Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course focuses on the responsibility of individuals to apply an ethical approach in their own research project. 

Ethical norms and values are integral to all sciences rather than being imposed on research by external bodies. Ethical reflection characterizes scientific work, from the initial tenuous start of the research process to the final publication and dissemination to the public. This is not only out of consideration for the research subjects but also in regard to colleagues, the general public and society at large.

This course cuts across all disciplines at the Faculty of Social Science. There will be emphasis on comparison and we invite candidates to actively interact with colleagues across disciplines showing how different intellectual traditions and research methods have dealt with questions regarding ethics. Lectures, short exercises and active problem solving in groups will invite critical reflection on research ethics within disciplines and towards other disciplines. 

Learning outcome


Candidates will:

  • have knowledge about general ethical problems in research.
  • have knowledge about rules and regulations in social sciences research.
  • be familiar with the rules that apply to their research practice and that of related disciplines.


Candidates will be able to:

  • mobilize a sense of responsibility when faced with ethical problems relevant to research.
  • identify and handle ethics dilemmas relevant to their practice.



  • have attained a level of reflection that will guide them in their research career.


The course is compulsory for all candidates on the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

PhD candidates must each semester register for classes and examinations through Studentweb.

The deadline for registering is February 1st for courses in the spring semester and September 1st for courses in the autumn semester.

This course is only available for candidates admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo.

Overlapping courses


Lectures, seminars and group presentations

Compulsory activities

Mandatory assignment due one week before the course starts

  • Please prepare two or three questions or dilemmas relevant to your research project. These could be directly related to your own project, or critical reflections concerning the course material.

  • You will be divided into groups of 7-8 students, and in the course you will have the chance to discuss your reflections with your group. Please read through the assignments handed in by other members of your group as well before the course. In that way, you will meet better prepared for the group discussion.

  • The idea behind the assignment is to have you reflect on your own PhD project from an ethical perspective.

  • The questions must be uploaded in Canvas at latest one week before the course starts. Otherwise your course registration will be cancelled. 

  • After the deadline, all the assignments will be made available on Canvas.


  • 80 % attendance.
  • Active participation.
  • The attendance and examination must be completed in the same semester.


  • The participants are expected to be familiar with the curriculum in advance.


Group presentation

  • The group presentations will take place on the last day of the course.
  • You must pass the compulsory activities in order to take the exam.
  • Assessment guidelines

Language of examination

The language of examination is English.

Grading scale

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.

Facts about this course






Spring and autumn


Spring and autumn

Teaching language