ISA3002 - Science theory and philosophy of science


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100 7 days

Course content

The course provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and the theory of science in general, and more advanced knowledge in relation to the issues of applied social science. The main purpose of the course is to improve the students' scientific-theoretical understanding of their own research work, and to give the students knowledge concerning the scientific-theoretical assumptions in applied social science research. Relevant topics covered by the course are different views of knowledge (positivism, hermeneutics, social construction theory, etc.), selected critical ideology and societal analysis (including different human views and their philosophical background) and a critical discussion of methodology and the different social science paradigms. The course is in connection with the method teaching at the masters, as the topics covered also have an impact on design and methodology in research.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - Students who have completed the course:

  • has advanced knowledge of key topics within science-philosophy and science-theoretical subjects that are relevant to social work
  • has in-depth knowledge of different research paradigms and connections between ontological and epistemological points of view and choice of research methods
  • has broad knowledge of scientific theoretical issues based on the history, traditions, uniqueness and place of society in the social sciences
  • has in-depth knowledge of research ethics aspects and the researcher's role and responsibilities

Skills - Students:

  • can analyze and discuss theory of science that may be relevant to the social sciences
  • can discuss how different views of knowledge affect research processes
  • can analyze and relate critically to various sources of information and use these to structure and formulate professional reasoning
  • can evaluate own and others' reasoning from the theoretical and philosophical perspectives of science
  • can account for and justify methodological choices against the choice of research focus

General competence - The students:

  • can apply scientific theoretical knowledge and skills in the process of developing their own research project
  • can, on the basis of scientific theoretical knowledge analyze relevant subject, professional and research ethics issues
  • can analyze their knowledge and skills in new areas to carry out advanced work tasks and projects
  • has good communication skills in writing and orally and masters academic writing

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, group work, and seminars.

Students are given the opportunity to select texts (articles / books, etc.) that are analyzed in self-established groups and some of these works can be presented in plenary one hour each block week after the introductory week.

Further on evaluation

Home exam, 7 days

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Child Welfare Work (MBVARB)
Child Welfare and Child Pretection (MBV)
Disability and Society (MFUNKSAM)
Social work (MSARB)

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to one of the Department's Master programmes.

Course materials

The syllabus list is published on Blackboard at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SARB3007 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
HLS3007 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Social Work


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home examination 100/100 INSPERA
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.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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