IFEL8000 - Introduction to Research Methodology, Theory of Science and Ethics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Approved report
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Approved report 100/100

Course content

This is a mandatory course for PhD students at the Faculty of Engineering, beyond the minimum requirement of 30 ECTS credits.The course contents are:Practical information about study phases, course requirements and PhD thesis, personnel involved, psychological and social factors, PhD student’s and supervisor’s role, overview of research planning; time management.Research method: Criteria for good scientific practice, literature review, critical use of existing knowledge, generalise and define limits for generalization of new findings.Scientific publishing: Classification of conferences and journals, judging what material is publishable; publishing, referee process. Theory of science: Theory of science and engineering science- viz innovation, systemizing and classifying, hypothesis development and testing, establishing laws and models, criticizing own and others work.Ethics: Ethics in engineering; engineering and natural sciences, avoid research that cause unjustified risk to people, jeopardize the environment or convert public resources into private profits, striving for objectivity (in the research process and in presentation of results), handling uncertainty. Development of research plan.

Learning outcome

The overall aim of this subject is to establish a common basis for the PhD research education within the Faculty of Engineering as well as to provide insight into the history and theory of science, qualitative and quantitative research methodology and research ethics. Knowledge: After completion of this subject the candidate should have insight into the theory of science and research methodology, research ethics as well as the quality criteria for research. Skills: After completing this subject the candidate should be able to -formulate research goals and a plan to reach this goals within the subject area of the candidate, and especially prepare the research plan for his PhD thesis. -carry out literature search and acquire knowledge from scientific articles. -understand the peer review process for scientific articles. -reflect about ethical issues in research. General competence: After completion of this subject the candidate should have developed his understanding of quality in research as well as his ability to reason in a critical manner and utilize this ability to ensure quality control and further development of the knowledge present in the scientific literature.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, group discussions and self study. Lectures to be announced and independent projects work. Mandatory attendance and preparation of an approved research plan.

Compulsory assignments

  • Mandatory attendance at 7 of 9 lectures

Required previous knowledge

This course is open only for PhD candidates at IV Faculty.

Course materials

Textbooks and lecture notes.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  4.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Engineering
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Faculty of Engineering


Examination arrangement: Approved report

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Approved report 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Approved report 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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