Course Syllabus for

Theory of Science and Methodology of Research
Vetenskapsteori och forskningsmetodik

GEM041F, 4.5 credits

Valid from: Autumn 2019
Decided by: FN1/Anders Gustafsson , FN2/Eva Nordberg Karlsson, FN3/Per Tunestål
Date of establishment: 2013-05-28

General Information

Division: Doctoral Research Training
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching languages: English, Swedish


The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to theory of science issues and methods relevant to research and development in the engineering sciences. A further aim is to encourage reflection and constructive critical discussion of current research, research methods and their background.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must have general knowledge of key theory of science issues and discussions such as “What is science? What is empirical support? Can a hypothesis be falsified? What is a scientific explanation? What are the roles of experiments and observations in science? Are scientific theories true? How are scientific concepts formed?”.

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must demonstrate willingness to discuss theory of science issues with other doctoral students and researchers.

Course Contents

The course starts with an introductory part in which the most important scientific strategies and their applicability to different types of research are discussed. This is followed by a part addressing in greater detail theory of science themes such as ontology, observation and explanations. A concluding component addresses the modern debate and present-day engineering research.

Course Literature

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, exercises. The course consists of lectures, seminars, oral presentations and written assignments.

Examination Details

Examination formats: Written assignments, seminars given by participants. The assessment is based on continual written assignments and oral presentations. For a Pass on the course, participants must have passed all assignments in the course and made an oral presentation.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: To be admitted to the course applicants have to be part of a PhD programme at LTH.
Selection criteria: Priority is given to: 1) PhD students who have previously applied to the course and were eligible at the time, 2) PhD students who are closest to finishing their PhD programmes.

Further Information

Replaces GEM040F.

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:
Web page:

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