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Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing

Students taking this course will prepare to do fieldwork research. The task is to learn to choose a research approach and methods that fits the area of interest and the questions asked. Also, the course contains planning the process, how to retrieve and handle data, analysis of material and ideas, writing and revising the material. This course is part of the Agroecology Master, focuses on this subject area and the master thesis work of the students is used as their ’case study’.

Information from the course leader

Welcome to the course Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing!

Your teacher team:

Jenny Höckert (course leader)

Mats Gyllin (examiner)

Katarina Lantz (course administrator)

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

LB0112-20050 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for LB0112

Academic year 2021/2022

Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing (LB0112-M2050)

2021-11-02 - 2022-01-16

Academic year 2020/2021

Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing (LB0112-10157)

2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing (LB0112-10014)

2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31


LB0112 Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing, 15.0 Credits

Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing


Agricultural Science Horticultural Science

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Single module 15.0 0101

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s 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 120 credits, including 90 credits in one of the subjects/educational areas Social Science, Natural Science or Technology, and English 6.


The aim of the course is to be familiar with qualitative and quantitative methods for research, including literature searches, text and numerical analysis, writing, layout and written and oral presentation.

On completion of the course students will be able to:

- give an account of, analyze and critically discuss methods that can be used to work on situations, questions and problems of importance in Agroecology,

- plan, describe and present appropriate methods and tools within different approaches, and discuss alternative solutions, in a given context,

- analyse and critically discuss the relevance of information within their area of interest, and present an outline for the content of their Master’s thesis,

- formulate a plan of work for their thesis,

- present their work orally and in writing.


Students will be prepared for fieldwork within Agroecology via scientific literature, lectures, student assignments and seminars. The course will teach students how to: plan field work, select a methodological approach to a research question, plan the process of retrieving and structuring data, and carry out the subsequent critical analysis of material and ideas. The course will also prepare students for writing and revising their thesis.

Examples of methods with which students will become acquainted are: semi-structured interviews and manual analysis, as well as computer-aided software for analysing qualitative data, quantitative statistics, general systems’ principles diagramming and emergy synthesis, environmental accounting and biological indicators.

The course will:

- include practice in designing appropriate research and development processes in accordance with the research topic selected,

- discuss ethical research issues,

- provide procedures for data collection and analysis,

- familiarize students with methods and tools within the field of agro-ecology,

- provide students, individually or in pairs, with the possibility to try methods and tools in practice,

- develop skills for thesis writing according to the chosen methodology.

The topic of the Master’s thesis project and the case study will be selected by students in consultation with supervisors and the examiner at SLU.

Workshops, excercises and excursions are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

The examination for the course will consist of a written individual project/process plan for student thesis work and a preliminary Introduction and Methodology/Methods section, as well as a compilation of relevant literature. To obtain the course credits, approved exercises, oral and written presentations of project/process plan and a preliminary Introduction and Methodology/Methods section, plus approved participation in compulsory components will be required.
  • 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 People and Society

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom landskap och trädgård (PN - LT)
Replaces: LB0058, LB0065

Grading criteria

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Agricultural Science Horticultural Science
Course code: LB0112 Application code: SLU-20050 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of People and Society Pace: 100%