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FMJ3410 Theory and Methodology of Science for Energy Research 6.0 credits

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For course offering

Spring 2024 Start 16 Jan 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus FMJ3410 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course introduces basic concepts and understanding of methodological and underlying philosophical problems that arise in science and invites to reflection on research questions in the student's own field of study. The course functions as a scientific introduction to applied research in energy-related subjects in particular. The course also introduces critical assessment of methods and results of research that can help students to evaluate and analyse research material and proofs.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to introduce theory and methods of science to doctoral students who are in early stage of their research career, and support them if the preparation of their research plans and research documents, and strengthen their scientific research knowledge.
After passing the course, the students should be able to:

  • understand, describe and compare basic concepts in theory and methodology for science and relate them to energy research problems and own research subject
  • identify and propose application of specific methods to analyse energy problems and research subjects in their domain
  • critically review theories and methods that are used in scientific papers and reports  and their relevance for research on different thematic fields of energy,
  • clearly understand the requirements of a publishable research paper for a highly ranked journal
  • be able to understand and deal with sustainability dimensions in design and development of energy research projects.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Students who are researchers at KTH in the earlier stages of their doctoral programme ( first or second year).

Degree of Master or the equivalent from a major university in fields such as science, technology, energy or related fields. Documented proficiency in English B or the equivalent

Recommended prerequisites

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The Art of Doing Science. © Sven Ove Hansson, Department of Philosophy and the History of Technology, KTH 2007.

  • On being a scientist - responsible conduct in research. National academy press. Washington, D.C. 1995.
  • Ranjit Kumar. Research methodology - steps by steps guide for beginners. Third Edition, 2011
  • Pär Blomkvist, Anette Hallin, 2015. Method for engineering students: Degree projects using the 4-phase Model.
  • Kreikemeyer and Schneider. 2010. How Do I Successfully Write a Master’s Thesis? A practical guide for peace- and conflict researchers and other social scientists
  • Hypotheses and Hypothesis Testing (Chapter 3)
  • Introduction to the practice of statistics, 5th ed., W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2006.
  • Resch et al 2008.   20% RES by 2020– a balanced scenario to meet Europe’s renewable energy target.
  • UNESCO 2007. Social development: from research to policy to action
  • Cherubini et al. 2009. Energy and greenhouse gas-based LCA of biofuel and bioenergy systems: Key issues, ranges and recommendations                            
  • Mainali and Silveira 2015. Using a sustainability index to assess energy technologies for rural electrification. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 41, 1351-1365.
  • Khatiwada and Silveira, 2009. Net energy balance of molasses based ethanol: The case of Nepal.
  • Chiu et al. 2013. Active free cooling optimization with thermal energy storage in Stockholm, Applied Energy, Volume 109, September 2013, Pages 523-529P

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • INL1 - Assignments, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INL2 - Assignments, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INL3 - Assignments, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 0.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM2 - Seminars, 0.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM3 - Seminars, 0.5 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.

Other requirements for final grade

Participation in the seminars and at least 60% of the lectures is required.

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

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ITM/Energy Technology