Official course description:

Full info last published 15/05-22
Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price for EU/EEA citizens (Single Subject):
21250 DKK
MSc. Master
MSc in Digital Innovation & Management
Course manager
Associate Professor
Associate Professor, Head of study programme
Assistant Professor
Part-time Lecturer
Associate Professor
Course semester
Efterår 2022
29 August 2022
31 January 2023
Exam type
ekstern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language

The course will teach students to analyse complexity within an empirical case that explores a current topic or controversy within the field of science, technology, and innovation.


The complex challenges of digitalisation often demand the professional use of both qualitative methods and data-exploration to diagnose issues and to act upon them.

In Navigating Complexity, students will be introduced to a range of conceptual and technical tools for generating and visualizing data and analysing complexity. Throughout the course students will experiment with different techniques for generating data and visualising complexity. Based on case work, students will be learn to reflect on how visualisations work as simplifications and can inform decision-making.

Students will learn a variety of qualitative approaches to quantitative data, focusing on inductive, exploratory inquiry. After the course, students will be capable of dealing with, communicating, and acting constructively in situations faced by complex challenges without straightforward solutions.

The course will cover topics such as complexity thinking, storytelling with data, data and digital methods, situational analysis, problematisation, data politics and technical tools for data visualisation and exploration.

Formal prerequisites
Please note that this course is targeted at students enrolled in the programme Digital Innovation & Management. Moreover the student must always meet the admission requirements of the IT University.
Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Develop research questions that allow for exploratory and inductive inquiry into an empirical case through an iterative process of data collection, analysis, and storytelling.
  • Apply selected methods and conceptual tools to analyze complexity in an empirical case.
  • Interpret the data and the visualizations generated using the technical and conceptual tools provided in the course.
  • Reflect upon the decisions made in the research process relating the data and the visualizations to the development of the research question or focus.
  • Discuss the relationship between chosen methods, theories, data, and their implications for the findings in a concise manner.
Learning activities

14 weeks of teaching consisting of lectures, exercises and supervision.

Each week students have 4 hours of lecture and 4 hours of exercises. Lectures will likely be divided into 2 hour sessions: one auditorium lecture and one online interactive lecture. The auditorium lecture introduces the theme of the week's content and relates closely to the week's readings and written submissions.  The online interactive lecture takes the form of 'Navcom Radio', a two hour live program where teaching staff are in conversation about how the themes and theories of Navigating Complexity can be put into practice.

During exercises students will be divided into groups of approximately 40 working with TAs to practically engage with the exercises and topics of the week.

Mandatory activities

There are 10 mandatory activities in the course (nine written and one oral). These must be completed before participation in the final group report submission and oral exam.

A written activity consists of a weekly Peergrade submission of an individual reflection on the course literature as well as two responses. These activities occur weekly, for a total of 11 weeks, and students must complete a minimum of 9. These reflections allow the students to familiarise themselves with the course curriculum and prepare them for the oral exam. The students will receive formative written peer feedback after each hand-in.

The oral mandatory activity is a presentation of group work that takes place toward the end of the semester, but before exam submission.

If the students fail to submit more than two (out of 11) weekly Peergrade submissions (where a submission is defined as the sum of one reflection plus two responses), they will need to submit a substitute essay to be allowed to proceed to the oral exam. The substitute essay must include a 500-word reflection section for each Peergrade submission they've missed beyond the first two. For example, if they miss three weekly submissions, the total length of the essay must be at least 500 words. For a given week, if they only missed the peer review but completed the 300-word reflection, they are allowed to reuse their reflection by extending it to 500 words. The deadline for the substitute essay is the same as the project report.

The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.

Course literature

The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.

Student Activity Budget
Estimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
  • Preparation for lectures and exercises: 20%
  • Lectures: 20%
  • Exercises: 20%
  • Assignments: 5%
  • Project work, supervision included: 25%
  • Exam with preparation: 2%
  • Other: 8%
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
D2G: Submission for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the submission. Shared responsibility for the report.
Exam submission description:
The group report is evaluated on the basis of demonstration of fulfillment of the intended learning objectives for the course.

The length of the final group report is at minimum 15 normal pages + 3 additional pages per student in the group. For example, a group consisting of four people will need to hand in a 27-page report at minimum. There is no maximum page limit, but the suggested length is the same as minimum length. In other words, a report of any length will be considered a valid submission, but reports that exceed the minimum length should ensure that everything included in the report is necessary, as the exam assesses reporting "in a concise manner".

The oral exam is conducted individually based on the submitted report and the curriculum. Each student is examined for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for grading and feedback.

Group submission:
  • 4 -6 students
Exam duration per student for the oral exam:
30 minutes
Group exam form:
Individual exam : Individual student presentation followed by an individual dialogue. The student is examined while the rest of the group is outside the room.

Time and date