ØAMET4200 Research Methods for Social Sciences Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Samfunnsvitenskapelig metode
Study programme
Masterstudium i økonomi og administrasjon
Year of study
Course history


The course particularly builds on a foundation course in social science research methods at bachelor's degree level and a foundation course in statistical methodology. This is a compulsory common course in the main profile Strategy, Organisation and Leadership.

Required preliminary courses


Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will acquired the learning outcomes defined in knowledge, skills and general competence


The student

  • in-depth knowledge and understanding of how models are used in the social sciences


The student is capable of

  • formulating issues and research questions, searching for relevant literature and applying theory in a reflected manner
  • relating research questions and context to choice of method and analysing data to answer research questions
  • planning and carrying out the empirical part of a master¿s thesis in the field of organisation and management
  • carrying out an independent, limited research project in the form of a master's thesis in his/her field under supervision and in accordance with applicable research ethical standards 


An introduction to theory of science

The research process from A to Z:

  • Topic and research question
  • Literature searches
  • Use of models
  • Design
  • Obtaining data
  • Analysis and interpretation
  • Forms of validity
  • Ethics
  • Reporting and presentation

Qualitative data

  • Sampling
  • Interviews
  • Analysis and validity

Quantitative methods

  • The survey method
  • Using secondary data
  • Analysis in brief

Teaching and learning methods

Varied forms of teaching will be used, with a combination of lectures, guest lectures, class discussions, project assignment and student presentations. A series of exercises intended to familiarise students with the different steps involved in research work is a key element of the course. These exercises are designed to enable students to assess, plan and carry out empirical studies.

Course requirements

In order to be able to register for the exam, the student must have the following approved work requirements:

Three compulsory exercises to be submitted in writing, each with a scope of up to five pages. Each of the three submissions must be presented to the class and there is compulsory participation at these seminars. If the assignment handed in is not approved, the student will be given one opportunity to submit an improved version. The lecturer will inform students of deadlines for submission.


A project description, i.e. a plan for a potential research project, for example in preparation for the master's thesis. The project description is individually or in groups of maximum three students. The project description must have a scope of 10-15 pages. The projec description counts for 60% of the grade awarded for the course.

A written four-hour exam. The exam counts for 40% of the grade awarded for the course.

Pass grades must be awarded both for the project description and for the written exam in order to pass the course. If a student has to resit the exam, he/she can retake each part separately. It is not necessary to take both parts.

Permitted exam materials and equipment

All reference aids are allowed while working on the project description as long as the rules for source references are followed.

Written exam: No reference aids are allowed.

Grading scale

A grade scale with grades from A to E for pass and F for fail is used.


An internal and an external examiner will grade the project description and the written exam.  

A selection of at least 25% of the exam papers will be assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded to exam papers assessed by the external and internal examiner will be used to determine the level of all exam papers.