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Methods and methodologies for environmental science research


Research Methods and Methodologies

7.5 credits

This course is a method course that provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of how research in environmental science may be performed. It emphasises comparisons of alternative methodologies and methods and how they relate to different types of research problems in the realm of environmental science.

Information for exchange students

This course is also open for exchange students. Application information for exchange students.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Knowledge and expertise for the analysis and management of environmental change The interdisciplinary format of Environmental Science contributes to a wide range of available professions being open to you after graduation. You have the knowledge to analyse environmental change and society’s management of this, for example in research or consultancy work. Or you can contribute through knowledge of the management of environmental and sustainability issues, or provide information and communication activities about the environment and sustainability at companies or interest groups. Expertise on the environment and sustainable development is needed at all companies and organisations that analyse, communicate and manage issues related to sustainability and the environment. These are found in both the public and private sectors. Examples of workplaces include municipalities, state and international environmental management organisations or private businesses that work on sustainability and the environment. Studying Environmental Science provides direct links to local, national and global challenges in sustainability and the environment. It provides you with a stable background on which to promote societal debate and management of these issues, both in politics and in everyday life. Read about research in this subject
Comparisons of methods and designing studies in practice On this Master’s level course, you will compare methodologies and methods, such case study approaches, ethnographic studies, quantitative cross-case analysis, experiments, and how they relate to different types of research problems in the realm of environmental science. Methodological issues such as case selection, various types of data collection and the analysis, validity, possibilities for generalisation, etc., are discussed and related to general research design strategies. You will learn to evaluate, select and argue for suitable methods and methodological approaches to a particular environmental research problem and to critically assess studies within environmental science from a methodological perspective, as well as to make assessments of scientific, methodological, and ethical aspects related to a given research problem. Course design This course is structured around lectures and seminars and is assessed through oral presentations during seminars and individual written reports, including designing a study which contains an analysis of an environmental problem using a scientific method. The teaching staff are active researchers.
Study how the links between humans and nature affect the environment When you study Environmental Science, you investigate the links between humanity and nature, and how these links affect the environment and sustainable development. The subject includes important societal issues and sustainability targets. You gain an understanding of environmental problems and the origin, scope and management of environmental change. You also get to look in detail at current environmental issues, such as reduced biodiversity, environmental toxins and climate issues. The subject has an interdisciplinary approach because it focuses on both humans and nature. This means that you study scientific subjects as much as subjects in the social sciences, giving you a broad understanding of contemporary and future challenges. For example, you study the link between the environment and people’s socioeconomic conditions, and how human activities such as agriculture and chemical use have an impact on ecosystems. Environmental Science has a broad and comprehensive perspective in which you investigate how society manages environmental issues and environmental problems. The subject also covers specific issues, such as the Baltic Sea’s environmental problems, the influence of forestry, and urban environments.