Research Methods for People and Environment Studies
The course consists of four main blocks including a number of compulsory online elements see information below from course leader.
Information from the course leader
Here you find the dates for mandatory online meetings spring semester 2024:
January 22 -24
March 13 -15
April 10 - 12
May 20 - 22
Kindly also read the Policy document for Students
Additional course evaluations for MP0003
Academic year 2022/2023
2023-01-16 - 2023-06-04
Academic year 2021/2022
2022-01-17 - 2022-06-05
Academic year 2020/2021
2021-01-18 - 2021-06-06
Syllabus and other information
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, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Master’s level (A1N)
The grade requirements within the course grading system are set out in specific criteria. These criteria must be available by the course start at the latest.
Prior knowledgeKnowledge equivalent to 120 credits and English 6
The 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.
Based 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 online meetings with tasks carried out independently.
Grading formThe grade requirements within the course grading system are set out in specific criteria. These criteria must be available by the course start at the latest.
Formats and requirements for examination
Participation in compulsory elements. Approved participation in seminars. Successful completion of exercises. Passed scientific paper.
If a student has failed an examination, the examiner has the right to issue supplementary assignments. This applies if it is possible and there are grounds to do so.
The examiner can provide an adapted assessment to students entitled to study support for students with disabilities following a decision by the university. Examiners may also issue an adapted examination or provide an alternative way for the students to take the exam.
If this syllabus is withdrawn, SLU may introduce transitional provisions for examining students admitted based on this syllabus and who have not yet passed the course.
For the assessment of an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after the deadline for submission. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
The right to participate in teaching and/or supervision only applies for the course instance the student was admitted to and registered on.
If there are special reasons, students are entitled to participate in components with compulsory attendance when the course is given again. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
Additional informationThe course is given as a distance course, with mandatory online meetings, at 50% speed.
Department of People and Society
Essential literature for MP0003 ”Research Methods for People and Environment Studies”
Additional, optional literature will be introduced when needed.
- De Poy, E., & Gitlin, L. N. (2015). Introduction to research: Understanding and applying multiple strategies. Available at the Alnarp Library and in bookstores.
- Gifford, R. (Ed.). (2016). Research Methods for Environmental Psychology. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Chapters 2 and 3. Will be available as pdf.
- Hansson, S.-O. (2017). Science and Pseudo-Science. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Summer 201). Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Available online: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/pseudo-science/
- Vetenskapsrådet. (2017). Good Research Practice. Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet. Available online: https://www.vr.se/download/18.5639980c162791bbfe697882/1555334908942/Good-Research-Practice_VR_2017.pdf
- Anderson, H. (2020). Nature, nationalism and neoliberalism on food packaging: The case of Sweden. Discourse, Context and Media, 34, 1-9. Available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211695819301394
- Bednarek, M. & Caple, H. (2014). Why do news values matter? Towards a new methodological framework for analyzing news discourse in Critical Discourse Analysis and beyond. Discourse & Society, 25(2), 135-158. Available online: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/0957926513516041
- Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
- DeWalt, K.M. & DeWalt, B.R. (2011). Participant observation a guide for fieldworkers. 2nd ed. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield. Available online through the SLU Library
- Englander, M. (2012). The interview: Data collection in descriptive phenomenological human scientific research. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 43(1), 13-35. Available online: https://brill.com/view/journals/jpp/43/1/article-p13_3.xml
- Frost, N. (2011). Qualitative research methods in psychology: combining core approaches. Open University Press. Part I: Some core approaches. Accessible as an e-book at the SLU Library.
- Giorgi, A. (2009). The descriptive phenomenological method in psychology: a modified Husserlian approach. Duquesne. University Press. Parts of the book. Will be available as pdf.
- Jaworski, A. (2015) Globalese: a new visual-linguistic register, Social Semiotics, 25:2, 217-235, DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2015.1010317 -Available through the library website
- Johansson, R. (2003). Case Study Methodology. Available online: http://www.psyking.net/htmlobj-3839/case_study_methodology-_rolf_johansson_ver_2.pdf
- Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2015). InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing. London. SAGE Publications. You need to buy or borrow this one.
- Riessman, C. K. (2007). Narrative Analysis Narrative methods for the human sciencesLondon: Sage publication. pp. 1-7. Will be available as pdf.
- Smith, J. A., & Osborn, M. (2007). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative psychology: a practical guide to research methods. London: SAGE Publications. pp. 53-80. Will be available as pdf.
- von Essen, E. & Englander, M. (2013). Organic food as a healthy lifestyle: a phenomenological psychological analysis. International Journal of Qualitative Studies
on Health and Well-Being, 8, 20559. Available online: https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20559
- Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 10–12. Will be available as pdf.
- Chambliss, D. F., & Schutt, R. K. (2015). Making sense of the social world : methods of investigation. Chapter 8. Will be available as pdf.
- McCormick, K. (Consultant), Salcedo, J., & Poh, A. (2015). SPSS statistics for dummies (3rd edition.). Available as an e-book through the SLU library.
- SCB. (2004). Design your questions right. Available online: http://share.scb.se/ov9993/data/publikationer/statistik/_publikationer/ov9999_2004a01_ br_x97op0402.pdf