SMED8004 - Research, ethics and society


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral examination
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 100/100

Course content

The course is compulsory for all PhD students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at NTNU. The main aim of the course is to provide a meta perspective on medical research. What is good research in a broad meaning? And how can we achieve it? Ethical and social discussion of medical research will be a topic through the whole course. Relevant perspectives from the philosophy of science, the history of science as well as methodological discussion, will be part of this. Many of the discussion will be situated within modern medical technologies and the strategic areas at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The mandatory group-based course exam consists of the development and presentation of a discussion paper based on a topic given on the first day of the course. The group work should be done outside the course days, but will be presented orally on the last course day in plenary and with instant feedback from the external examiner. Each group also has to prepare a critical and constructive feed-back to one other group's work.

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to provide a broad insight into medical research through a systematic examination of the ethical, philosophical, social and legal aspects of the research as well as of being a researcher. The group exam will provide practical training in meta-reflection as well as cross-disciplinary collaboration. LEARNING OUTCOME: After completed SMED8004 students are able to systematically reflect up on medical research in terms of research ethical aspects, societal aspects as well as basic philosophy of science. KNOWLEDGDE: After completed the course, students have knowledge of ethical, methodological and philosophical scientific perspectives related to the PhD study. SKILLS: After completed course, the students are able to identify relevant and interesting ethical and theoretical aspects in their own research projects as well as in others, and judge the relation between the design of a research project and good research. GENERAL COMPETENCE: After completed the course, the students are able to judge critically and constructively the authority of science in todays society.

Learning methods and activities

The teaching language in the fall semester is English, the teaching language in the spring semester is Norwegian. There are four days of lectures and discussion. In addition there will be a mandatory and labour-intensive Group work to prepare an assignment. The groups (4-6 members) are put together by the course committee and presented on the first lecture day. All group participants have to define their contribution in the preparation and presentation of the discussion paper.The teaching will be digital in the autmn semester.

Compulsory assignments

  • Lectures and group assignments

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

Admission Reguirements: Master degree or similar. Medical students at The Student Research Programme. Candidates with a lower degree will be assessed individually.

Course materials

Recommended literature will be posted on Blackboard.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SMED8000 5.0 SPRING 2006
MEDT8001 1.0 AUTUMN 2007
PALC8001 2.0 AUTUMN 2012
MN8000 5.0 AUTUMN 2019
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  5.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2022

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2023

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Health Science
  • Medicine
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Public Health and Nursing


Examination arrangement: Oral examination

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