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Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE120 - Methods and enquiry in organisations
Metod och undersökning i organisationer
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-15 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDCM
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

The course is only available for students having the course in their program plan
Teaching language: English
Application code: 88118
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 65
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Project 5,0c Grading: TH   5,0c    
0219 Examples class 2,5c Grading: UG   2,5c    

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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

Only for students admitted to Chalmers Master's programme in Design and Construction Project Management.


This course introduces and trains students to define, plan, perform and present empirical investigations regarding new developments or challenges related to management in the construction sector. Students will learn how to formulate research questions, select appropriate empirical methods, analyse qualitative and quantitative data, present and report data and findings, reflect upon and motivate methodological choices and understand ethical implications of choices and actions.

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

  • Reflect upon the notion of knowledge in the context of science, engineering and organisations
  • Asses the need for scientific information, search for that information and critically evaluate its relevance
  • Analyse specific context to define and delimit a research question
  • Select appropriate research methods for fulfilling the research project objectives
  • Critically evaluate used methods with consideration to both scientific trustworthiness and ethical aspects
  • Interpret and assess the quality of the results from a research project
  • Formulate and organise a discussion
  • Evaluate whether research has been carried out in a trustworthy and defensible manner
Besides, the students should
  • Organise, plan and manage the project work load according to the tasks and the members of the group
  • Collaborate professionally according to the project group's needs of structured management and task distribution
  • Perform a clear oral presentation of the project result that is well-suited to its intended audience
  • Assess and give constructive feedback to other projects group's work
  • Reflect on and reason about ethical aspects of engineering work, academic research and corporate codes of conduct according to sustainable concerns


This course provides knowledge and practical training in designing and conducting research studies. It consists of lectures, literature seminars and practical exercises in research strategy and design, quantitative and qualitative research approaches, formulation of research questions, interviewing and observation, as well as in data analysis. It includes the following topics
  • Defining and conducting systematic production of knowledge
  • Introduction to theory of science
  • Engineering ethics
  • Reflective practice
  • Communication skills


The course includes lectures, exercises and seminars aiming at giving the students general knowledge and training practices to conduct research.
Project groups are formed at the beginning of the course and group supervision will be provided. The compulsory activities will be listed in the course schedule.


Book chapters
Scientific papers
Lecture slides

Examination including compulsory elements

  • Participation in mandatory course activities (or a relevant compensation assignment in agreement with the examiner) is a prerequisite for passing the course.
  • Project group work, including a completed project diary, stand-alone information materials and an oral presentation constitute the group component of the final grade.
  • An individually formulated reflection constitutes the individual part of the final grade.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.