Course Syllabus for

Basic Course on Method and Theory in Research
Baskurs om metod och teori i forskning

FMI010F, 7.5 credits

Valid from: Spring 2013
Decided by: FN3/Per Tunestål
Date of establishment: 2013-12-19

General Information

Division: Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


The general aim of the course is to introduce the students into basic questions regarding methodology and theory in research. The course has the following three specific goals. First, a goal is to generate discussion and reflection on fundamental methodological questions in order to secure good research. Second, the course shall give the students the opportunity to learn about different methodological and theoretical perspectives both from environmental and energy systems studies and from other disciplines. Third, the students shall reflect on how they relate to methodology and the use of theory in their own dissertation work.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Course Contents

• The course will give an overview of methods and theories from different perspectives and disciplines such as economy, scenario studies, modelling and social science. This will be done by inviting lecturers both from environmental and energy systems and externally. • The course will include a number of seminars where the students discuss questions regarding methodology and theory. Examples of seminar topics are: “the handling of fundamental methodological concepts”, “the use of theory” and “critical assessment of previous doctoral dissertations”. In connection to the seminars the student will be given tasks to prepare. • The course contains an overview and discussion of fundamental methodological concepts such as sensitivity analysis, source criticism (källkritik), reliability, validity, gerneralisability, triangulation. • The course ends with an individual task where the students will write a paper on methodology and theory in their own research. The intention is that this can form the basis for a discussion of these issues in their thesis.

Course Literature

Wallimanis, N.: Research methods: the basics. Routledge, 2010.
This is the main book. Other literature will be handed out during the course.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, project

Examination Details

Examination formats: Written report, written assignments, seminars given by participants
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Further Information

The course will be given when there are enough Ph D students at Environmental and energy systems studies. Last time a similar course was given was 2008.

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:

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