Emneplan - Vitenskapsteori



Course code: PhD 610
Name, Norwegian: Vitenskapsteori og forskningsetikk i idrettsvitenskap
Name, English: Theory and ethics of sport science 
ECTS points: 4 Language: English/Norwegian
Term: Fall
Requirement: Accepted into NSSS’ PhD program
Responsible: Sigmund Loland
Course registration: Lene Røe

About the course

The course gives an introduction to the theory of science with a particular emphasis on the sport sciences. Students’ PhD projects will be used as examples and practical cases. Students are assessed based on an oral presentation during the course and an individual essay to be submitted after the course.



After completing the course, students have

  • basic knowledge of classic positions and norms and values in the theory and ethics of science and research, and
  • specific knowledge of perspectives and questions in the theory and ethics of their own research areas.


After completing the course, students are able to

  • reflect upon and discuss questions in the theory and ethics of science in general and in sport science in particular, and 

  • discuss in a critical and systematic way their own PhD projects from the perspective of the theory and ethics of science.

General competencies

After completing the course, students are able to

  • examine and discuss in informed and critical ways limitations and possibilities when it comes to foundational questions in sport research, and in research and science in general.

Practical information

The course consists of four days of intensive work with a combination of introductory lectures, individual presentations, and group discussions. Course requirements include a working load of approximately 120 hours. This includes 12 lecturing hours, 20 hours of group work and individual presentations, and 88 hours of individual study including writing of an essay.


  • During the course: A 20-minutes individual presentation in which the student presents a relevant question linked to own PhD project from the perspective of theory and/or ethics of science. Assessment: pass/fail
  • After the course: An individual essay in which the student’s PhD project is discussed from the perspective of the theory and/or ethics of science. Length of essay: maximum 2000 words excluding references. Students are entitled to 20 min. individual supervision based on a draft of their essay. Assessment: pass/fail




Benton, T. and Craib, C.: Philosophy of Social Science. The Philosophical Foundations of Social Thought.London: Palgrave Macmillan 2011, pp. 13-75.

McNamee, M. (ed.): Philosophy and the Sciences of Exercise, Health and Sport: Critical Perspectives on Research Methods.London: Routledge 2005.

McNamee, M., Olivier, S. & Wainwright, P. Introduction. I: M. McNamee, S. Olivier & Wainwright, P.: Research Ethics in Exercise, Health and Sport sciences. London: Routledge 2007, pp. 7-28. pdf

Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees[2]: https://www.etikkom.no/en/

Wright, G. H. von. Explanation and Understanding. Itacha NY: 1971, pp. 1-33. pdf

[1] Relevant pages from McNamee et al (2007) and von Wright are distributed in Canvas as pdf files. Texts from Benton and Craig (2011) and McNamee (2005) cannot be copied and distributed due to copyright restrictions. The literature can be found in the NSSS library. Further choice of literature will vary between students depending on the nature of their PhD projects. Relevant texts will be found in dialogue with the course teachers.
[2] The online recourse from the Norwegian Research Ethics Committees presents updated versions of rules, regulations, norms and values. It includes a library function in which students can find additional relevant literature.