Master’s studies

Syllabus for Scientific Methods in Business Research

Vetenskapliga metoder i företagsekonomi

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FE861
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Business Studies A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2017-02-01
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 35, 2017
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in business studies. Proficiency in English.

    For incoming exchange students only 60 credits or equivalent in business studies are required, though 90 credits is strongly recommended. Proficiency in English.
  • Responsible department: Department of Business Studies

Decisions and guidelines

Master Programme in Business and Management - specialisation Marketing, International Business, Organisation. Master Programme in Accounting and Financial Management - specialisation Financial Accounting, Management and Control, Financial Management.

Learning outcomes

This course introduces students to scientific methods in business studies, presenting various perspectives on philosophy of science and methods used in social science. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods for generating knowledge are described and practised.

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • describe general characteristics of developments in philosophy of science by recognising and naming different schools of thought and their primary traits.
  • discuss and compare various methodological alternatives in the conduct of a scientific investigation, and understand the consequences of choices of research design and the data collection method.
  • apply different methods of sampling, data collection and analysis of empirical information. This includes skills in both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • argue for the choice of a research design by motivating and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different methods.
  • develop a research design to conduct an empirical study.


The course includes topics related to research methods that provide the student with the necessary knowledge and tools to conduct a scientific study in business. The main topics covered are:

  • Philosophy of science in relation to social sciences.
  • Formulation of research problems, research questions, and choice of research design.
  • Methods for sampling, collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data.


The teaching format is highly interactive with practical exercises, supported by lectures and seminars.  The course includes the following elements:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Exercises
The course is taught in English.


The student will get one single grade, equivalent to 7.5 credits.

Students will be assessed individually and in groups. The examination consists of:

  • Individual written assignment.
  • Mandatory group exercises on qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Individual test.
The grade for the entire course is based on an assessment of all parts of the examination.

Grading criteria are presented in the study guide provided at the beginning of the course. The following grades will be used: pass with distinction (VG), pass (G), and fail (U). Examinations handed in late will not be assessed except under special circumstances. Any remaining supplemental work must be completed and handed in by the deadline specified in the study guide. Otherwise the entire course (all examinations included) must be retaken during subsequent course sections, pending availability of a place in the course.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the University, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a designated period.

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2017

  • Additional articles, exercises, and assignments

    Företagsekonomiska institutionen,


  • Bryman, Alan; Bell, Emma Business research methods

    4. ed.: Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, cop. 2015

    Find in the library


  • Pallant, Julie SPSS survival manual : a step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS

    6. ed.: Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2016

    Find in the library