spring 2021
SVF-8600 Philosophy of science and ethics - 6 ECTS

Application deadline

Application deadline is 1. December. Application code 9301 in SøknadsWeb. Remember to indicate which course you apply for. PhD students registered to a PhD program at UiT: Apply for admission by registering for class in StudentWeb before 15. December.

Type of course

This course is recommended as part of the compulsory credits in philosophy of science and research ethics within the instruction component of the PhD programs in natural and social sciences.

Admission requirements

The course is open for students admitted to a PhD program. Priority will be given to PhD students from the BFE faculty, participants in international project in which the faculty has an educational responsibility, PhD students from the NT faculty, PhD students from other faculties at UiT, and PhD students from UNIS. The number of participants is limited to 50.

Contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen (Ingjerd.nilsen@uit.no) at the BFE-faculty if you have any questions regarding course registration or other queries.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

BIO-8603 Philosophy of science and ethics 6 stp
HEL-8010 Research Ethics and Theory of Science 3 stp
SVF-8054 Theory of Science 7 stp
SVF-8038 Research Ethics 3 stp
HEL-8040 Theory of science, research ethics and research design 3 stp

Course content

The course aims to introduce the participants to core issues in the philosophy and ethics of science. The course will convey different concepts and positions regarding the demarcation of science from non-science, the nature of the scientific method, theories of explanation and confirmation, the rationality and progress of theory change, modelling and inference under uncertainty, the role of science and technology in society, and the ethical responsibilities of scientists.

Objectives of the course

By the end of the course, students will be expected to understand:

  • the basic issues in the philosophy of science, such as the demarcation problem, the debate among competing accounts of the scientific method, the problem of induction, and the concepts of paradigms and scientific revolutions;
  • the role and place of science and technology in modern societies;
  • various ethical positions and the main ethical issues relating to science.

By the end of the course, the students will be expected to have gained the following skills:

  • the ability to communicate key philosophical and ethical concepts;
  • the ability to engage in contemporary debates about the nature and role of science;
  • the ability to see their own research in a wider perspective, and to critically reflect upon the basic assumptions and challenges of their research projects.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Teaching runs as an intensive course over two weeks with 20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of group discussions and seminars. Course dates: To be announced.

NB! You have to participate in at least 80 % of the teaching to be allowed to take the exam. Attendance at lectures will be registered.


Home exam: A written essay of 10 pages to be completed about one month after the course. Grade: pass or fail.

Coursework requirements: Two short exercises.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 6
  • Course code: SVF-8600
  • Course dates
  • Course dates will be announced.