Course Syllabus for

Methodology Course at Technology and Society
Metodkurs inom teknik och samhälle

VTS001F, 7.5 credits

Valid from: Spring 2022
Decided by: Gudbjörg Erlingsdóttir (fek-ger)
Date of establishment: 2022-01-18

General Information

Division: Technology and Society
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


The aim of the course is to give the Ph D students at the Department of Technology and Society an insight into the connection between specific research methods, assumptions in the philosophy of science and theories used in research at the department.


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 consists of methodology seminars, dissertation seminars and a report on one’s own methodological approach. At the methodology seminars important concepts in methodology and theory related to interdisciplinary research at Technology and Society are introduced and discussed. At the dissertation seminars earlier Ph D research at Technology and Society is presented and discussed. The participants will also act as opponents on a doctoral dissertation of their own choice, with a focus on assessing the methodological approach. The course end with a final seminar discussing the report on methodological approach in one’s own Ph D work.

Course Literature

General literature Alvesson M. och Sköldberg K. (2009). Reflexive Methodology, Sage Ch 1-2: introduction and different perspectives on qualitative research This book gives a good overview and introduction to philosophy of science and different approaches to research within the social sciences. Both in in Englsih and Swedish (we have both). Chalmers, A.F. (1999). What is this thing called science?, Open University Press Ch 14: scientific laws Ch 15: realism and anti-realism Ch 4-7: induction and falsification Also exists in Swedish (we have both). Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design, Sage Ch 1: The selection of a research design Ch 3: The use of theory We have it. Hacking, I. (1983/2010). Representing and intervening, Cambridge University Press Ch 1-2: realism Ch 9-10: Experiment and observation (facts vs. theory) Hacking describes what positivism stands for, can be good to read as a contrast to the partrayals sometimes made by anti-positivists. We have it. Walliman, N. (2011). Research Methods – the basics, Routledge Ch 1-3: Research basics, research theory, structuring the research project We have it. Specific literature for the seminars Johannes Persson Persson, J. och Sahlin, N-E. (2013) Vetenskapsteori för sanningssökare, Fri Tanke Förlag - Ch 7: Förklaringar och abduktion - Ch 9: Vad är ett orsakssamband? Downloaded on: Chalmers, A.F. (1999). What is this thing called science?, Open University Press Ch 14: scientific laws Ch 15: realism and anti-realism Ch 4-7: induction and falsification Also exists in Swedish Interdisciplinary and problem based methodology Schmidt, J.C. (2008). Towards a philosophy of interdisciplinarity. An attempt to provide a classification and clarification, Poiesis Prax, 5 pp. 53-69. Schmidt, J.C. (2011).'What is a problem? On problem-oriented interdisciplinarity, Poiesis Prax, 7 pp. 249-274. Lélé S. och Norgaard, R. B. (2005) Practicing interdisciplinarity, BioScience, 55(11) pp. 967-975. Stock and Burton (2011) Defining terms for integrated (multi-inter-trans-disciplinary) Sustainability Research, Sustainability, 3 pp. 1090-1113. Interviews and case studies Kvale S. and Brinkmann S. (2009) InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing, SAGE - Ch 3: Epsitemological issues of interviewing (-Ch 12: Interview analyses focusing on meaning) (-Ch 15: The social construction of validity) Particularly Ch 3 but also Ch 13 and 15. We have it at IMES. Yin, R. K. (2013) Case Study Research. Design and Methods. 5th edition, Sage (- Ch 1. Getting started) - Ch 2. Designing case studies (- Ch 4. Collecting case study evidence) Particularly Ch 2 but also Ch 1 and 4. We have it at IMES. Research examples: Aldenius, M. and Khan, J (2017) Strategic use of green public procurement in the bus sector. Challenges and opportunities, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 164, pp. 250-257. Khan, J. (2004) Local Politics of Renewable Energy. Doctoral dissertation, Lund university. Lund. Other dissertations with interviews and case studies are by Fredrik Pettersson, Kerstin Åstrand, Jingjing Zhang, Joakim Nordqvist, Christian Stenqvist och Tore Wizelius. Life Cycle Analysis Baumann, H. and Tillman, A-M. (2004) The Hitchhikers Guide to LCA: An Orientation in Life Cycle Analysis and Application, Studentlitteratur, Lund. - Ch 1. LCA in a nutshell - Ch 6. Interpretation and presentation of results (particularly ch 6.4) Research examples: Ahlgren, S. et al (2015) Review of methodological choices in LCA of biorefinery systems, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 9, pp. 606-619. Tufvesson, L.M., Lantz, M. and Börjesson, P. (2013) Environmental performance of biogas produced from industrial residues including competition with animal feed: life-cycle calculations according to different methodologies and standards, Journal of Cleaner Production, 53, pp. 214-223. Technology assessment Grunwald, A. (2009), Technology assessment: concepts and methods, Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol 9 Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences, pp. 1103-1146. Research examples: Åhman, M. (2010) Biomethane in the transport sector—An appraisal of the forgotten option, Energy Policy, 38, pp. 208-217. Johansson, B., Åhman, M. (2002). A comparison of technologies for carbon-neutral passenger transport. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 7, pp. 175-196, Policy analysis and policy evaluation Weimer, D.L., and A.r. Vining (2017) Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, Routledge. - Ch. 2. What is policy analysis? - Ch 14. Gathering information for policy analysis Vedung, E. (1997) Public Policy and Evaluation, Transaction Publishers. - Ch 4. Models of evaluation - Ch 13 Process evaluation and implementation theory Mickwitz, P. (2003) A framework for evaluating environmental policy instruments context and key concepts, Evaluation, 9(4), pp. 415-436. Levin K Cashore B Bernstein S and Auld G (2012) Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change Policy Sciences 45(2) 123-152. Of the above texts the ones by Weimer and Vining (2017) and Vedung (1997) are the most important. Research examples: Hildingsson, R. and Khan, J. (2015) Towards a decarbonized green state? The politics of low-carbon governance in Sweden, in Rethinking the Green State (ed Bäckstrand and Kronsell), Earthscan, pp. 156-173. Johansson, B. (2006) Climate policy instruments and industry—effects and potential responses in the Swedish context, Energy Policy, 34, 2344-2360. Khan, J. (2006). Evaluation of the Energy Audit Programme in Finland. Department of Evironmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund university. Scenario analysis Börjesson, L. et al (2006) Scenario types and techniques: Towards a user’s guide, Futures, 38, pp. 723-739. Amer, M., Daim, T.U. and Jetter, A. (2013) A review of scenario planning, Futures, 46, pp. 23-40. Varum, C.A. and Melo, C. (2010) Directions in scenario planning literature – A review of the past decades, Futures, 42, pp. 355-369. Of the above three articles the one by Börjesson et al is the most important to read. Research examples: Lechtenböhmer, S., Nilsson, L.J., Åhman, M. and Schneider, C. (2016) Decarbonising the energy intensive basic materials industry through electrification e Implications for future EU electricity demand, Energy, 115, pp. 1623-1631. There will be a group task at the seminar based on this paper.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars

Examination Details

Examination format: Written report. Active participation at seminars. Written and oral opposition of a doctoral dissertation Written and oral reflection on methodological choices in the Ph D students dissertation work
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: Enrolled in one of the following PhD subjects: Technology and Society (TETOSF00), Transport and Road Technology (TEVTTF02), Environmental and Energy Systems Studies (TEFMIF00) or Real Estate Science (TEVFTF00).
Assumed prior knowledge: none

Further Information or

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