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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
DAT245 - Empirical software engineering  
Syllabus adopted 2013-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSOF
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: A

Course elements   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   16 Dec 2013 pm L,  23 Apr 2014 am L,  21 Aug 2014 pm L

In programs



Professor  Richard Torkar

Course evaluation:



For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

To be eligible for the course Empirical software engineering the student should have general knowledge in Software Engineering - a minimum of 90 hec.


In order to pass the course the student should be able to:

1. Define a short study applying the empirical methods in practice
2. Execute the designed study
3. Write a report from the study according to the state-of-the-art methods in empirical software engineering
4. Conduct a short systematic literature review on a software engineering problem
5. Write a short essay on a software engineering problem based on one of the methods taught in the course
6. Explain an empirical study from a published article of student's choise

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

1. Knowledge and understanding:
   a. Understand the principles of empiricism in software engineering
   b. Understand the principles of systematic reviews
   c. Understand the distinction between qualitative and quantitative software engineering
   d. Understand the connection between software engineering activities and empirical methods;
   e. Have knowledge about a number of different empirical research methods, and be able to use them in practical situations;
2. Skills and abilities:
   a. Be able to design and execute a small empirical study;
   b. Be able to conduct a short systematic literature review.
3. Judgement and approach:
   a. Be familiar with some tools used for data analysis and in particular be able to understand their output
   b. Be able to judge the appropriatness of particular empirical SE methods for different SE problems.


This course is for students who are interested in the empirical methods applied to the field of software engineering. The course will introduce quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods in software engineering. The course will contain:

- Descriptive and inferential statistical methods applied to software engineering
- Qualitative methods in software engineering
- Methods required to practice evidence-based software engineering


The course is provided in the so-called mini-modules format, which combines lectures and supervised practical work with exercises in small groups. The students are expected to be active during the whole mini-module. The exercises are both theoretical and practical in nature.


We will use different textbooks and research articles for different parts. More information will be given before the course starts.


The course is examined by a written exam which will be performed individually. It will comprise all the modules given in the course lectures, and it might also include tasks related to the course assignments and eventual guest lectures.

Published: Fri 18 Dec 2009. Modified: Wed 04 Apr 2018