make comments on another student’s term paper outline. All topics for term paper assignments must be approved by the seminar leader. More information on the seminar will be given at the beginning of the semester.

This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used. Fronter will normally be used.

The course is part of the regular course provision at The Faculty of Social Science. Teaching is mainly held during daytime. Detailed course-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.


The exam will consist of a written, invigilated exam of 5 hours’ duration and a term paper assignment. The grade for the invigilated exam will count for 40% of the total grade. The grade for the term paper assignment will count for 60% of the total course grade. In order to achieve a pass grade for the term paper assignment, it must be 10-15 pages long (including footnotes/endnotes) and must discuss one defined methodological issue that is relevant to the study of war, conflict and peace. The term paper must conform to normal academic standards. All topics for term paper assignments must be approved by the seminar leader.

In order to pass the course, you have to have a pass grade both for the written exam and the term paper. You will receive one overall grade for the course.

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for the exam(s), and exam(s) are/is normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

Detailed exam-information is found on the Webpage for the current semester.

Any take home exam or essay etc. handed in at the University of Oslo may be checked for plagiarism by use of the Ephorus text recognition software.

Language of examination


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.

Examination results are available in StudentWeb within three weeks after the examination-date, if no other information is given on the Webpage for the current semester.

Explanations and appeals

Special examination arrangements

Application-forms for special examination arrangements on school-exams may be sent to The Faculty of Social Science. Application-forms for special examination arrangements on other exams may be sent to the institute who organise the course.


This course is evaluated half way through every semester and every four year the course undergoes a thorough evaluation.

An external auditor regularly evaluates the academic quality of the course and he/she makes a written report every year.


PECOS4020 is obligatory for students enrolled on the master’s programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. It is possible to take PECOS4020 as a 10-credit course for ERASMUS students and visiting students (PECOS4020B). The examination form for this 10-credit version of PECOS4020 is an invigilated exam lasting 5 hours. Only a limited number of places for non-programme students is available. See here for more information.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language