Research Methods for People and Environment Studies
How can we study how people react to the outdoor environments that surround them? It may concern single persons reflecting on favourite restorative places or large groups of people completing enquiries on the qualities of urban parks, etc. This course aims at presenting various techniques and methods that are used in such studies. It attempts to go through all steps from critical compilation of relevant scientific literature, design and planning of studies, selection, evaluation and application of methods, and scientific writing of a full-scale article. It also involves ethics and philosophy of science.
Four online meetings
25-27 January 2021
Dates for Spring 2022 will be published during the Autumn semester.
Information from the course leader
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MP0003 Research Methods for People and Environment Studies, 15.0 CreditsForskningsmetoder i studier av människa och miljö
SubjectsLandscape Architecture Environmental Psychology
Education cycleMaster’s level
Advanced study in the main fieldSecond cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)
Prior knowledgeKnowledge equivalent to 120 credits and English 6
ObjectivesThe course aims to give an overview over current research methods and techniques that are used to investigate the interactions between people and environment. The course serves as an introduction to the methods of Master- and PhD-studies in the field.
After completion of the course, the student will be able to:
• report on the various techniques and methods that are used in people and environment studies
• identify possible research questions and/or hypotheses concerning the interaction between people and environment
• exemplify, describe, and motivate the choice of method for specific research questions in the area
• design qualitative and quantitative studies
• select and conduct basic qualitative and statistical analyses
• write a scientific report, including references and critical analysis of sources and literature
• identify and explain ethical issues in research studies.
ContentBased on theory and research on people and environment interactions various study approaches to specific research questions will be presented. Principles for defining research questions and suggestions for the design of investigation will be outlined, demonstrated and discussed. This will provide the foundations for explaining how different methods provide different types of knowledge. Alternatives in designing studies will be demonstrated and practiced. The strategies presented belong to a broad field of people–environment studies including methods typical for experiments in lab, surveys as well as fieldwork with participant observation. Scientific writing will be practiced, including management of literature references and source criticism, resulting in a number of short papers where different methods are tested, and a final complete scientific paper. Compulsory seminars where the different methods are discussed are also included. Examples of ethical issues that may arise in studies including human beings will be illustrated and discussed.
The course combines mandatory Campus meetings with tasks carried out independently.
Formats and requirements for examinationParticipation in compulsory elements. Approved participation in seminars. Successful completion of exercises. Passed scientific paper.
- 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.
- 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.