Syllabus for Methodology


A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 5RT984
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: International Humanitarian Action A1F
  • Grading system: Fail, Sufficient, Satisfactory, Good, Very good, Excellent
  • Established: 2019-03-06
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Theology
  • Applies from: week 25, 2019
  • Entry requirements: The course is only available to exchange students from partner universities in the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA).
  • Responsible department: Department of Theology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is offered within the Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action 120 ECTS credits and is only available to exchange students from partner universities in the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA).

Learning outcomes

The module aims to provide students with the methodological training necessary to write a Master's thesis in humanitarian action. Successful completion of the module means that the student should have:

  • knowledge of methodological and epistemological assumptions of research;
  • an ability to understand differences between major qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection;
  • knowledge about different ways to analyse data;
  • knowledge and skill in textual interpretation technique;
  • knowledge on how to incorporate different methods and methodology in an academic text;
  • knowledge of research ethics;
  • an ability to independently evaluate different methodological approaches and determine how they can be adapted to different research questions and practical considerations;
  • an ability to problematise the ethical dilemmas in qualitative and quantitative research;
  • a specialised knowledge and a critical methodological understanding of appropriate research methods and research design for the humanitarian field and for original research in humanitarian studies;
  • justified and applied methodology and scientific methods correctly in an original piece of humanitarian research;
  • studied a research topic in depth, and conducted and completed a medium-length research project largely self-directed.


The course covers different methods of data collection and how methods are incorporated into academic research. Students learn to select, describe and apply methods and how to categorise and analyse data from different perspectives. Students are also introduced to how methodology in general is related to the overall process of writing an academic text. Old Master's theses are analysed from a methodological perspective and good rules of thumb are discussed.


The teaching on this campus course includes both lectures and seminars. Attendance at seminars and at least 75% of lectures is compulsory. Students who miss seminars must compensate for this absence. In general, students who miss more than 25% of lectures must also compensate. However, students who are absent for substantially more than 25% of lectures must instead take part in lectures the next time the course is provided. Participation in all lectures is highly encouraged since the lectures facilitate reading and analysis of the course literature.

The language of instruction is English.


The course is examined by individual paper and group exercises.

Grades: Fail (F), Sufficient (E), Satisfactory (D), Good (C), Very Good (B) and Excellent (A).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Transitional provisions

Students retain the right to be examined on the course according to this syllabus for 3 semesters after their course instance has ended. Normally, instruction will be given according to the latest version of the course syllabus only

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 25, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • The craft of research Booth, Wayne C.; Colomb, Gregory G.; Williams, Joseph M.; Bizup, Joseph; Fitzgerald, William T.

    Fourth edition.: Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    Find in the library


  • Robson, Colin; McCartan, Kieran Real world research : a resource for users of social research methods in applied settings

    Fourth Edition: Hoboken: Wiley, 2016.

    Find in the library


  • Article compendium

    Department of Theology,