Scientific Methods in Business Research

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FE861

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 5 February 2020
Responsible department
Department of Business Studies

General provisions

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

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 equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

For incoming exchange students, exceptions can be made from the requirement of 90 credits in business studies, provided that special reasons are considered to exist.

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 written 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 that applies to the course section. 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.

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.

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

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Other directives

The course overlaps among other Scientific Methods in Business Research (Contract Education) 8FE861 and Philosophy of Science and Research Methods 2FE991.