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Research methods for business studies

Welcome to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the course FÖ0446

This course will first meet on March 24, 2021, 9.15-12:00. All course meetings will be via Zoom. A Zoom meeting link will be available on the course Canvas site. All pre-registered students will reveive an invitaiton to the Canvas site at lease one week prior to the course start. If you have not received an invitation to join the Canvas room by March 17, you should contact <>.

Please read the following general information, which includes instructions for course registration:

Practical information: Below you can find important information that is good to know for you as a student:

* You have to register yourself in the course via Ladok Student. You can only log in after you have obtained an SLU student account. More information about how to create a student account can be found here:

* The self-registration is open 210317-210329

* If you have been admitted to the course with conditions, you cannot register online and must contact the course leader who decides if you can still register. Only registered students can participate in the course and have access study material.

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* You are automatically registered for the first exam of the course in Ladok Student. You can find your anonymity code in Ladok Student. Please note that you still have to register yourself for the re-exam in Ladok Student. This applies only to exams and re-exams within the Department of Economics.

* Corrected exams can usually be collected Wednesdays from 12.30 - 14.30 in room D416 or D417 in Ulls Hus. Due to Covid, it is best to contact to get help with collection of your exam instead of coming to the office as we are, for the most part, working remotely. Are you a new student? Find more information here:

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Kind regards, The administration

The course evaluation is not yet activated

The course evaluation is open between 2021-05-30 and 2021-06-20

Additional course evaluations for FÖ0446

Academic year 2020/2021

Research methods for business studies (FÖ0446-M4089) 2021-03-24 - 2021-06-06

Academic year 2019/2020

Research methods for business studies (FÖ0446-40074) 2020-03-25 - 2020-06-07

Academic year 2018/2019

Research methods for business studies (FÖ0446-40118) 2019-03-26 - 2019-06-09

FÖ0446 Research methods for business studies, 7.5 Credits

Företagsekonomiska forskningsmetoder

Syllabus approved



Business Administration

Education cycle

Second cycle

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to 180 credits, including 90 credits of business studies (business administration). English 6.


The general aim in this course is to support the development of understanding of methodological issues in academic business studies, including understanding of how methodological choices affect the process and outcome of projects and research.

After successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

- Describe how research goals and ethical dimensions influence the choice of an appropriate research design.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of common research designs, including different methods for collecting and analyzing data.
- Use a methodological understanding to critically interpret and discuss academic studies.
- Develop and present a research plan, including a well-motivated method design.


The course is largely based on assigned readings, discussion seminars, and written assignments. The course begins with a review of the philosophical issues that underlie methodological choices in academic research, which is followed by an overview of common methods for collecting, analyzing, presenting and assessing data in different approaches. With an established awareness that choices of method are influenced by subjective and philosophical positions, the course then proceeds with a more in-depth review of a number of sub-topics.

The sub-topics address the following issues:
- the role of the researcher
- logically consistent research design and rhetoric in presentation
- relevance and contribution (empirical and theoretical)
- different methods and techniques for data collection (e.g. interviews, questionnaires, archival data)
- different methods and techniques for data analysis (e.g. content analysis, regression analysis)
- different parts of a research proposal, including critically reflective issues on individual parts and how they fit together.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed exam.
Passed assignments.
Passed project work.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Economics

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: FÖ0398

Grading Criteria

All passing grades require:

  • accepted participation in a minimum of 5 of the 7 discussion seminars
  • satisfactory completion of the 4 assignments, including the final research proposal.
  • The 4 assignments will be checked as Pass/fail, while the final research proposal will be graded. The grades are 3,4 & 5.

For a passing grade of 3, submitted work must demonstrate a correct understanding of:

  • basic terms and concepts used in discussion of methodology
  • different methodological approaches for conducting business studies research the limitations associated with different methodological approaches
  • common methods and techniques used to collect and analyze data.
  • correct understanding of fundamental research design project.

For a passing grade of 4, submitted work must demonstrate an ability to:

  • present a rhetorically and logically well-developed research proposal
  • present well-grounded arguments for a methodological approach consistent with a clearly identified research aim.

For a passing grade of 5, students must:

  • present a final research proposal of high academic standard, within the agreed time frame demonstrate understanding of the philosophical premises that underlie methodological approaches
  • show a well-developed ability of critical reflection in discussions of academic research and methodological choices.

Students are encouraged to collaborate and gather additional information and literature on assignments, but all work submitted for examination must be individually written, with proper referencing and acknowledgement of others' ideas. Urkund may be used to check for plagiarism.

1) Business Research Methods, 5th ed.
Author: E. Bell, A. Bryman & B. Harley
ISBN: 9780198809876
Comments: Other editions, incl. Swedish, will also suffice (though reading assignments are based on the 5th edition numbering).
2) Sage Research Methods
Comments: Selected reading as given in the course study guide. Access available via SLU library.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No The course is offered as a programme course: Agricultural Economics and Management - Master´s Programme Agriculture Programme - Economics and Management Agriculture Programme - Economics and Management (270 hec) Environmental Economics and Management - Master´s Programme Agricultural Economics and Management - Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 13082 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Business Administration
Course code: FÖ0446 Application code: SLU-40089 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Economics Pace: 50%