Research Methods in Child Studies, 7.5 credits

Metoder i barn- och barndomsforskning, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Single subject and programme course


Mats Andrén

Course coordinator

Mats Andrén

Director of studies or equivalent

Mats Andrén
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MCH Child Studies, Master´s Programme 2 (Spring 2023) 202304-202308 English Linköping C

Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in Child Studies

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen within the humanities, social sciences or the behavioral sciences with a major relevant to the programme. 
    Examples of fields:
    - anthropology
    - education
    - history
    - communication studies
    - media studies
    - language studies
    - psychology
    - social work
    - sociology
    - political science
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B)
    (Exemption from Swedish)

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should on an advanced level be able to:

  • account for the main research methods in Child Studies - both data collection and analysis - including their strengths and weaknesses
  • apply one research method and reflect upon this application
  • apply principles of research ethics in the study of children and childhood
  • account for the main quality criteria for research in Child Studies
  • write a research plan including formulating a research question and select one within stipulated time frame feasible and applicable method for the research question
  • scrutinize, evaluate and discuss quality criteria and research ethics in others research plans.

Course content

The course covers the main research methods in Child Studies. How research questions influence and direct the choice of methods used to answer queries are addressed. The connection between the research questions, the choice of data collection methods and analysis is discussed critically. Ethical principles and dilemmas in research processes involving children and childhood are especially focused on, as well as aspects touching upon reflexivity and quality criteria.

During the course, the student will develop and present a research plan, normally in teams of two, on an independently chosen research problem. The plan must include an in-depth discussion of relevant methods for data collection and analysis. The course also includes scrutinizing, evaluating and discussing the research plans of other students.

Teaching and working methods

The teaching in this course is carried out online and consists of lectures, seminars and group work. In addition, the student will engage in independent studies.
The Written assignment is normally written in pairs.

Language of instruction and examination: English.


The examinations consist of:

  • Individual written exercise, grading scale: Fail/Pass
  • Active participation in seminar, grading scale: Fail/Pass
  • Written assignment, grading scale: EC

Normally the written assignment (EC) is examined in groups containing two student though individual examination may occur.

A passing grade (E) in the course requires grade E in the written assignment as well as a passing grade in all other examinations in the course. Higher grades are based on the written assignment.

Detailed information on the examinations can be found in the study guide. 

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


Institutionen för Tema
Code Name Scope Grading scale
EXA3 Seminar 1 credits U, G
EXA2 Interview exercise 1.5 credits U, G
EXA1 Written individual assignment 5 credits EC


Reading list with compulsory literature can be found under the tab “Additional documents”. A complete Reading list including reference literature will be available in LISAM (LiU:s e-learning platform) at the start of the course.

This tab contains public material from the course room in Lisam. The information published here is not legally binding, such material can be found under the other tabs on this page.

There are no files available for this course.