Research Methods of Computer Science and Fundamental Computational Theory

Course - second cycle - 7.5 credits

Syllabus for students spring 2021

Course Code:
DA634E revision 1
Swedish name:
Datavetenskapens forskningsmetoder och beräkningsteoretiska fundament
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Computer Science
Date of ratification:
25 March 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Technology and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2021

Entry requirements

  1. Bachelor of Science in computer science or related subjects.
  2. Knowledge equivalent to English 6 at Swedish upper secondary level.
  3. At least 15 credits in programming.
  4. At least 7.5 credits in mathematics.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the programme Computer Science: Applied Data Science, master’s programme, and can be included in the master's degree in computer science (120 credits).


The purpose of the course is for the student to master relevant research methodology for computer science, relate it to methods in other branches of computer science and deepen his or her ability to scientifically address research problems. The student should also be able to relate research and development issues to fundamental computational principles.


The course includes the following elements:

  • Formulation of scientific problems and hypotheses
  • Selection of research methods to tackle scientific problems
  • Scientific publishing: procedure and terms
  • Basic computational and complexity theory
  • Research ethics
  • Science theory and history

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student shall be able to:

  • Describe fundamental scientific approaches
  • Describe the peer-review procedure for scientific publication and weighting of publications
  • Place computer science questions and research problems in relation to the general academic tradition
  • Describe computational and complexity theory foundations of computer science
Competence and abilities
For a passing grade the student shall be able to:
  • Formulate a scientific problem
  • Find and evaluate relevant information for a scientific problem
  • Analyze results using appropriate statistical methods
  • Determine what types of tasks are theoretically possible with computing machines and what is their relative difficulty and complexity
  • Present results in a scientific manner
Evaluation abilities and approach
For a passing grade the student shall be able to:
  • Identify his or her need for further knowledge in the field and take responsibility for developing this knowledge
  • Discuss the opportunities and limitations of science, research ethics, the role of science in society and people’s responsibility for how it is applied
  • Evaluate the level of science in statements and evidence

Learning activities

Lectures, seminars.


The students’ performance is assessed partly from written assignments (5 credits, assessed as pass/fail), and partly from written examination (2.5 credits, assessed as A-E)
A passing grade requires a pass in both assignments and the written examination. The final grade is based on the examination.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Oates, B.J., (2005). Researching Information Systems and Computing. Sage Publications, UK.
  • Zobel, J. (2004). Writing for Computer Science -The art of effective communication,2nd edition. Springer, UK.
In addition to the above-mentioned literature, a collection of scientific articles will be added.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who are taking or have completed a course with the opportunity to share their experiences of and opinions about the course in the form of a course evaluation that is arranged by the University. The University compiles the course evaluations and notifies the results and any decisions regarding actions brought about by the course evaluations. The results shall be kept available for the students. (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

When a course is no longer given, or the contents have been radically changed, the student has the right to re-take the examination, which will be given twice during a one year period, according to the syllabus which was valid at the time of registration.

Other Information

The syllabus is a translation of a Swedish source text.