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AG2118 Research Methodology and Scientific Writing for Architects and Planners 3.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2118 (Autumn 2009–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course is focused on critical analysis, investigation and production of scientific texts. It introduces current research methodologies, their relevance and applicability in urban planning and design studies. The course is linked up with the courses Urban Theory and Concepts and Tools in Urban Design Analysis and creates an opportunity to reflect upon the exercises in the course Applied Analysis in Urban Planning and Design. Different types of writing will be practiced, such as scholarly texts, critical writings and the texts addressing general public. The course will be carried out in a mixed form of lectures, excursions, workshops and seminars.  

Designing a research project, applying an appropriate research method and demonstrating reasonable and convincing results belong to the designerly way of thinking. The course is aimed to situate urban planning and design research within a larger intellectual framework through grasping the indissoluble connection between the development process of ideas and artefacts. The course will therefore be commenced with a review on the development of design methodology as the point of departure. 

The course will help students to anticipate, identify, and resolve the challenges involved in designing and conducting research projects. Students who take this course will learn the principles to carry on minor research projects by gaining greater skills both in the formulation of coherently structured arguments as well as the use of basic procedure of scientific writings. These goals will be achieved by introducing students to various sources of information and to acquaint them with different methodological instruments for identifying underlying research motivations and assumptions. The course will support students to design and produce their own scholarly texts, to think independently and conduct research more critically and systematically. The course is aimed to prepare students for future PhD studies.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide the necessary tools for students to conduct research within urban planning and design and to publish their research findings. The course is a prologue to the cycle of the research processes including conceptualization, information searching, evaluation, analysis, report-writing and presentation technique. It addresses underpinnings of research design, among them the issues of validity, reliability and ethics.

Course disposition

The course is an introduction to the design cycle of research processes including:

  • An introduction to research design as a part of the designerly thinking,
  • Research methods: qualitative, quantitative and mixed measures,
  • Information searching techniques: field study to archives and libraries.
  • Research paper/research proposal preparation and methods to use information: issues of copy-write, citation and reference systems.
  • Presentation techniques: oral presentation, layout, printing process, Internet, overhead, PowerPoint..

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

At least 60 credits in the master programme Spatial Planning or Urban Planning and Design. Students should attend the course AK2030 Theory and Methodology simultaneously.

Recommended prerequisites

At least 60 credits in the master programme Spatial Planning or Urban Planning and Design. Students should attend the course AK2030 Theory and Methodology simultaneously.


No information inserted


Groat, Linda; Wang, David (2002) Architectural Research Methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Creswell, John W. (2002) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd Ed.) Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Denscombe, M. (2003) The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Research Projects. London: Oxford University Press.
George, A.; Bennett, A. (2005) Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Yin R. K. (2003) Case Study Research: Design and Methods (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • NÄR1 - Attendance, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercise, 2.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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.

Other requirements for final grade

In order to pass the course (total 3 credits) students are required readings and active participation in discussions.  Students have to complete a well designed and well-written assignment in form of an individual research proposal and defend it at the final seminar.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Göran Cars

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 web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AG2118

Offered by

ABE/Urban and Regional Studies

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Reza Kazemian, email:, Tel. 08-7909240

Supplementary information

Compulsory course for TSPPM2- and TUPDM2-programs.