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MET5920: Methodology: Practical and Systematic Disciplines

Time schedule | PDF-version for print

General information | General information | Overlapping courses | Overlapping courses | Course requirements | Course requirements | Final assessment | Final assessment | Course objective and content | Course objective and content | Comments on the literature list | Comments on the literature list | Literature 

Person responsible for the course:Terje Hegertun (
Credit points (ECTS):10
Start of studies:Spring
Study programme:Master's degree (2 years) - Master of Theology
Programme of professional study - Professional Degree in Theology
Department:Department of Theology and Ministry

General information

The course should yield the knowledge and skills needed to develop text-based theses (PT, ST, M/RS). It aims at securing a tight integration between the thesis, the method applied, and the philosophy of science. The course requires that the student has, in collaboration with the subject teacher or supervisor, started to deliberate upon the theme of his/her thesis, and on his/her sources of enquiry. The course will be taught in English unless there are only Norwegian students participating in the course.
The course consists of the following parts:
  • A compulsory course in literature-search and academic writing-skills
  • lectures in the philosophy of science and methodology
  • development of research design for one's thesis
  • a project proposal
  • self study
  • an essay discussing a methodological or theoretical problem relevant for your theses subject
The course assumes that the student has begun to determine the topics and material for his thesis. In Fronter you are asked to fill in chosen disipline and topic for your thesis, and name of two potential supervisors, and whether you have had contact with a potential supervisor. This registration is compulsory but not binding for your dissertation. The registration may be edited until the allocation of supervisor is made.
If a relationship with a supervisor is not already established, the administration will assign supervisor on the basis of the registration done by you in Fronter. Capacity within the various disciplines can influence the allocation. When a supervisor is assigned, a contract is signed by you and the supervisor.
Students are asked to, as early as possible, start developing a design for their thesis in collaboration with their supervisor and the person responsible for the methodology course. As part of this work, the student will also submit and have approved a written reflection on issues in the academic literature relevant to their own thesis.
The main purpose in connection with developing a research design, is that the student, upon having consulted the subject teacher or his/her supervisor, writes a text containing a thoroughly prepared presentation of:
  • A well-founded problem
  • Reasonably delimited sources of enquiry
  • A well-reasoned method
  • The structure of the thesis
  • The aim of the thesis
This text should have the potential of becoming the project proposal of the thesis to be written. It is required that the student is able to present and discuss it in a seminary.
The course can enter into the following study programs: master of theology, master of philosophy in religious education, master of philosophy in Christian education.

Overlapping courses

Parts of MET5920 Methodology: Practical and Systematic Disciplines overlap with MET504 Methodology: Systematics/Hermeneutics and MET5921 Methodology: Practical and Systematic Disciplines.
  • Students who have already completed MET504 will receive 5 credit points (ECTS) for MET5920 on their transcript of records or diploma.
  • Students who have already completed MET5921 will receive 5 credit points (ECTS) for MET5920 on their transcript of records or diploma.

Course requirements

  • register topic for thesis (100-300 words)
  • complete a compulsory course in literature search
  • complete a compulsory course in academic writing
  • Submit a project proposal (ca. 2000 words) including a list of self chosen literatur (300 pages)
  • submit supervision contract
  • submit, and have approved, an essay discussing a methodological or theoretical problem relevant for your theses subject (1500 - 2500 words)
  • participate in the evaluation of the curriculum and/or the learning environment if such evaluation is stipulated in the relevant term
Registration lists will be made available in Canvas if there is more than one course offered in literature search.

Final assessment

To gain credit for the course the student must fulfill all the requirements. The course is assessed passed/not passed.

Course objective and content

After having completed the course the student is expected to:
  • possess thorough knowledge of the basic methodological requirements of a scientific work in the relevant theological discipline.
  • possess thorough knowledge of the hermeneutic and contextual dimensions of theological scholarship.
  • be able to apply a systematic method in the completion of a thesis or essay on level 500/5000.

Comments on the literature list

Additionally to the litteratur listed below, the student will upon having consulted the subject teacher, chose literature ( ca 300 p.) relevant for your theses subject for self study
  • Westphal, Merold, Whose community? which interpretation? / philosophical hermeneutics for the church Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2009, Library
  • Oliver, Paul, Writing your thesis 2. utg. ed. Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage, 2008, Library/ 978-81-7829-918-1


To access electronic literature when you are not at MF:

  • Everett, E. L. & Furseth, I. (2012). Masteroppgaven: Hvordan begynne - og fullføre (2. ed.). Oslo: Universitetsforl. Library
  • Jeanrond, W. G. (1994). Theological hermeneutics: Development and significance. London: SCM Press. Library
  • Johannessen, L. E. F., Rafoss, T. W. & Rasmussen, E. B. (2018). Hvordan bruke teori?: Nyttige verktøy i kvalitativ analyse. Oslo: Universitetsforl. Library
  • Pettersen, T. (2015). Skriv: Fra idé til fagoppgave (2. ed.). Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk. Library


  • National Committees for Research Ethics in Norway, . (2016). Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, humanities, law, and theology. Hentet 2020-05-12 fra


  • Den nasjonale forskningsetiske komité for samfunnsvitenskap og humaniora (NESH), . (2016). Forskningsetiske retningslinjer for samfunnsvitenskap, humaniora, juss og teologi. Hentet 2019-11-22 fra

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