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FAK3138 Theory of Science and Research Methodology, Social Science 7.5 credits

About course offering

For course offering

Autumn 2024 Period 1-2 programme students

Target group

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Part of programme

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P1 (4.5 hp), P2 (3.0 hp)


26 Aug 2024
13 Jan 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location

KTH Campus

Number of places

Places are not limited

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Period 1-2 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Autumn 2024 Period 1-2 programme students


Henrik Lundvall (


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Course coordinator

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FAK3138 (Spring 2024–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course disposition

11 pre recorded lectures, 4 seminars and exam in the first of the stated study period, 3 essay meetings in the second stated period. A student can choose to take the entire course in one period, please contact course responsible teacher.

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
  • Economic methodology
  • 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.
  • identify and critically discuss fundamental theoretical and methodological problems within the PhD-student's area of research,
  • identify and critically discuss specific theoretical and methodological problems within the PhD-student's own research,
  • identify and critically discuss specific theoretical and methodological problems within others' research.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Entry requirements for PhD studies.

Recommended prerequisites

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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 - Seminars, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Written exam, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • UPP1 - Essay, 3.0 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

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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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 DEL1 can be replaced by SEM1

Former module EXA1 can be replaced by TENA

Former module TEN1 can be replaced by TENA

Supplementary information

To apply for the course, please fill in the form available on this link:

Please note! This course replaces F1N5114 Theory of Science and Research Methodology, Social Science 7,5 credit 

Schedule can be found by searching for course code on

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ABE/Philosophy