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Thesis Research Design

28 November-1 December 2016

5 ECTS PhD Course, PhD programme in Business Communication, BSS, AU 

Main organiser: Peter Kastberg,


Course description:


The aim of the course is that the PhD student obtains an in-depth, critical understanding of PhD Thesis Research Design. In-depth understanding refers mainly to three interrelated perspectives on research design: A holistic, a critical-analytic and a rhetorical perspective. PhD Thesis Research Design from a holistic perspective centers on understanding core elements in a research design (e.g. philosophy, methodology, theory, methods), as well as element-internal and element-external interdependencies. PhD Thesis Research Design from a critical-analytical perspective pertains to examining and assessing the quality and consistencies between such elements in lieu of the research design as a whole. PhD Thesis Research Design from a rhetorical perspective examines ways in which research design informs the construction of a thesis as a (meta-) argument – consistent with the discourse of the scientific community in question.

In order to obtain this understanding the PhD student must acquire the following qualifications

Knowledge about

  • Different approaches to developing research designs
  • Core elements of research design
  • Relationships and interdependencies of research design elements
  • Evaluating research design
  • Rhetorical and discursive manifestations of research design

Skills in

  • Designing a coherent research design
  • Identifying core research design elements
  • Assessing relationships between research design elements
  • Conducting critical examinations of research design
  • Presenting a research design that meets acknowledged rhetorical-discursive standards  

Teaching formats 

  • Lectures
  • Colloquia / round table
  • Presentations & discussions



2 pages worth of project synopsis focusing on research design aspects of the PhD project (submitted prior to course).

5-8 pages worth of extended & revised project synopsis focusing on a revised and enhanced research design for the PhD project (submitted after the course).

Attendance: Four days of teaching, 100% compulsory 

Registration: Click to register 

Deadline for registration is 18 November.

Course fee: 1500 DKK / 200 euros (NB: PhD students from Aarhus BSS pay no fee)

28 November: 1483-454
29 November: 1483-344
30 November: 1481-224
1 December: 1483-344

Time: 9.00-16.00