Good and Bad Science

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5FT141

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Theoretical Philosophy A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 25 August 2021
Responsible department
Department of Philosophy

Entry requirements

Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students should:

  • understand and apply basic concepts of the philosophy of science
  • have developed the foundations for the critical investigation of scientific claims
  • be able to distinguish between science and pseudoscience
  • be able to distinguish between good and bad science in different disciplines
  • be able to discuss and compare the methodological requirements and challenges of different disciplines
  • understand the role of knowledge in society and the responsibilities in the application of knowledge.


Science is central to modern life and arguably central to the survival of humanity, which makes it so much worse that there is so much bad science. This course illuminates what makes for good (and bad) science and science communication from different perspectives, covering the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The lectures are designed for discussions, and the seminars provide practical experience with the developing, testing, and communicating of theories. The lectures and seminars are given by experts in their respective fields.


Lectures and seminars. The language of instruction is English.


Mandatory seminars, homework, written examination.

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.