PhD Courses in Denmark

Social constructivism applied to discourse studies

Doctoral School of the Humanities at Aalborg University

Professor Finn Collin will teach a PhD course on a theory of science with a focus on 'social constructivism' applied to discourse studies.

Finn Collin is known by his research within theory of science with particular focus on the challenges of a theory of science in social studies and humanities and has a long list of publications, which has played an influential role in the field.

In addition to his research, Finn Collin is actively involved in teaching and supervising at Copenhagen University.

DAY 1 is dedicated to the philosophical background and foundation of epistemological and ontological constructivism with specific focus on social constructivism, i.e. a basic introduction to the philosophical background of constructivism and social constructivism.

DAY 2 is dedicated to social constructivism within discourse studies. The learning objectives are to familiarize PhD students with constructivism and social constructivism, and, furthermore, provide a basic knowledge of this social constructivist approach to be able to apply it in one’s work.

The learning objective is to strengthen the PhD students’ knowledge and assist their learning processes when working with theory and methodology in relation to discourse studies.

The prerequisite for participation is to read everything on the reading plan (in English).

A second prerequisite for participation is to hand in a 2-page draft with a focus on methodology in relation to social constructivism. The student must also add two specific questions in relation to applying social constructivism in their research.

The language of the course will be English.

Teaching methods:

The focus is on lectures, although they will be combined with exercises and workshops in which the students will be given the opportunity to work more practically with their own projects. The course leader will use 2 student presentations decided beforehand to contextualise the content of his lectures.

Key literature:

Hacking, Ian. 1999. The Social Construction of What?, kap.1: "Why ask what?", Harvard UP.

Jørgensen, Marianne Winther & Phillips, Louise. 1999. Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method, kap.1: "The field of discourse analysis", Sage.

Harders, Peter. 2010. Meaning in Mind and Society, kap. 3: "Social construction and discourses", De Gruyter.

Collin, Finn. 2017: "Social Constructivism in Social Science and Science Wars". I A Companion to Applied Philosophy, Blackwell Companions to Philosophy, eds. Rasmussen, Brownlee & Coady

Register via the link . before 1st September 2020.

If you wish to register for a course, please do as follows:

If you are from Aalborg University:

Please click the the "AAU log in" button, and log in by entering your username (email address) and password.

Please fill in the tabs “Profile” and “Edit profile”.

You are now ready to register for course participation.

If you are from outside Aalborg University:

Please click on “Create new account” in the buttom at

Fill in the profile and complete by clicking “Create my new account”.

When you have filled in the profile, an email will be sent to your mailbox. Please confirm your Moodle registration by clicking on the link in the email. You are now ready to register for course participation.

Important information concerning PhD courses

We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School of Humanities at AAU has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 500 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted before deadline. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.