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PHD902 Theory of science, ethics and academic text

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

This subject is common for all PhD students undertaking the Course on Educational and Didactic Practices. The subject provides an overview of issues relating to general scientific theory and ethics, with more in-depth studies into matters relating to both professional teaching studies and educational research. During their studies students will discuss and compare key scientific traditions within an educational context. During their work on ethics, students will both identify and discuss any general research ethics and specific ethical issues that arise in connection with the research they undertake in this educational field. Students will study scientific practices by working with academic text types, genres and scientific rhetoric, both generally and within their own field of research.

This subject consists of scientific theory, ethics and academic text work. The three main areas are seen in context, and the work undertaken on general scientific theory and ethics will also be linked to the students¿ work on their own research projects. The course has been adapted to include a broad approach to questions relating to scientific theory and the subject covers scientific paradigms, rationality forms and explanation methods derived from social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Particular emphasis will be placed on how different scientific traditions and text cultures can be seen in the context of educational issues. This subject also examines how students can gain insight into relevant challenges relating to professional ethics, and how these can be addressed. The relevant guidelines and procedures to be followed will be covered and actualised.

Learning Outcome


Students shall

  • possess in-depth knowledge of historical and current issues relating to scientific theories which are linked to various educational traditions
  • have a good understanding of the importance of possessing knowledge about general research ethics and issues relating to research and professional ethics, with particular relevance being paid to research on different didactic practices
  • possess in-depth insight into the various text and knowledge cultures that are involved in characterising the science community concerned with the humanities and social sciences


Students shall

  • be able to identify and analyse ethical research issues in studies relating to educational and didactic practices
  • be able to reflect at a high international level on and employ theoretical scientific strategies in their own research work from a critical educational perspective
  • be able to compile and problematise research work in the field and undertake in-depth analysis of the various types of academic texts

General skills

Students shall

  • be capable of identifying and reflecting critically about new ethical research challenges in their own research work and that of others and undertake their research with a high degree of ethical awareness
  • understand how science generates conditions and opportunities for undertaking subject-related interdisciplinary assignments and projects
  • possess insight into how research and development work and the presentation of such in national and international fora is conditional on theoretical science, ethical and text-related premises
  • be able to participate actively in research guidance and in debates within their field of research

Entry requirements

Scientific theoretical understanding on Ph.d. level.

Teaching methods

Organised tuition will be provided in the form of lectures, seminars and guidance. Students will also be organised in smaller groups where they will prepare discussions and responses relating to draft scientific texts (essay or article format).

Compulsory learning activities

  • Attendance is expected in all lectures
  • Individual oral presentation of a draft presentation on scientific theory relating to their own projects. The text must include discussion of the issues relating to scientific theory and research ethics in relation to their own field of research. This work requirement will be assessed as being approved/not approved.


Assignment in the form of an individual text on scientific theoretical and ethical challenges related to your own research project. This text should contain approx. 3,500-4,500 Words. Literature list comes in addition.

Grading scale: pass/fail. The individual scientific text will be assessed by internal and external examiners based on the learning outcome descriptions which apply to the subject.

Examination support material


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