Welcome to the course Basic Scientific Theory and Research Methods in Social Work,7,5 cr!

On this page you will find information about your course, course registration and more. Here you will also find your course syllabus and the course timetable.

Course information

This course is a full-time Campus course given between weeks 51-03.
Name of course

Basic Scientific Theory and Research Methods in Social Work

Course code


Application code



Faculty of health and occupational studies

Course co-ordinator

Name: Jimmy Munobwa

Email: jimmy.munobwa@hig.se

Phone: 0762681847

Course administration

Name: Lena Hjelm

Email: studentsupport@hig.se

Register on your course!

In order to register on your course, you first need to create a user account. Read more about how to activate your user account in our guide, "Five steps to get started".

If you do not register on time, you will lose your place on the course. Please contact your course administrator before the end of the registration period if you are experiencing problems with course registration.

If you are conditionally admitted you are not able to register on the course yourself.

Period for course registration: 9 december – 15 december

About the course

Course syllabus, reading list and timetable

Course syllabus, reading list and timetable

Course organisation and communication

Course organisation

Lectures and seminars
The course is campus-based; all lectures, seminars and the individual class-based examination will be held at the university campus in Gävle. The course begins on Monday 16th December 2019 with an introductory lecture aimed at going through information about the course and clarifying on issues as may be needed. Attendance of the introductory seminar is compulsory. A roll call is done at the introductory seminar.

The course proceeds with a combination of lectures, seminars and practical exercises. The details and schedule are given in the course’s study guide which is available on blackboard latest one week before the course begins. Please note that changes may occur in the schedule. Notification of changes are communicated through blackboard.
All seminars and practical exercises are compulsory; that is, full attendance and participation is obligatory. Seminars are part of the examination. It is desirable that students attend all the lectures, although attendance is not compulsory (except for the introductory lecture).  
Schedule and venues

The course begins on Monday 16th December 2019 and runs until Friday 17th January 2019. Examination will be held during the third week of January 2019. Re-examination will be held in February, April and August 2019. A detailed schedule will be availed in the study guide on blackboard before the course begins.  

Examination task 1 – Formulating a research project
The task will be carried out in study groups; all students will be allocated into study groups and given a specific research field within social work. The task is to formulate two research proposals (one qualitative and one quantitative), specifying the aim, research questions, methods and the planned steps in the research process. Each group will present their work both in writing and at a seminar. Students will be examined based on the seminar presentation as well as the final submitted research proposals. Grades pass and fail will be awarded. For the grade pass, active participation at the seminars and submission of a complete research proposal is required. Students that are unable to take part in the group work or seminar presentation will have to present individual research proposals at one of the dates for re-examination.  

Examination task 2 – carrying out a qualitative interview
This task will carried out individually and your work will be presented and discussed at seminar. This task involves conducting a qualitative interview with a student in another study group. The purpose is to practice interviewing skills, which is not only a research method but also a practical method often used with clients and patients in the social work field. The length of the interview should be approximately 30 minutes. The topic of the interview connects to the PPD (personal and professional development) theme that forms part of the Bachelor’s programme.  

Examination task 3 – individual class-based examination
The individual class-based examination will take place during the third week of January 2019. This examination covers the following three learning outcomes – (1) to explain the basics of research methods for data collection and analysis, (2) to explain the significance of theories in the research process and (3) to formulate methodologically and theoretically motivated approaches and analysis strategies for basic research problems. Grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F can be awarded according to the ECTS grading scale, where an E represents the minimum requirements for passing.

The grade for the individual class-based examination determines the final grade for the course, but to obtain a pass grade (A-E) for the course it is also obligatory to obtain a pass grade in examination tasks 1, 2 and 3, as well as complete all seminar tasks. Individual class-based re-examination will take place in February and august


Information about the course will be regularly posted on Blackboard. It is therefore important that you regularly check the course page on Blackboard. The syllabus for the course and study guide will also be found on Blackboard.  

You can direct your questions about the course to the course coordinators Fereshteh Ahmadi, fereshteh.ahmadi@hig.se and Jimmy Munobwa, Jimmy.munobwa@hig.se


More Information

Course literature
• Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2009). InterViews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing: 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Sage. pages: 354
• Rubin, A. & Babbie, E. (2010). Research Methods for Social Work: International ed. of 7th rev. ed. Wadsworth Publishing Co. pages: 436
• Gustafsson, B., Hermerén, G. & Petersson, B. (2006). Good research practice - what is it? Views, guidelines and examples. Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet.
• Social Research Association (2003). Ethical Guidelines. London: Social Research Association.

It is recommend that you obtain the course literature early since the course book by Rubin and Babbie is out of stock in many bookshops. It is however available on the internet as both new and used (there are also hard copies at different libraries, including Gävle). You can either use the 7th or 8th edition. Check that the book has one of the following ISBN-numbers.

Research Methods for Social Work 8th edition (paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781285177137
ISBN-10: 1285177134
Versions with this ISBN are the same book (8th edition)
ISBN-13: 9781285173467
ISBN-10: 1285173465

Research Methods for Social Work 7th edition (2011)
ISBN-13: 9780495811718
ISBN-10: 0495811708

Versions with this ISBN are the same book (7th edition)
ISBN-13: 9780495811831
ISBN-10: 0495811831

For Kvale and Brinkmann’s book there is a newer, 3rd edition that you can use. The third edition has ISBN 9781452275727.

A new edition of the publication on Good Research Practice is available via this link: https://www.vr.se/download/18.5639980c162791bbfe697882/1529480529472/Good-Research-Practice_VR_2017.pdf

The publication by the Social Research Association is available via this link: http://the-sra.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ethics03.pdf

Written exams

Written exams

Registration for exams, including re-takes, is mandatory. You can register for exams via Ladok. You need to register at least ten days before the exam date. If you fail to register you will only be able to sit your exam if there is a n empty place in the exam hall.

If you are a distance study student and want to take your exam off-campus, you need to apply to do so at least three weeks prior to the exam date.

Course evaluation

Course evaluation

After your course has finished you will be sent a we-based course evaluation questionnaire via e-mail. Your participation in the course evaluation is very valuable to us and you comments will help improve and develop the course further. All students registered on the course will receive a report of the course evaluation with all comments compiled.

General information

Hig.se/student is our student webpage where you can find useful links and information about your studies. Here you will also find a news feed where we publish study-related news.

IT support
You can contact IT support if you encounter any problems with your user account or any other IT related problems. The IT support is open for visits 09.00-15.00 in the Student Centre, building 22, Monday to Friday. You can also contact them by telephone +46 26 64 88 00 or e-mail itsupport@hig.se

The library is located in the middle of the campus and is open to everybody. Welcome to the library to activate your entrance card as a library card. You can reach all digital resources such as e-books and e-journals after logging in with your user account.

Student support
Sometimes you need help to manage your studies and student life. At the University of Gävle we have several support functions to help you deal with various study-related situations, such as, for example, student health and welfare and support for students with disabilities.

The Student Centre
At the Student Centre you will meet knowledgeable staff who can assist you in just about anything regarding your studies at the University of Gävle. The Student Centre is located in building 22. You can also find a café in this area and a TV displays showing study-related information and the daily timetabling. You can contact the Student Centre by e-mail at studentcentrum@hig.se

Web meetings with Zoom
Zoom are a services for web meetings at the University of Gävle. You usually need a webcam and headset with a microphone.

Publicerad av: Lena Hjelm Sidansvarig: Maria Strand Sidan uppdaterades: 2019-06-25
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)