UV9118 – Observation methodology and observation design

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Observation is a central type of methodology in the educational sciences. This PhD course aims to introduce the participants to observation as a research method, by providing an overview of and insights into different types of observational methods and observation design.

The course is organized by the research group SISCO and the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Learning outcome

Through this course students are to gain knowledge on  

  • How to consider the arguments when choosing observation as method.
  • Different traditions in observational methodology, observation design, and approaches to analyzing data, such as video design; ethnographic design; structured/ pre-coded design; inductive design
  • Technical solutions for video design
  • Approaches and tools for analysis in observation methodology
  • Validity and reliability in different observation designs
  • Scientific theory on dilemmas concerning observation as a method
  • Ethical challenges concerning observation as a method

After the course the students are also to be able to

  • Develop their own observational abilities.
  • Consider and develop own observational designs


This course has been developed for PhD candidates affiliated with the Faculty of Educational Sciences (UV), but others may also apply to participate. PhD candidates at The Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority. As a minimum requirement, all participants must hold at least a Master's degree.


PhD candidates affiliated with the Faculty of Educational Sciences register through Studentweb.
Others may apply through the application form (link to be published when registration is open).
Deadline for registering:


Formal prerequisite knowledge

This course has been developed for PhD candidates affiliated with the Faculty of Educational Sciences (UV), but others may also apply.

It is recommended that all participants have completed an introductory course in qualitative methodology, equivalent to the mandatory course for PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Overlapping courses

  • 1 credit overlap with UV9118U – Observation methodology and observation design, without documentation (previous course version).


The course combines theoretical and practical perspectives on observation, and different approaches to the analysis of observational data. During the course students are encouraged to discuss and reflect upon their research design and on different ways to use observation. 

In the writing workshop the students will also receive comments on their designs and work on practical assignments using observation (this may very well be linked to your PhD project). This will form the basis of the submitted paper for students participating for 3 ECTs.

For more information please visit the current semester website.


Participation all three days and approved submitted paper: 3 credits.

Approved participation requires 80% attendance.

Papers are to be submitted electronically in Canvas.

More information will be available in Canvas.


Evaluation form.

Facts about this course






Every other autumn starting 2018

Teaching language