HiL > Studies > Master programmes > Master of Innovation > Theory of Science and Social Science Research Methods

Theory of Science and Social Science Research Methods

Course content

he teaching starts with an introduction to different “-isms” in the theory of science followed by teaching in social science research methods. The latter topics will cover both qualitative and quantitative research methods and will introduce the students to the most common techniques in the analysis of empirical data. The students will use these techniques for their mandatory hand-ins.

The discussion of topics in the theory of science will involve the “foundational problems” of the different positions within the philosophical field connected to a discussion of topical cases and historical debates. Important topics will be empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, critical theory and constructivism. Since the course aims at recruiting students having a background form the social sciences, natural sciences and economy, the teaching will also emphasize the differences and similarities between the fields in their epistemological orientation.

The aims of the teaching in research methods is to train the students in the practical use of data analyses to a level which makes it possible to use these techniques for their master theses. This teaching will build upon their previous knowledge of social science methods from the bachelor-level.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student will have the following qualifications:

  • The student will have insights into the philosophical foundations of science and the research methods needed for a master-level education.
  • The students will have an understanding of how scientific facts are constituted in order to be able to assess these in a critical manner. Important in this context is a focus on the possibilities of scientific knowledge and its limits – especially with reference to its application in concrete situations. In this context the ethical problems involved in the application of scientific knowledge will be important.
  • The students have achieved sufficient practical skills in data analyses for their master's thesis.

Teaching methods

Lectures, problem solving, individual and group work with mandatory hand-ins. Teaching also involves some training in the application of computer programs for analysing statistical data (SPSS).

Coursework requirements

A number of mandatory hand-ins must be completed and approved in order to be allowed to take the exam. Specific form, number and other details will be announced during course start-up.

Final examination

Six-hour individual written exam

Sist oppdatert: Emrys Gerritse 11.04.2016

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