PSYK1100 Philosophy of Science, and Ethics Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Vitenskapsteori og etikk
Study programme
Bachelorstudium i psykologi med vekt på atferdsanalyse
Year of study
Course history


The course highlights key issues in the history of ideas in the Western world. These form the basis for choosing methods based on a research/evidence-based perspective, and for our understanding of the importance of science to general academic knowledge.

Required preliminary courses

Admission to the programme.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence:


The student

  • has knowledge of the most important areas of the philosophy of science (metaphysics, epistemology and ethics) and selected perspectives from the philosophy of science

  • has knowledge of philosophy of science as a basis for psychology and behaviour analysis as disciplines

  • has knowledge of scientific method

  • has knowledge of different theories of normative ethics

  • has knowledge of the ethical guidelines and guidelines for professional conduct that are described by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

  • is familiar with key principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and the Regulations of the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REC)



The student is capable of

  • describing and reflecting on ethical issues relevant to the psychology field

  • describing and reflecting on conflicts of values and ethical dilemmas at individual, group and society levels

  • describing and reflecting on experiment as a scientific method



The student is capable of

  • reflecting on positions in the philosophy of science in relation to choice of methods and different theories of normative ethics

Teaching and learning methods

Work and teaching methods used in the course are lectures and self-study. Seminars will also be held where the students present subject matter. Participation in these seminars is compulsory. Students will present texts from the syllabus, encourage discussion and receive guidance on further reading. During the course, the students will submit four assignments related to key topics in the syllabus. The assignments will be set by the lecturer. The students’ learning outcomes will be documented through presentations, written papers and the exam.

Course requirements

  • Participation at the seminars (80%)

  • Presentation of given subject matter

  • Submission of four assignments by the given deadline (assessed as approved/not approved) max. 900 words.

The required coursework must be approved before the students can take the supervised written exam.


Supervised individual written exam, 4 hours.

Permitted exam materials and equipment


Grading scale

The grade scale A-F is used.


One internal and one external examiner