European Studies: Research Methods and Minor Thesis


Syllabus for students autumn 2018

Course Code:
ES131L revision 3
Swedish name:
Europastudier: Forskningsmetoder och uppsatsskrivande
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
European Studies
Date of ratification:
18 May 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 May 2017
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
17 May 2017

Entry requirements

A minimum of 30 credits in social sciences or humanities + English B from Swedish upper secondary school.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study, European studies, at the 31-60 credit level, and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study: European Studies


The main aim of this course is to help students develop their basic knowledge and ability to apply scientific methods and theories. The course aim is to introduce and let the students practise scientific methods. One further aim is to make the students transform this knowledge in a minor individual written thesis, through problem formulation, study of previous research, choice of relevant method and theory, definitions of concepts, and collection of empirical material and analysis.


The course contains two modules. Module 1 (7,5 credits) presents some of the central research methods used in social sciences and humanities in lectures and seminar exercises, and relates this to teaching and seminar discussions on the importance of problem formulations and theory for the choice of method and material. In this module, the students also begin to work on a first draft for the upcoming minor thesis in module 2 of the course.
Module 2 (7,5 credits) is an essay course, where the student shall write an individual minor independent work. This module contains a combination of group supervision in seminars and individual supervision, and a final seminar where the student shall perform an independent opposition on another student’s essay, as well as defend her/his own work.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, the student shall:

  1. Show basic knowledge and understanding about how scientific problem formulation presupposes and coincides with the choice of method, theory and different kinds of empirical material;
  2. Show basic knowledge about, and ability to, apply different scientific methods on different kinds of material;
  3. Show good ability to engage in oral and written communication;
  4. Show ability to formulate and investigate a scientific problem;
  5. Show ability to write independently, and act as opponent on a short scientific essay;
  6. Show ability to search for, and critically evaluate and choose relevant source material and previous research for a minor scientific study;
  7. Show ability to accomplish assignments and examinations within the stipulated time frames;
  8. Be able to evaluate scientific work, give and take criticism on presented work by valuate the relevance of problem questions, methods, theories and material, and have ability to evaluate the production of knowledge from an ethical perspective.

Learning activities

Individual studies
Independent writing


Module 1 (7,5 credits):
Part 1, 4,5 credits: Method assignments and group seminars (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 7).
Part 2, 3 credits: Individual home assignment (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 7, 8).

Module 2 (7,5 credits):
Minor thesis and opposition and defence at a thesis seminar (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Booth, Wayne, Gregory Colomb and Joseph Williams (2008 – 3rd edn), The Craft of Research, Chicago (e-book and core book for writing processes in the whole programme)
  • May, Tim (2002), Social Research – Issues, methods and process, Open University Press. (also used in the second semester). (selected chapters)
  • Tosh, John (2006 – 4th edn), The Pursuit of History, Longman.
  • Plus up to 300 pages of other material, which may vary from year to year

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course ceases to be available or has undergone any major changes, the students are to be offered two opportunities to retake the examination during the year following the change for re-examination, based on the syllabus which applied at registration.

Other Information

The Language of Instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

GPSstudent - Malmö universitet,
Derek Stanford Hutcheson, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657379


08 November 2021 - 16 January 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö Application period for this offer starts 15 March 2021.

07 November 2022 - 15 January 2023 Day-time 100% Malmö

09 November 2020 - 17 January 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 20000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 20000 SEK