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FAK3014 The Theory and Methodology of Science - Minor Course 3.0 credits

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAK3014 (Spring 2024–) 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
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Observations and measurements
  • Experiments
  • Models
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Causes and explanations
  • Qualitative methods
  • Engineering design

Intended learning outcomes

The course provides an introduction to the theory and methodology of science and is intended for the beginning PhD student. One aim is to supply the basic concepts needed for placing the techniques and knowledge acquired in the student’s other courses or research in the wider context of the natural sciences. Another aim is to provide the basic intellectual tools that allow for a reasoned and critical assessment of results and methods from the wide variety of disciplines that the student is likely to encounter during his or her continued career in research and/or in professional life.

The course is mainly focused on the general theoretical and methodological issues that arise in the natural and technological sciences; but basic theoretical issues, techniques and problems from the social sciences are also covered to provide the student with a wider outlook. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental problems common to the natural sciences and on the general strategies, methods and concepts that modern science has developed to address these problems.

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.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Entry requirements for PhD studies.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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All material is available through course platform. The following literature has been used previously:

  • 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.

Grading scale

P, F


  • SEM1 - Seminar, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN2 - Written exam, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, 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, if 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.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Henrik Lundvall (

Transitional regulations

Former module TEN1 can be replaced by module TEN2

Supplementary information

To apply for this course you need to have a account and to...

1) have the course in your eISP

2) have a Ladok admin at your department/school admit you to the course (there is no limit on number of students for the course)

3) fill out the billing information in this form 

4) Before the start of a course you have to register via the web. You find the web registration function via ( when the registration period opens

Schedule can be found by searching for course code on

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ABE/Philosophy