Scientific Methods

MET528 Scientific Methods

Autumn 2023

Spring 2024
  • Topics

    The course is divided into two parts. The first part concern philosophy of science and scientific-internal questions, the second part discusses scientific practice from external perspectives: Historical, ethical, political, sustainable, and the sociology of scientific practice.

    The aim is that students should know and discuss the most common arguments made on the knowledge-theoretical grounding of scientific practice in economics and related fields such as finance and management science.

  • Learning outcome

    After completion of the course, the student should be able to:


    • Account for the main positions in philosophy of science.
    • Account for the role of philosophy of science in current practice.
    • Relate the history of scientific practice to positions in philosophy of science.
    • Relate scientific notions of causality to those in the philosophy of social science.
    • Recognize competing scientific traditions and how they relate to positions in the philosophy of science.


    • Discuss own scientific practice in light of the National guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and humanities and the NHH ethical guidelines.
    • Discuss reflexively the social practice of science in light of his or her own scientific tradition.

    General competence

    • Evaluate specific scientific practices with respect to foundational methodological principles.
    • Recognize how scientific practice is social practice.

  • Teaching


  • Restricted access

    • PhD candidates from NHH
    • PhD candidates from University of Bergen in economics or other related subjects
    • PhD candidates from other higher educational institutions in economics or other related subjects

  • Compulsory Activity

    1. active participation in class
    2. one brief presentation to the class
    3. term paper

    All elements are necessary for fulfillment of compulsory activities (work requirements).

    Compulsory activities (work requirements) are valid for one semester after the semester they were obtained.

  • Assessment

    Written home exam, 3 hours.

    Re-take is offered the semester after the course was offered for students with valid compulsory activities (work requirements).

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Samir Okasha (2016). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Second Edition, Oxford University Press.

    Nancy Cartwright and Eleonora Montuschi eds. (2014). Philosophy of Social Science: A New Introduction. Oxford University Press.

    Papers that will be made available.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered spring 2023.

Course responsible

Professor Erik Ø. Sørensen, Department of Economics