Theory of Science and Research Methods, 5 credits

Theory of Science and Research Methods, 5 credits

All Courses Project Courses


  • to be introduced to concepts and problems in the philosophy of science.
  • to study research methods in science and technology, especially computer science.
  • to be able to search for information and to have a critical attitude.
  • to be able to write, review, and present scientific papers.
  • to be able to oppose others’ presentations.

Responsible: Mälardalen University (Jan Gustafsson)

Course modules:

  1. Science theory. What is science and what is not? The scientific method for creating knowledge.
  2. Research methodology in science and technology. Research methodology for computer science.
  3. Scientific writing. Searching scientific articles. Writing and presentation of a scientific article. Examination and opposition of scientific articles.

Overview of the video lectures (with questions)

  • Introduction
    • Course Introduction (1 video)
  • 1. Theory of Science
    • Theory of Science (7 videos)
    • Sociology of Science (1 video)
  • 2. Research methodology
    • Overview (1 video)
    • Examples (5 videos)
    • Deductive Methods and Proofs (8 videos)
    • Measurement-based Research Methods in Computer Engineering (3 videos)
    • Research Methods for Software Engineering (1 video)
    • Research methods for Interactive Systems (3 videos)
  • 3. Scientific writing
    • Paper Writing and Publication (4 videos)
    • References, Search, Databases, Use of library (2 videos)
    • Paper Reviewing (1 video)
    • How to Present a Paper (1 video)

Mandatory assignments

  • Assignment 1: Describe and analyse one case of pseudoscience.
  • Assignment 2: Describe and analyse one case study in science history.
  • Assignment 3: Review a journal paper.
  • Assignment 4: Write a scientific paper.
  • Assignment 5: Review other student’s scientific papers. Done in groups of three to six students.
  • Assignment 5: Presentation of a scientific paper at a Mini Conference.
  • Assignment 5: Opposition of scientific papers at the Mini Conference.


This course has one mandatory seminar (the Mini Conference).


Jan Gustafsson, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Hans Hansson, Abhilash Thekkilakattil, Wasif Afzal, Björn Lisper, Mats Björkman, Ylva Fernaeus, Lina Andrén.

Learning outcomes: The student will, after course completion, be able to:

  • explain central concepts and problems in science theory
  • analyze scientific and pseudo-scientific texts and make critical examination of these
  • review scientific articles
  • describe some important research methods in computer science
  • write a scientific article (based on own work or information found in scientific articles or similar) and present this article in a conference
  • oppose others’ presentations
  • practice a critical approach to knowledge, science and research

Upcoming instances: September 2018

More info:

  • Alternative title: Scientific theory and research methods
  • Course title in Swedish: Vetenskapsteori och forskningsmetodik
  • Course code: DVA459 (at MdH), MDH-24118 (at
  • Course syllabus at Mälardalen University
  • Autumn 2017 instance at Mälardalen University
  • Admission requirements: 120 credits of which at least 80 credits in Computer Science and / or equivalent. In addition, at least 18 months of documented work experience in software development.