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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
DAT246 - Empirical software engineering
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-25 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
0114 Written and oral assignments 2,5c Grading: UG   2,5c    
0214 Examination 5,0c Grading: TH   5,0c   12 Jan 2015 pm L,  15 Apr 2015 pm L,  27 Aug 2015 pm L

In programs



Professor  Richard Torkar


DAT245   Empirical software engineering

Course evaluation:



In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

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. Describe the principles of empiricism in software engineering. b. Describe the principles of case study research/experiments/surveys. c. Describe the principles of meta-analytical studies. d. Explain the importance of research ethics. e. Recognise and define code of ethics for when conducting research in software engineering. f. Discuss and explain the most common ethical models in research. g. State and explain the importance of threats to validity and how to control said threats.
2. Skills and abilities: a. Design an empirical study. b. Analyse descriptive statistics and decide on appropriate analysis methods. c. Use and interpret code of ethics for software engineering research.
3. Judgement and approach: a. State and discuss the tools used for data analysis and, in particular, judge their output. b. Judge the appropriateness of particular empirical methods and their applicability to solve various and disparate software engineering problems. c. Question and assess common ethical issues in software engineering research.


Kursen är för studenter som är intresserade av att lära sig applicera olika empiriska metoder inom programvaruteknik. Kursen introducerar kvantitativa och kvalitativa metoder inom programvaruteknik. Kursen innehåller: Deskriptiv och inferential statistik applicerat på programvaruteknik. Kvalitativa metoder i programvaruteknik. Metoder för att praktisera evidence-baserad programvaruteknik.


The course introduces quantitative and qualitative methods in software engineering research with accompanying statistical methods used for analysis.

The course contains: Descriptive and inferential statistical methods applied to software engineering. Conducting qualitative and quantitative methods in software engineering. Methods for analysing quantitative and qualitative data in software engineering. Usage of statistical tools


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 assignment carried out in groups of normally 3-4 students and individual lab-exercises. The course is also examined by an individual written hall-exam. The exercises and the assignment are both theoretical and practical in nature.

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