IKF303 Project - Development and Applied Intercultural theories

All versions:
IKF303 (2024—2025)
IKF303 (2023—2024)
IKF303 (2022—2023)
IKF303 (2021—2022)
IKF303 (2020—2021)
IKF303 (2019—2020)
IKF303 (2018—2019)
IKF303 (2017—2018)

Course code: IKF303

Course name: Project - Development and Applied Intercultural theories


Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2019–2020

Language: English

Credits: 15 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

Admission to this master course, IKF303 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. Master students in ICSM must have followed IKF301 and IKF302 to continue on IKF303

Relevance within study programme

Compulsory course in the ICSM-program

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate has

  • knowledge of the research proposal as a specific academic genre
  • knowledge on how to outline a research project
  • knowledge of research ethics relevant to the specific research
  • advanced knowledge into the relevant intercultural research discourse of a particular field of praxis or work area
  • knowledge of relevant white papers / policy papers from the work area


The candidate

  • can search for relevant and valid information on a particular issue, and on that basis recognize and formulate interesting and relevant research questions and develop these into a feasible research project
  • can produce a research proposal and prepare a research project
  • can recognise and formulate interesting and relevant research questions
  • can apply cultural theory and cultural analysis to a new field of praxis or work area relevant to the scholarly field of intercultural studies
  • can use and reflect upon theoretical angles and methodological tools for collecting, producing and analyzing different types of data in relation to one–s own research goals
  • can identify conflicting values and interests and different positions of power and agency, and grasp multi-vocal approaches
  • can argue clearly, concisely and correctly for the choice of theoretical and methodological perspectives and tools
  • is capable of critical reflection, and evaluate the quality of a research project
  • is able to discuss one–s own and fellow students– research strategies in a scholarly forum  

General competence

The candidate

  • has knowledge of project development and the research process
  • can demonstrate knowledge of how to outline a research project and is able to apply general intercultural theory and methods to a particular field and issue, and to search for relevant and valid information
  • can demonstrate ethical consciousness of problems potentially encountered through research and the use of research results
  • shows respect for research values such as probity and accountability


This course shall contribute to a plan for the work with the master thesis that is theoretically anchored in the field of intercultural studies, have clear research questions and is feasible with regard to the following issues: data collection, accessibility of the field, in compliance with ethical standards , as well as a realistic timeline in relation to the length of the master study. The course expands on the intercultural theories in IKF 301 and is a specialisation in intercultural issues towards a particular selected area of praxis and area of work life. The students should find updated applied intercultural theories and contextual information. They are expected to acquire advanced insights into the status of knowledge on intercultural research in their chosen field of specialisation. Lectures, seminars and workshops include a focus on the development of research questions and research hypotheses in individual projects, as well as practical and methodological challenges related to fieldwork and/or data collection process.

The aim of the course is to prepare the student for field work and future jobs, and to enable her/him to apply intercultural knowledge and skills to a particular field of praxis or work area, such as diplomacy, business and development cooperation, administration and management, education, health care, welfare, security and defence, cultural or religious institutions, or NGOs . The focus must be on intercultural communication and interaction within a confined field relevant to the preparation for the master thesis and ethnographic work.

The students have to search for relevant literature and white papers, and outline their own research project based on an updated account of the knowledge status of relevant intercultural challenges in their selected empirical field. The choice of place and sector for fieldwork may enhance the chance for future employment. For students who participate in one of our programmes for student exchange in their 2.nd semester, the work requirements for this course have to be met before the student may go abroad. To make this possible, all work requirements, lectures and seminars are allocated at the beginning of the semester. The exam is handed in electronically, and the oral exam may take place via Skype for those students who are on student exchange.

Teaching and learning methods

Varying forms of teaching will be employed, including lectures, seminars and workshops.


450 hours . This includes self-study.

Coursework requirements

  • Participate in at least three seminars.
  • Present a draft of the research proposal for the Master Thesis where the research aims are described and discussed, and suggestions are made for theoretical perspectives, methods and ethical implications (approx. 2000-3000 words).
  • Give prepared comments on a co-student's research proposal draft

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved / Not approved

Final assessment

Individual assessment

  • A  research proposal that describes the research question and discusses the research aims, the choise of  theoretical perspectives, methods, ethics, and the fieldwork (approx. 4000-6000 words).
  • Oral examination

         A passing grade is required for the candidate to be allowed to sit for an oral examination. The student
must pass the oral examination to get a final grade.

Students on exchange may apply for oral examination via Skype.

Permitted aids under examination

 For oral exam: Dictionary and the submitted project outline. Other aids are not permitted. 

Grading, examination


Assessment language

Scandinavian languages or English

Progression requirements

The research proposal must be given a passing grade in order to continue to fieldwork and writing the master thesis (ICSM_THE)

All projects that deals with personal data require approval by NSD before fieldwork. 



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.

Other rules

The student has to follow the requirements from research ethical norms and the Data Protection Official for Research .

Available for Course Students



Subject to changes.

The syllabus is 1200 pages, from which ca. 300 pages are compulsory and the rest is a matter of student´s choice according to field of specialisation. The self-composed syllabus shall include theoretical approaches and scholarly literature relevant to the individual project, and must be approved by the assigned individual supervisor.


Blaikie, Norman (2000). Ch.1 Preparing Research Designs, Ch. 3 Research Questions and Purposes. In Designing Social Research: the logic of anticipation Cambridge: Polity Press, 46p.

Brockmann, Michaela (2011) Problematising short-term participant observation and multi-method ethnographic studies. In Ethnography and Education 6(2), 229-243. 14p.

Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz, Linda L. Shaw 2011. Ch. 1 Fieldnotes in Ethnographic Research, Ch. 2. In the Field: Participating, Observing and Jotting Notes, Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 44p

Sandelowski Margarete & Julie Barroso (2003) Writing the Proposal for a Qualitative Research Methodology Project. In Qualitative Health Research 13(6) 781-820. 39p.

White, Patrick 2009. Developing Research Questions. A Guide for Social Scientists Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 132p.

Wolgemuth, Jennifer R. et al. (2015) Participants– experiences of the qualitative interview: considering the importance of research paradigms. In Qualitative Research 2015, 15(3) 351 -372. 21p.