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MMO5001 Philosophy of Science, Research Design and Methods

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

The course gives the students an overview of philosophy of science and introduces major research methodologies. The emphasis is on various scientific methods useful for approaching the literature critically, making analyses, and generating conclusions.

During the course, students will learn to formulate research questions. Through practical exercises, the students will get training in data collection and get an insight into the challenges associated with academic research. The course will also give an introduction to different concepts associated with the philosophy of science and ethical requirements for conducting academic research.

Learning Outcome


Upon completion of the course, the student:

  • has advanced knowledge about the main principles of research design and relevant methods of data collection.
  • knows of fundamental concepts associated with the philosophy of science
  • knows of ethical requirements for conducting academic research
  • has advanced knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research strategies.
  • has thorough knowledge on how to prepare, organize and write a scientific text.
  • can analyze academic problems within a maritime context.


Upon completion of the course, the student can:

  • justify appropriate research design for research projects.
  • conduct analysis using quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • interpret output from quantitative and qualitative analyses.
  • undertake balanced criticism of data sources.
  • initiate, develop and complete a scientific research project within a maritime context.

General Competence

Upon completion of the course, the student can:

  • read, criticize, research, create and use knowledge published in scientific literature.
  • participate in large-scale research projects.
  • communicate relevant topics to both specialists and non-specialists.
  • analyze relevant ethical problems in research.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge of scientific methods as commonly acquired though completing a bachelor's thesis.

Teaching methods

Independent studies, lectures/seminars, group work.

Compulsory learning activities

Written assignment (to be specified in the semester plan)

The student must attend physically in class in Haugesund at least 1 of 3 course sessions

The student must pass HVL's module for academic integrity (will be specified at study start).


Semester paper

Examination support material

All aids are allowed.

More about examination support material