Research Methods

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course will help students acquire and develop knowledge and skills needed to conduct master's-level research in philosophy, with a focus on the master's thesis. Students will be provided with guidance and instruction in philosophical methodology, choosing a thesis topic, using online databases and library resources, and academic writing.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student should have

  • Familiarity with methods used for research in philosophy
  • Understanding of how to make an original contribution to philosophical scholarship
  • Knowledge of online databases and library resources relevant for research in philosoph


After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • Formulate good research questions in philosophy
  • Identify ways of contributing to philosophical scholarship on prospective research topics
  • Find relevant and up-to-date literature in philosophy on prospective research topics


After completing the course, the student should be competent to

  • Undertake research in philosophy
  • Develop a research project proposal

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Fall and Spring

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
A good proficiency in English is necessary since the prescribed reading will be in English.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
FIL321 overlaps 5 ECTS with FIL304 (Plan for Master Thesis in Philosophy), 5 ECTS with FIL312 () and 5 ECTS with FIL342.
Access to the Course
A condition for entry into this course is having been accepted for the Masters programme in philosophy.
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and/or seminars.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

In order to complete the course, students must:

  • Attend at least 70% of the seminars
  • Complete at least 4 written formative assignments (around 500 words each, deadlines set by the instructor).

An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given.

Forms of Assessment
The final assessment for the course will be based on a portfolio including at least 4 written assignments (2000-3000 words in total).
Grading Scale
Pass or Fail.
Assessment Semester
Spring and Fall
Reading List
The list of literature is made available on July 1st for the Fall semester, and December 1st for the Spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated every semester in which it is taught.
Programme Committee
Utvalg for fagstudie i filosofi