Research Strategies and Design Problems, 7.5 credits
Research Strategies and Design Problems, 7,5 högskolepoäng
Course Syllabus for students Autumn 2017
Course Code:HRDS27
Confirmed by:Director of Education Feb 22, 2017
Valid From:Aug 21, 2017
Reg number:2017/864 (313) Department of Behavioral Science and Social Work
Education Cycle:Advanced level
Disciplinary domain:Social sciences
Subject group:BU2
Specialised in:A1F
Main field of study:Child Studies

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

Upon completion of the course, the student should have the;

Knowledge and understanding

  • to identify and relate to qualitative and quantitative designs in research studies
  • to identify and address validity and reliability in designing quantitative research studies
  • to identify and consider the issues of trustworthiness and credibility in designing qualitative research studies.

Skills and abilities

  • to identify and develop design approaches on the basis of research questions.

Judgement and approach

  • to evaluate and assess the quality different research strategies and methods for responding to research questions.


- presenting and discussing different research designs in quantitative and qualitative research traditions (e.g. randomized control trials, single subject designs, grounded theory, discourse analysis) in relation to principles and criteria for drawing valid conclusions
- principles in quantitative designs include internal validity, construct validity, statistical validity and external validity and in qualitative studies questions of quality and verification
- principles in qualitative research design include trustworthiness and credibility
- an in-depth evaluation of the quality of published research based on issues of validity and reliability in methods chosen

Type of instruction

The course is a part-time distance course involving streamed web-based lectures and live or video seminars. The lectures will be videotaped, streamed and presented on the web. The students are expected to view one lecture a week at a time of convenience. Each week a live or video-seminar is scheduled to follow up on the lecture of the week. The seminar is meant to give students an opportunity to discuss the design presented in the lecture with the lecturer and to apply the design to their own area of interest. If not all students can meet on campus both a live seminar and a video seminar is offered. Students are required to participate actively in these seminars. Scheduled time each week (lecture plus video seminar) is 8 hours. Time for home assignment and literature studies is approximated to 12 hours a week. First lecture and final seminar will be held live at Jönköping University.

The teaching is conducted in English.


The applicant must hold the minimum of a bachelor’s degree (i.e. the equivalent of 180 ECTS credits at an accredited university) within health and caring sciences, behavioral science, social work, or educational sciences, including independent, theoretical based work- i.e. a thesis or equivalent. Proof of English proficiency is required.
In addition, the student has completed the first year of the master’s program Interventions in Childhood, 60 credits, at Jönköping University or the equivalent.

Examination and grades

The course is graded A, B, C, D, E, FX or F.

The students will be examined by two individual papers, one for each home assignment. The paper can be written in Swedish or English.

Registration of examination:
Name of the TestValueGrading
Individual paper2.5 creditsU/G
Final examination15 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
1 Determines the final grade of the course, which is issued only when all course units have been passed.

Other information

The learning outcomes of the course are focused on helping students to understand and apply issues of research strategies and design in their research. Therefore the examination method is focused on helping the student to critically appraise published research studies and their own research studies in terms of design and validity in relation to the stated research questions. These learning outcomes will be assessed by:
1. A written individual home-assignment in which the student is required to analyse one published quantitative study and one qualitative study in terms of validity and quality/verification respectively.
2. A written individual home assignment in which the student is required to discuss a planned or implemented study in his/her own dissertation work in terms of design, validity and/or quality/verification.

Course literature

Kazdin, A.E (2003). Research design in clinical psychology. Boston: Allyon & Bacon.

Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design. Choosing among five traditions. London: Sage Publications.

In addition papers/book chapters assigned by lecturers.

Content updated 2018-03-23

Content updated 2015-06-24
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