Master’s studies

Syllabus for Methods I

Metod I

  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FK053
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Peace and Conflict Studies A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG).
  • Established: 2016-06-02
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 27, 2016
  • Entry requirements: Bachelor of Arts degree with at least 90 credits in peace and conflict studies, or 90 credits in a related relevant discipline and at least 30 credits in major subject or equivalent experience.
  • Responsible department: Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Learning outcomes

After completion of this course the student is expected to be able to:

  • evaluate the scientific relevance and quality of theoretically driven empirical research
  • formulate a research question and relate it to existing scholarly knowledge
  • assess the components and virtue of theoretical arguments
  • apply some of the common techniques for selecting cases and collecting data
  • critically assess the relevance of the data collected
  • identify how to achieve descriptive and causal inference
  • identify and assess the ethical problems associated with peace and conflict research and be able to minimize such problems
  • assess the relevance of using scientific methods outside the academic community, such as in conducting and interpreting policy evaluations and reports
  • independently solve assignments within allocated time

Content

The course aims to deepen the knowledge of social science methodology that students have acquired during undergraduate studies. The aim is to develop the ability to use the methods of practical research and to sharpen the critical understanding of different methods’ advantages and disadvantages.
 
The course emphasizes the common principles that unite the intensive study of few cases and the extensive study of many cases, but also highlights relevant differences between these approaches in terms of inferential logic and techniques for selecting cases and analyzing data.
 
The course discusses all central steps of the research process steps and the critical choices that a researcher is faced, such as: How do we formulate a fruitful research question? What criteria can be imposed on a good scientific theory? How do we empirically assess a scientific theory? How should the observed data be interpreted? Central topics covered in the course include the scientific approach, research design, inference, research ethics, and comparative case studies.
 

Instruction

The course consists of lectures and mandatory seminars. The literature combines generic methods texts with applications from the field of peace and conflict research.
 

Assessment

The course concludes with a written exam. The written exam is intended to provide a basis for grading the students but also offer students an opportunity to repeat the course content and thereby consolidate their knowledge.
 
Grades: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).
 
In order to receive the grade Pass (G), the student is required to:

  • participate in all mandatory seminars and present a genuine attempt to solve all assignments before each seminar. Should a student fail to hand in a seminar assignment on time and/or be absent from a seminar, he/she will need to complete a replacement assignment in addition to the original assignment.
  • receive a grade of Pass the written exam 
In order to receive the grade Pass with distinction (VG), the student is required to:
  • participate in all mandatory seminars and present a genuine attempt to solve all assignments before each seminar. Should a student fail to hand in a seminar assignment on time and/or be absent from a seminar, he/she will need to complete a replacement assignment in addition to the original assignment
  • receive a Pass with distinction (VG) on the written exam.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.