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FAK3012 Supplementary Course in Theory and Methodology of Science 3.0 credits

Course memo Autumn 2021-50420

Version 1 – 08/12/2021, 10:10:09 AM

Course offering

Period 1 (Start date 30/08/2021, English)

Language Of Instruction


Offered By


Course memo Autumn 2021

Course presentation

Headings denoted with an asterisk ( * ) is retrieved from the course syllabus version Spring 2021

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

This course consists of the part that constitutes the difference between the courses FAK3024/FAK3136 (4,5 credits) from the courses FAK3137/FAK3138 (7,5 credits). This part is specific for doctoral students and does not correspond to any part of the master level courses.

The student will write and present an essay on a theoretical or methodological problem within the student's own area of research. The student will also critically evaluate and discuss such essays by other PhD-students.  

Intended learning outcomes

After having completed the course the student should be able to:

·         identify and critically discuss fundamental theoretical and methodological problems within the PhD-student's area of research,

·         identify and critically discuss specific theoretical and methodological problems within the PhD-student's own research,

·         identify and critically discuss specific theoretical and methodological problems within others' research.

Learning activities

3 essay meetings, with submissions for each. In this part you take a look at your own research from a methodological perspective, and write an essay about this. For this reason we recommend a year of research before starting this part of the course.

You may also want to revise lectures and literature from the master level course.


Detailed plan

The course includes three mandatory essay meetings, for each there is a mandatory submission, and for the final two meetings mandatory peer-review. Before  the first meeting you submit an abstract where you describe a methodological problem you wish to write about. In the first meeting you present your first draft and get peer feedback. In the final meeting you present your final version.

Schedule on: 

If you wish, you may follow along with the videos, to remind you about the course content. Expected workload: 8 hours per week.


Preparations before course start

Recommended prerequisites

It is assumed that the PhD student has taken at least 4.5 credits at master level in theory and methodology of science.

Specific preparations

Revise course content. If you have not taken one of our master level courses (AK2030-AK2050), AF2023 or DA2205: contact course administration.


Same as for the master level course:

There are two main course texts:

  • Experiments, models and methodology by Till Grüne-Yanoff. Based on the video lectures. This text will be expanded throughout the course in period 4, 2021, to cover all topics in the course.
  • The Art of Doing Science by Sven Ove Hansson.

In addition, there are three supplemental texts:

  • Some Issues in the Philosophy of Technology, by Sven Ove Hansson.
  • On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research, which is an excerpt from a text by the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Ethical Thinking by Jesper Ahlin.

All are available in the file format pdf from the Canvas pages. They cannot be bought as physical books, but you are welcome to print them.

Examination and completion

Grading scale

P, F


  • UPP1 - Essay, 3.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

The section below is not retrieved from the course syllabus:

Essay ( UPP1 )

Active participation in three meetings, three essay submissions and peer feedback. The final version of the essay is graded by a senior teacher. This essay can be passed, failed or you might be asked to revise to reach the criteria for passing.

Alternatives to missed activities or tasks

Failing to submit or failing the final version of the essay means you have to re-take the essay part in another period.

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course fee

To take the course there is a required fee. This is handled through a form where you provide your billing information, if you have not filled out this, contact the course administration.

Round Facts

Start date

Missing mandatory information

Course offering

  • Period 1 Autumn 2021-50420

Language Of Instruction


Offered By



Communication during course

E-mail is preferred for all communication, please do not use the Canvas messaging function. You may communicate in either Swedish or English. Please state your course code, as I handle several courses.

Course Coordinator