Course syllabus for

Scientific Theory, Research and Evaluation Methods in Psychotherapy 1 - Orientation Specialist in Clinical Psychology, 2.5 credits

Vetenskapsteori, forsknings- och utvärderingsmetoder i psykoterapi 1 - inriktning specialist i klinisk psykologi, 2.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2020.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Spring2018 , Spring2020 , Spring2022 , Spring2023
Course code
Course name
Scientific Theory, Research and Evaluation Methods in Psychotherapy 1 - Orientation Specialist in Clinical Psychology
2.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Utbildningsnämnden CNS
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee CNS
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2020

Specific entry requirements

No specific entry requirements.


Knowledge and understanding
On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • Account for the philosophical foundation of psychotherapy research within different scientific fields and traditions, and how this foundation is manifested in choice of scientific aims
  • Account for the concepts of evidence and truth in different philosophical traditions
  • Relate the principles of research ethics, and its impact on society, research community, patients and participants
  • Account for the concepts of evidence based practice and the scientist-practitioner approach
  • Account for the sections of a scientific paper and how these are mutually dependent on each other

Skills and abilities
On completion of the course, the student should demonstrate the ability to

  • Perform information searches in scientific databases (e.g. PubMed)
  • Write a text draft that will make up the argument for the scientific aims and research questions in a project and write an outline based on this
  • Write references according to APA guidelines

Values and attitudes
On completion of the course, the student should demonstrate the ability to

  • Review and reflect on ethical aspects of research and development of treatments
  • Reflect on the significance of psychotherapy research for clinical work and society


The course comprises teaching on philosophy of science relevant for psychotherapy research, research ethics, scientific writing and the established structure of a scientific text.

Teaching methods

The teaching is based on student-active learning and the teaching consists of seminars, practical exercises, lectures and recorded lectures available on internet. Seminar teaching assumes an active participation from the student, and to participate in seminars is compulsory.


The course is examined through
1) Completion of practical coursework
2) Active participation and presentation of a pro memoria at a seminar

The entire course is given the grade Pass (G) or Fail (U). The grade Pass on the entire course, requires Pass on the tasks in examination assignment 1, Pass on examination assignment 2, and at least 80% attendance on compulsory course elements according to instructions.

Absence from compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from more than 20% of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in compulsory course elements or compensated for any absence in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from a compulsory course element could mean that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus's regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected knowledge, skills and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

An examination will be made available for a period of one year in the event of the course being discontinued or a new course syllabus being devised.

Other directives

Course evaluation takes place according to guidelines established by Karolinska Institutet.

The course is offered in English.

Specialised courses are given, provided that the number of admitted students in the course is at least half of the number of available places per specialisation.

Literature and other teaching aids

Manditory literature

Creswell, John W. Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches
Oliver, Paul The student's guide to research ethics
WMA World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Ingår i:  JAMA : The journal of the American Medical Association 310 s. 2191-2194
Nagel, Jennifer Knowledge : a very short introduction
Kazdin, Alan E. (ed) Methodological issues & strategies in clinical research

In-depth literature

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association