IKF302 Methodology

All versions:
IKF302 (2024—2025)
IKF302 (2023—2024)
IKF302 (2022—2023)
IKF302 (2021—2022)
IKF302 (2020—2021)
IKF302 (2019—2020)
IKF302 (2018—2019)
IKF302 (2017—2018)

Course code: IKF302

Course name: Methodology

Semester: Autumn

Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2019–2020

Language: English

Credits: 10 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the Master of Intercultural Studies program is based upon completed bachelor's degree/cand. mag. with a minimum of 80 ECTS in Intercultural Studies or equivalent specialization, and with the average grade C or better in this field of study. Admission to this master course, IKF302 is based upon completed bachelor's degree/cand. mag. with a minimum of 80 ECTS in Intercultural Studies, in social sciences, cultural studies or religion studies, and with the average grade C or better in this field of study.

Relevance within study programme

Compulsory course in the ICSM-program

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate has

  • knowledge of different methodologies, their epistemological and ontological presuppositions, and their implications for qualitative research projects within the field of Intercultural Studies.
  • thorough knowledge of methods within Intercultural Studies, among them different qualitative interviewing techniques and ethnographic research methods.  
  • thorough knowledge of ethical and scientific standards for conducting qualitative research.
  • thorough knowledge of the challenges that cultural interpretation and representation pose at all stages of qualitative research practices.


The candidate

  • can critically assess the implications of methodological choices for own and others– research practices within Intercultural Studies
  • can select and apply qualitative methods adequately depending on the research project at hand
  • can demonstrate cultural sensitivity and reflective awareness in own research practice and across contexts
  • can assess ethical concerns at every stage of the research process and apply ethical standards in own research, including in academic writing.
  • can demonstrate dynamic, effective, and persuasive written and oral communication skills carried out in an appropriate style for the communication objective at hand

General competence

  • the student has knowledge of scientific and ethical standards for qualitative research practices within the field of Intercultural Studies and can make justified methodological and ethical choices and assessments.


IKF302 introduces students to methodology in terms of the justification, explanation and understanding of research methods. The course focuses on the ramifications of methodological choices for the research process at large: The students will learn to identify how different methodologies imply theoretical (epistemological and ontological) presuppositions and judgments, and how ethical challenges present themselves at all stages of the research process.

Furthermore, the students will become able to identify how research objectives, research questions, ethical considerations and theoretical frameworks influence the choice of methods in a variety of qualitative research projects within Intercultural Studies.

The course enables students to make qualified and justified choices of methods, and critically assess ethical concerns/ requirements and research results. The students acquire competence in qualitative research work, including practical training in the application of selected methods and research ethics, which prepare them for future research. There will be many opportunities to train methodological assessment and communicative skills, enhance cultural sensitivity and ethical awareness, and understand the relationship between methodological choices and the challenges of cultural interpretation and representation in Intercultural Studies.

Teaching and learning methods

IKF 302 combines lectures, compulsory seminars, and other course requirements with the aim of assisting the students' understanding of, acquisition of and assessment of methodological knowledge and competence in qualitative research work.

Four compulsory seminars help students gain competence in methods and research ethics. The seminars include opportunities for engaging concretely with case studies and practical training in the application of methods, critical assessment of methodological choices, and the process of establishing and analysing data.

The course requirements include a multiple- choice test in research ethics, exercises in peer-review work-methods and research collaboration during seminars. During the course, the students complete an individual, academic log on issues related to the seminars. In sum, this systematically enhances written and oral communicative skills and trains the students in making qualified methodological choices in own research work and assess those of others.


300 hours

Coursework requirements

  • Participate in four compulsory seminars, including here:
    • Seminar 1 and 2: Interviews and ethnographic fieldwork methods followed by self-directed group work (2 days)
    • Seminar 3:  Course in research ethics focusing on how ethical questions permeate all stages of the research process and clarification of juridical requirements, followed by self-directed group work (1 day),
    • Seminar 4: Presentation of own research interest and related methodological and ethical issues. Students also act as prepared discussants on at least one co-student–s methodological presentation (in groups - 1 day).
  • Multiple choice-test in research ethics: All students are obliged to carry out online multiple choice-test on research ethics, where the score needs to be at least 80% to be approved.
  • Writing an academic log (2500 words): All students will complete an individually written academic log according to a predefined framework. The academic log represents an opportunity to reflect on methodological issues thematised in the lectures and write out results from the seminars, including a presentation of own research interests and related methodological  challenges. The log will be assessed with respect to formal criteria for academic writing.

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved / Not approved

Final assessment

5 hours written exam in an examination location.  

Permitted aids under examination

Bilingual English dictionary or an English-English dictionary

Grading, examination

ECTS grading scale from A to F, in which E or better is necessary in order to pass

Assessment language

Scandinavian or English

Progression requirements

Master students in ICSM must have followed IKF301 and IKF302 to continue on IKF303



Course evaluation

Annually course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College. Students may also give their feedback on the course in the student group/ in class.

Available for Course Students



Syllabus ca. 750 pages

NOTE: Books to be purchased or borrowed are marked in bold. Articles that can be accessed on the internet have e-references. The remaining curriculum can be accessed in the BOLK-compendium available in itslearning.



Cresswell, J.W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 4th ed. Los Angeles, London and New Dehli: Sage Publications. S. 1-155,. (155 p..)

Brinkmann, S. (2013). Qualitative Interviewing. US: Oxford University Press. 160 p.



*Articles to be found on Itslearning

*Barth, F (1999): Comparative Methodologies in the Analysis of Anthropological Data. In J.H. Bowen & R. Peterson (eds.): Critical Comparisons in Politics and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 78-89 (12)

*Carter, S. M. & M. Little. (2007). Justifying Knowledge, Justifying Method, Taking Action: Epistemologies, Methodologies, and Methods in Qualitative Research. In: Qualitative Health Research, Volume 17 Nu. 10. P. 1316-1328 (12 p).

*Farnell, B & L.R. Graham. ( 2015). Discourse-centered methods.  In: H. Russell Bernard & C.C. Gravlee (eds). (2015). Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, Boulder, New York, London. 391-404 (13 p).

*Gupta, A. and J. Ferguson (1997): Discipline and practice: «The field» as site, method, and location in anthropology. In Gupta and Ferguson (eds.): Anthropological Locations. Berkeley: University of California Press;1-46. (45)

Madden, R. (2010): Being Ethnographic. A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Ethnography. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Chapter 1,p 16-55  (39 p)

Maxwell, J. A.  (2011): A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.    Chapter 1-3, p. 3-68. (65 p.)   

Musante, K. (2015). Participant Observation. In: Russel, H  C. C. Gravlee (eds). (2015.) Handbook in Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, Boulder, New York, London. P. 251-292 (41 p.)

*Rabiee, F. (2004). Focus-group interview and data analysis. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 63, 655-660. (5 p)

*Schweizer, T. (1998). Epistemology. The nature and validation of anthropological knowledge. In: Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Ed. H. Russell Bernard. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC: Walnut Creek, Lanham, New York Oxford. 39- 87 (48 p)

*Trotter, R.T. & J.J. Schensul. (1998).  Methods in applied anthropology.  In:  Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Ed. H. Russell Bernard. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC: Walnut Creek, Lanham, New York Oxford. 691-735 (44 p).

Wutich, A, Ryan, G. & H.R. Bernard (2015). Text analysis. In: Russel, H. B &  C. C. Gravlee (eds). (2015.) Handbook in Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, Boulder, New York, London. P. 533-599 (26 p.)

**Articles online – the NLA library service

**Asad, T (1994): Ethnographic representation, statistics and modern power. In Social research Vol. 61, no 1; 55-88. (33).  

**Marcus, G.E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the World System: The emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography. In: Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 24, 95-117 (26 s.) http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=5f01fa43-a3fa-4b4d-9a45-4491640439bb%40sessionmgr4006&vid=0&hid=4112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=9511201353&db=aph

NESH (2016): Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, humanities, law and theology. (35) (https://www.etikkom.no/en/ethical-guidelines-for-research/guidelines-for-research-ethics-in-the-social-sciences--humanities-law-and-theology/