PNG0081 Contemporary Research Methods, 7.5 Credits
Subjects Other Social Science Landscape Planning Agricultural History Rural Development Environmental Communication Landscape Architecture
No Level Indicated
Pass / Failed
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.
Accepted as a PhD student in a social science/transdisciplinary subject.
This course will provide the PhD-students with skills of how to conduct research on issues that are relevant to e.g. urban and rural development and natural resource management. The course will focus on the relationship between research problems and the criteria for the choice of the methods.
Upon completion of the course, the PhD-students shall:
- be able to evaluate and critically discuss strengths and weaknesses of different research methods;
- be able to delineate a relevant empirical field and empirical material in relation to a given research interest;
- demonstrate practical knowledge in the use of different research methods to establish relevant empirical material in relation to the analysis of specific research questions;
- be able to determine whether or not a problem or a question is open to scientific analysis.
The course will consist of a series of lectures and discussion seminars focused on different types of qualitative research methods, such as participant observations, interviews, discourse analysis, case studies, mapping fields of action and participatory rural appraisal methodology. The course will cover methods including the use of qualitative methods for data collection, the analysis of sources, the use of reflexivity and critique, how to connect social theory and methods, and how to make ethical analyses. Special attention will be given to the interrelationships between methodology and theoretical concepts as well as to questions related to reflexivity.
The course will consist of a series of lectures followed up by seminars and a total of three exercises. Lectures will have specified readings as their benchmarks. The literature corresponding to each lecture shall be read in advance. The lectures are held in English. Both lectures and seminars will be open to discuss methodological questions that students have experienced to be difficult or fear to be so.
Students will demonstrate their understanding of different ways of conducting research by identifying, presenting, discussing and analysing various forms of methodologies and research methods. They will also start planning which methodological approach and which methods they intend to use for their forthcoming PhD-research. The course will also discuss ethical questions connected to the different methods applied and the specific fields where research is conducted.
Formats and requirements for examination
Written exam, presentations and exercises. For successful completion of the course the student must pass: approved examinations, conduct the compulsory exercises and participate actively in the seminars.
The course is given as part of the post graduate research school ‘Society and Landscape’ at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Department of Urban and Rural Development