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AK2050 Theory and Methodology of Science with Applications (Medical Ethics) 6.0 credits

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. The student should also be able to identify and critically discuss problems within the fields of medical ethics and the ethics of medical technology.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus AK2050 (Autumn 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

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

  • Scientific knowledge
  • Definitions 
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Observations and measurements
  • Experiments
  • Models
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Causes and explanations
  • Qualitative methods
  • Engineering design
  • Risk and decisions of risks 
  • 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 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 objectives are examined in writing via a digital exam and orally via seminars. 

  • Describe and apply the most common theories and methods in applied ethics as well as describe their relevance for medical ethics.
  • Implement independent moral reflections with respect to practical problems in the ethics of medical technology.

These learning objectives are examined in writing via a project work.

Course disposition

No information inserted

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


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” (kompendium).
  • Articles distrubuted during the course.

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


  • PRO1 - Project, 1.5 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.

TENA is examined via a digital exam. The examiner decides, based on recomendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, if a custom-made examination for students with documented disabilities is appropriate.

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

Students have to right to take the exam on TENA up to five times and thus potentially improve (“plussa”) their grade. After that, the examiner has to formally allow such an attempt at improving (“plussa”) one’s grade.


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 AK2050

Offered by

Main field of study

Built Environment

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Martin Rissler (

Supplementary information

The course is given in English.