The purpose of this course is to provide methodological foundations for, and practical experience in, conducting research on global challenges. The course provides students with a methodological compass for identifying and choosing suitable research puzzles. By specifying research questions, selecting theoretical lenses, and operationalizing concepts, students are introduced to key debates in the philosophy of sciences and learn how research design choices build on these. Students will learn about the relation between problem identification, developing theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, the choice of methods, as well as data selection and analysis. The course will also address issues of research ethics, including the politics of knowledge production on global challenges.
The student has advanced knowledge of:
philosophy of sciences and methodological debates such as positivism vs. constructivism
the role - and alignment - of theory, methods, and data in any research design
principles, ethical and quality standards for research design
The student can:
take informed research design choices and justify them to develop their own high quality research design
validate the quality of a study and its findings
evaluate and critically assess other´s research designs
The student can:
apply different perspectives from the philosophy of sciences in order to argue for specific research design choices
support fellow students in developing high quality research designs
critically discuss the politics of knowledge generation on the governance of global challenges
The course is open for students who have been accepted to the Master's program in Politics and Governance of Global Challenges.
Exchange students at master level may be accepted upon application. Applications may be rejected due to capacity.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, group work and seminars
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
The assessment consists of an approved draft research proposal, presentation of the draft proposal at a seminar, discussion of two other student´s draft and mandatory attendance at a seminar. Compulsory assignments and attendance must be completed to take the exam. Approved compulsory requirements are valid in the current and the following exam semester. Compulsory assignments and attendance must be completed to take the exam.
Forms of Assessment
Submission of a research proposal, 5000 words (+/- 10 %).
Assessment in teaching semester. Only students who have a vvalid document of absence will be entitled to take a new exam the following semester.
The reading list will be ready before 1 July for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester.
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB.
The Department of Government at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.