AK2036 Theory and Methodology of Science with Applications (Natural and Technological Science) 7.5 credits

Vetenskapsteori och vetenskaplig metodik med tillämpningar (naturvetenskap)

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.

Show course information based on the chosen semester and course offering:

Offering and execution

No offering selected

Select the semester and course offering above to get information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

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 technology
  • Risk and risk assessment
  • Research ethics

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.

After having completed the course, the student should also, both orally as well as in writing, be able to (for all students except noted below):

  • 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.

For students from the master’s programme medical engineering (TMLEM):

  • 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.

Course Disposition

Lectures, seminars, and project work. 

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

General requirements for master’s programmes. Proficiency in English corresponding to English B / English 6 in Swedish gymnasium.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


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.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

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

Examination *

  • PRO1 - Project, 3.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Examination, 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 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.

Other requirements for final grade *

Fullfilled seminar requirements, project requirements and written exam.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Till Grüne-Yanoff

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 AK2036

Offered by


Main field of study *

No information inserted

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted



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.