MET4101 Research Methods

Course code: 
MET4101
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Vitenskapelig metode
Program of study: 
Master i militære studier
Credits: 
7,5
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching semester: 
2021 Autumn
2022 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian
Person in charge: 
Kåre Martinsen
Course content

The Research Methods course is an introduction to key issues and methods in the social sciences for students of diverse educational and professional backgrounds. It includes basic training in how to use social science methods in written assignments. Students who have not studied research methods for some time or have known gaps in their existing knowledge are advised to spend additional time when familiarising themselves with the reading list.

Substantial parts of the teaching and reading address practical and theoretical issues that arise when writing a thesis and shorter assignments.

Topics: Research ethics, fundamental issues in the theory of science, key concepts in research methods, the writing process, qualitative methods, quantitative methods

Learning outcome

Knowledge outcomes

On course completion, students will: 

  • be able to explain key concepts in research methods
  • be able to discuss some fundamental issues in the theory of science
  • be able to use quantitative and qualitative methods, and choose the methods appropriate for their research questions
  • be able to employ theory in research design and analysis
  • be able to define and apply ethical guidelines for research

Skills outcomes

On course completion, students will:

  • apply best practice skills for citations and references
  • employ relevant theories and methods when posing research questions, answering them and organising inquiries relevant to their profession
  • collect, analyse and critically assess various forms of information, employ information to formulate and structure their arguments in an independent manner
  • complete an independent, limited research project under supervision and in compliance with current standards in research ethics

General competence outcomes

On course completion, students will:

Communicate their independent analyses according to the prevailing norms and practices in their field of study

Be able to discuss research questions, analyses and findings within their field of study, with other specialists as well as with the general public

Working and learning activities

Plenary lectures, study groups and active student participation are the core learning activities. It is expectyed that the students have read the curriculum assigned for each day before attending lectures

Sensor system

Examination is carried out according to the Regulations for Admission, Studies and Examinations (in Norwegian, “Forskrift om opptak, studier og eksamen”) at the Norwegian Defence University College.

Curriculum

MET4101 Thematically organised reading list

(732 p.) The obligatory reading is to be read ahead of the relevant lecture or activity. Only the particularly relevant or challenging items are discussed during lectures.

Please note that either Creswell 2014 or Creswell & Creswell 2018 (identical title) may be used. Page numbers given here are for Creswell 2014 and do not correspond to Creswell & Creswell 2018. Please refer to chapter numbers instead.

The reading list may be adjusted during the course of the teaching year.

Topic 1: Research ethics (30 p.)

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (3rd ed.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, ch. 3 (15 p.)

Forskningsetiske komiteer (2016). Forskningsetiske retningslinjer for samfunnsvitenskap, humaniora, juss og teologi. De nasjonale forskningsetiske komiteer (items 1-4 & 5-18, pp. 9-23). Available from https://www.etikkom.no/forskningsetiske-retningslinjer/Samfunnsvitenskap-jus-og-humaniora/ (15 p.)

For students who are not native Norwegian speakers the following item may be substituted for Jacobsen ch. 3 above, with notification to the course convenor:

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 92-101 = end of ch.4 (10 p.)

Topic 2: Fundamental issues in the theory of science (40 p.)

Nyeng, F. (2012). Nøkkelbegreper i forskningsmetode og vitenskapsteori. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, ch. 1, 6-9, 21 (40 p.)

Topic 3: Key concepts in research methods (158 p.)

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (3rd ed.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, chs. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 (85 p.)

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 3-23 (ch.1) og pp. 51-76 (ch.3) (45 p.)

Johannessen, L.E.F, Rafoss, T.W. og Rasmussen, E.B. (2018). Hvordan bruke teori? Nyttige verktøy i kvalitativ analyse. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, ch. 2 (28 p.)

Nyeng, F. (2012). Nøkkelbegreper i forskningsmetode og vitenskapsteori. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, ch. 3 (6 p.)

For students who are not native Norwegian speakers the following items may be substituted for Jacobsen ch. 1, 4 and 5 above, and for Johannessen et al. 2018 with notification to the course convenor:

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, ch. 1, 3, 7 (59 p.)

Topic 4: The writing process (119 p.)

Busch, T. (2013). Akademisk skriving for bachelor- og masterstudenter. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget (78 p.)

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (3rd ed.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, ch. 16 (16 p.)

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 25-50 (ch.2) (25 p.)

The following web resource is a useful guide when writing up your methods section or chapter:

http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/methodology

For students who are not native Norwegian speakers the following items may be substituted for Jacobsen ch. 16 above, with notification to the course convenor:

Cresswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 83-92 = middle of ch.4 (10 p.)

AND

Powner, Leanne C. (2015). Empirical Research and Writing. A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks: CQ Press/SAGE, ch. 9 (15 p.)

Topic 5: Qualitative methods (139 p.)

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (3rd ed.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, chs. 8, 9, 10, 11 (107 p.)

Denscombe, M. (2017). The Good Research Guide for small-scale research projects (6. utg). Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill, ch. 3 (case) (12 p.)

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 183-213 (ch.9) (20 p.)

Additional reading for students using qualitative methods in their masters thesis (127 p.)

It is advisable to look through all the additional items listed here before deciding what is relevant to your project.

Aberbach, J. D. & Rockman, B. A. (2002). Conducting and Coding Elite Interviews. PS: Political Science and Politics, 35(4), 673-676. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1554807?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents (4 p.)

Berry, J.M. (2002). Validity and Reliability Issues in Elite Interviewing. PS: Political Science and Politics, 35(4), 679-682. Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1554809?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents  (4 p.)

Tansey, O. (2007). Process Tracing and Elite Interviewing: A Case for Non-Probability Sampling. PS: Political Science and Politics, 40 (4), 765-772. Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20452062?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents (8 p.)

Denscombe, M. (2017). The Good Research Guide for small-scale research projects (6th ed). Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill, ch. 13 (interviews) and 14 (observation) (44 p.)

Johannessen, L.E.F, Rafoss, T.W. og Rasmussen, E.B. (2018). Hvordan bruke teori? Nyttige verktøy i kvalitativ analyse. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, ch. 5 (categories), 10 (thematic analysis) (67 p.)

Topic 6: Quantitative methods (246 p.)

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (3rd ed.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, chs. 2, 13, 14, 15 (132 p.)

Ringdal, K. (2013). Enhet og mangfold: samfunnsvitenskapelig forskning og kvantitativ metode (3rd ed.). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, pp. 390-393 (4 p.)

Martinussen, M. & Hunter, D (2008). Luftfartspsykologi. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, ch. 2 (39 p.)

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp.155-182 (ch. 8) (28 p.)

Students who are not native Norwegian speakers are advised to read the following items as general introductions to quantitative methods and in partial substitution of the Jacobsen chapters above, however only in consultation with those chapters for scope and detail:

Cresswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage, ch. 8 (28 p.)

AND

Powner, Leanne C. (2015). Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks: CQ Press/SAGE, ch. 7 (21 p.)

Additional reading for students using qualitative methods in their masters thesis (164 p. + Field):

It is advisable to look through all the additional items listed here before deciding what is relevant to your project. Field 2013 is proposed as a reference guide to SPSS.

Fosse, T.H., Buch, R., Säfvenbom, R., & Martinussen, M. (2015). The impact of personality and self-efficacy on academic and military performance: The mediating role of self-efficacy. Journal of Military Studies, 6(1) Available from: https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/jms/6/1/article-p47.xml

Johansen, R. B., Laberg, J.C., & Martinussen, M. (2013). Measuring military identity: Scale development and psychometric evaluations. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 41(5), 861-880. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asn&AN=88161724&site=ehost-live (20 p.)

Køber, P.K., Lang-Ree, O. C., Stubberud, K.V. & Martinussen, M. (2017). Predicting Basic Military Performance for Conscripts in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Military Pshychology, 29(6), 560-569. (10 p.)

Martinussen, M., Gundersen, E., & Pedersen, R. (2011). Predicting fear of flying and positive emotions towards air travel. Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors, 1(2), 70-74. Available from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=f5be419e-b6f1-47a9-a8da e84710a77be6%40sessionmgr4010&vid=0&hid=4104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=2011-28687-002&db=pdh (5 p.)

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Ringdal, K. (2013). Enhet og mangfold: samfunnsvitenskapelig forskning og kvantitativ metode (3rd ed.). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, chs. 9, 15, 17 (83 p.)

Powner, Leanne C. (2015). Empirical Research and Writing. A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks: CQ Press/SAGE, pp. 181-221 (chs. 8 & 9, in ch.9 the paragraphs on quantitative projects) (40 p.)

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredPresence requiredComment
Paper11Not requiredA paper of no more than 1000 words on a topic selected from a list
Seminar-/samlingsdeltakelse11Required1. feedback/discussion of another student's paper and 2. presentation of draft project for master's thesis and participation in group discussion
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Paper
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Presence required:Not required
Comment:A paper of no more than 1000 words on a topic selected from a list
Mandatory coursework:Seminar-/samlingsdeltakelse
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Presence required:Required
Comment:1. feedback/discussion of another student's paper and 2. presentation of draft project for master's thesis and participation in group discussion
Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
Muntlig eksamenIndividual15MinutesPass / fail 100 %Not required Brief outline of your own master's thesis project (notes only)
Vurderinger:
Form of assessment:Muntlig eksamen
Grouping:Individual
Duration:15
Type of duration:Minutes
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Proportion: 100 %
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:
Supported materials: Brief outline of your own master's thesis project (notes only)
Authors: 
Kåre Martinsen