1N5114 Theory of Science and Research Methodology, Social Science 7.5 credits

Vetenskapsteori och forskningsmetodik, samhällsvetenskap

Please note

The information on this page is based on a course syllabus that is not yet valid.

  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    P, F

Information for research students about course offerings

The course will be offered in periods 1 and 3.

Course coordinator: Johan Berg

Intended learning outcomes

After having completed the course, the student should, with regards to the theory and methodology of science, both orally as well as in writing, be able to:

  • Identify definitions and descriptions of concepts, theories and problem areas, as well as identify the correct application of these concepts and theories.
  • Account for concepts, theories and general problem areas, as well as apply concepts and theories to specific cases.
  • Critically discuss the definitions and applications of concepts and theories as they applies to specific cases of scientific research.
  • 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.

Course main content

The following is an incomplete list of topics covered in the course.

  • Scientific knowledge
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Observations and measurements
  • Experiments
  • Models
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Causes and explanations
  • Philosophy of social science
  • Philosophy of economics
  • Risk and risk assessment
  • Reasearch ethics


Lectures, seminars, essay meetings and written exam.


Entry requirements for PhD studies.


To be announced at course start. All material is available through course platform. The following literature has been used previously:

  • Sven Ove Hansson "The Art of Doing Science" (compendium).
  • Till Grüne-Yanoff “Experiments, models and methodology” (compendium).
  • Video lectures.
  • Articles distributed during the course.


A student may request a home exam, with the maximum grade of E, if two requirements are fulfilled: (1) This is the last remaining exam left before graduation. (2) It is not possible for the student to attend the written exam because the student is, at the point of the request, residing outside of Sweden and will be residing outside of Sweden for at least twelve months following the request. The examiner approves or denies these requests.

Requirements for final grade

- Active participation in seminars (1.5 credits)

- Passed written exam (3 credits)

- Passed written essay (3 credits)

Offered by





Till Grüne-Yanoff <gryne@kth.se>

Supplementary information

Language of instruction: English only


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2019.