MGLU5239 - Research in Arts Education with a focus on Methodology, Scientific theory and Analysis


New from the academic year 2023/2024

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100 176 hours

Course content

The subject will provide knowledge, skills and general competence about scientific theory, methodology, methods for obtaining and generating data, and analytical approaches within Arts didactical research. The subject will also focus on research design and the connections between choice of topic with problem and research questions connected to scientific theory, methodology, methods for collecting data/ generating data and analysis. Students will learn to navigate a broad Arts didactical research field.

The subject will prepare students to work with their own Masters thesis by giving deeper ontological and epistemological insight and understanding of scientific theory and methodology. An overview of which scientific traditions/ research paradigms (theoretical, methodological and methods) which exist and which can be used - and how there are connected together with a problem/ research question and analysis in a Masters thesis’ research design. In other words, what characterizes good scientific work and the connections between research, researcher, subject and society.

The course will further develop the students' toolbox to independently carry out and analyze their research topic and empirical/source material for their own Masters thesis and the opportunity to put their own Masters project in a scientific theoretical and methodological context. The subject should contribute to the development of a critical and research ethical perspective - and enable the students to see the connections between issues, theory, methodology and methods in Arts didactical research, e.g. through developing a separate project description for their own Masters thesis. The course will strengthen the students' skills and confidence to be able to analyze their research material in new and creative ways. Activities and assessments in the subject link to international theories and practices within Arts didactical research. Students participate in workshops with student-based peer assessment and support in the subject, and gain experience in presenting and developing their own research ideas. In parts of the subject, through seminars/workshops, we will immerse ourselves in particular theoretical and methodological/methodical approaches linked to examples of issues or a first project outline in the Masters thesis.

Learning outcome

The student must have:

  • Knowledge of various scientific theories, research fields/traditions, scientific paradigms with trends and controversies as well as research ethics. Basic knowledge of methodologies and methods, including knowledge of analytical approaches and reasoning within Arts didactical research. The student must also have relevant knowledge of the use of terms within various methodological traditions and be able to reflect independently on these in the context of their Masters thesis.
  • Skills to apply, reflect, define and critically discuss scientific theoretical positions/fields/traditions as well as methodological choices and analyses. Critically assess, interpret and understand the connections between theoretical position, methodological choice for the problem (with research questions) and what results this has for the research work. Design a feasible project description for a Masters level research project. Make reasoned choices about research design in the student’s own Master thesis and show skill in reflecting independently.
  • General competence to be able to analyze and assess the relationship between empirical knowledge, theoretical and methodological issues in both a theoretical and practical/particular way. Apply critical judgment and assess relevant research projects, including evaluating opportunities, challenges and limitations using various scientific theoretical positions and analytical approaches. Have insight into central ideas behind theories and methods and how these are connected with social, societal, economic and political change in the present. Assess professional demarcations and relationships in issues/topics related to empirical data/source material and use of theory, current methodologies/methods - as well as assess research ethics in own and others' research.

Learning methods and activities

The student will learn through the following activities:

• Seminar, work in groups, individual work and lectures

• Workshops related to creative and performing projects

• Collaboration and participation in the development of a research community

• Read, analyze and participate in fellow student responses/ peer group discussions

• Develop the student’s own Masters thesis project description and analytical design

• Self-organized learning

The student will learn through teaching, working with literature and subject matter, practical examples and activities described under compulsory activities.

Compulsory assignments

  • Work requirement 1 (presentation)
  • Work requirement 2 (presentation)
  • Work requirement 3 (written assignment)

Further on evaluation

Compulsory assignments.

During the course, students must complete three obligatory activities (course requirements). Course requirements 1 and 2 are done as group work and are related to a possible Masters project that is presented orally. Work requirement 3 is an individual written assignment.

  • Presentation of an existing relevant Masters thesis where the focus is on the chosen question, which reseach question formed by research design
  • Presentation of an existing relevant Masters thesis in which the focus is on problems with research questions related to scientific theoretical and methodological/methodical positioning
  • Description and reflection around own planned scientific theoretical and methodological/methodical positioning guided by own chosen research questions

    All activities and work requirements must be completed and passed before the student can take the exam in the subject.

The exam

There is an exam paper for summative assessment for the subject: Written project description for own master's project (8-10 pages) with emphasis on scientific theory and methodological/methodical positioning guided by a self-selected problem with research questions. The written exam is carried out as an individual home exam.

The assessment is given as a letter grade as follows NTNU's grading scale, A-F. A-E means pass, and F means fail.

• Description and reflection around own planned scientific theoretical and methodological/methodical positioning guided by own chosen research questions

All activities and work requirements must be completed and passed before the student can take the exam in the subject.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

The following courses must be passed:

MGLU1111, MGLU2111 and MGLU3118


MGLU1511, MGLU2511 and MGLU3518


MGLU1114, MGLU1114 and MGLU3108


MGLU1514, MGLU1514 and MGLU3508

Course materials

The curriculum is textbooks, scientific anthologies, articles and theses in Scandinavian and English languages. The syllabus is posted on BlackBoard before the start of the semester and can be found on Innsida NTNU. The reading list and any additional material will be posted on BlackBoard before the start of the course.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Teacher Education
  • Musicology
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Teacher Education


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100





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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