The aim of the course is to provide a deeper understanding of the methodological and underlying philosophical issues that arise in science, and inspire to reflection on such issues within the student’s own area of study. After having taken the course the student should have acquired basic knowledge of the foundational issues in the methodology and philosophy of science, specially as regards the natural and technological sciences.
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Content and learning outcomes
The following is an incomplete list of topics covered in the course.
- Scientific knowledge
- Hypothesis testing
- Observations and measurements
- Statistical reasoning
- Causes and explanations
- Qualitative methods
- Research ethics
- Risk and risk assessment
The course consists of lectures, assignments, seminars, a project part, and a exam.
Intended learning outcomes
After having completed the course, the student should, with regards to the theory and methodology of science be able to:
· Identify definitions and descriptions of concepts, theories and problem areas, as well as identify the correct applications of these concept and theories.
· Account for concepts, theories and general problems areas, as well as apply concepts and theories to specific cases.
· Critically discuss the definitions and applications of concepts and theories as they apply to specific cases of scientific research.
These learning outcomes are examined via seminars, and in a written exam.
After having completed the course, the student should also be able to (applies to students that do not take the master’s programme medical engineering (TMLEM):
· Summarise and present research reports or scientific articles in a way that makes them accessible to a non-expert audience.
· Account for standard structural and qualitative criteria for scientific writing and apply these to research reports or scientific articles.
· Identify and critically discuss specific theoretical and methodological problems in research reports or scientific articles.
These learning outcomes are examined in writing via a project part.
Students from the master’s programme medical engineering (TMLEM) should be able to:
· Account for and apply the most common theories and methods of applied ethics and account for their relevance for medical technology.
· Carry out independent moral reflections concerning practical problems in the ethics of medical technology.
These learning outcomes are examined orally and in writing via a project part.
Literature and preparations
General requirements for master’s programmes. Proficiency in English corresponding to English B / English 6 in Swedish gymnasium.
All material is avaiable through the course platform. The following literature has previously been used:
· Till Grüne-Yanoff ” Justified Method Choice – Methodology for Scientists and Engineers” (Compendium).
· Articles distributed during the course.
Examination and completion
If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.
- PRO1 - Project, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
- SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
- TENB - Written exam, 3.0 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.
A student can be examined in SEM1 with written assignments that replace attendance at seminars, provided that an agreement is in place for the student to take the course remotely.
Other requirements for final grade
Fullfilled seminar requirements, project requirements and written exam.
Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination
Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination
- 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 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 AK2036