City Q-Step Centre
Welcome to City, University of London's Q-Step Centre
Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training. Over a five-year period from 2013, 15 universities across the UK are delivering specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study. Expertise and resources will be shared across the higher education sector through an accompanying support programme, which will also forge links with schools and employers.
City Q-Step Centre is based in the Department of Sociology at City, University of London. We will be working with the following undergraduate programmes in the departments of Sociology and International Politics: Criminology, Sociology, Criminology and Sociology, Media and Sociology, Sociology with Psychology and International Politics, International Political Economy and International Politics and Sociology.
City Q-step Centre is devoted to building data literacy in the social sciences.
We live in a data-rich society. Increasingly jobs require data management and analysis skills. City Q-Step will ensure that our graduates have the technical knowledge and experience to flourish in this job market. Find out more at the British Academy Guide to Maximising Your Prospects
To be an active citizen we need to be informed and form judgements about the world based on critical reasoning skills. You will work with real world data to gain the skills to reach your own conclusions and confidence to become actively engaged in your community, politics and society.
Social Science Expertise
If you are considering advanced training in a social science discipline it's essential to have the right methodological foundations. City Q-Step will ensure that, whatever your background, you develop the competence in quantitative methods necessary to pursue further studies. More at British Academy and ESRC
Developing data analysis skills opens up new ways of thinking, whether this is through working with international experts in comparative research or with partner institutions. You will have the chance to think about cutting edge topics and do hands-on analysis that puts you at the forefront of social science thinking.
Building on a tradition of excellence in quantitative social science
City Q-Step Centre builds on the University's long-standing expertise in quantitative methods (QM). In the 1990s City’s Social Statistics Research Unit (SSRU) was home to the National Child Development Study (NCDS) and oversaw the 5th (1991) sweep of this pioneering cohort study. In the 2000s the Social Research Methodology Centre provided a forum for research training and methodological research within the University and the wider social research community in London.
City Q-Step students have the unique opportunity to learn about data visualisation from staff in the world-leading giCentre in City’s Department of Informatics.
City also hosts the Headquarters of the European Social Survey, one of only two pan-European research infrastructures sited in the UK.
City Q-Step Deputy Coordinator: Dr Matt Barnes, Lecturer in Sociology (Quantitative Data Resources)
Dr Rachel Cohen, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Head of Department
Dr Jason Dykes, Professor of Visualisation
Dr Vanessa Gash, Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Dr Katrin Hohl, Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Dr Koen Slootmaeckers, Lecturer in International Politics
Dr Sally Stares, Lecturer in Sociology (Quantitative Methods)
Juvaria Jafri, Q-Step Teaching Fellow
Nhlanhla Ndebele, Q-Step Teaching Fellow
Tabitha Poulter, Q-Step Teaching Fellow
Quantitative methods pathways
All students enrolling on a Sociology Department course will have the option to apply to join one of the following QM pathways at the end of their first year of study.
- Criminology with Quantitative Methods
- Sociology with Quantitative Methods
- Criminology and Sociology with Quantitative Methods
- Media and Sociology with Quantitative Methods
Students on a QM Pathway will, alongside their substantive modules, study quantitative analysis of social research data, data visualisation, comparative survey analysis and advanced quantitative methods. All pathway students will undertake a graded research placement in a partner institution and will have the opportunity to apply for an international placement in the summer between their second and third years of study.
Here at City we offer Q-Step pathways alongside our various undergraduate degrees, which cover sociology, criminology and media & communications. Students who wish to specialise in quantitative methods from year 2 onwards take our ‘with Quantitative Methods’ pathway, meaning they take some compulsory quantitative modules alongside their substantive modules - and end up with, for example, a B.Sc. Sociology with Quantitative Methods degree.
Part of the training for the quantitative methods pathway in year 2 involves the students taking a compulsory quantitative placement module. The placement module gives the students the opportunity to apply their quantitative skills in the real world. The students do ‘quantitative work’ on the placement which could involve producing, analysing or reporting quantitative data or statistics. Skills that the students have learned during their degree to that point include survey design, statistical analysis using SPSS and data visualisation using Tableau, meaning that they can apply their skills to real life situations in organisations doing hands-on work with quantitative data.
Some of the organisations involved in hosting our students include:
- Full Fact
- Which? policy
- Islington Council – children’s services
- City of London Police
- British Transport Police
- BBC Media Action
- Project Oracle [competitive application via Project Oracle]
- Student and Academic Services (City, University of London)
- Social Science Press Office (City, University of London)
- Careers Service (City, University of London)
- European Social Survey (City, University of London)
The placement module runs alongside the students’ other academic modules in term 2, meaning the students go to an organisation on placement for a day a week for 10 weeks from late January to mid-April. The placement is an accredited module and part of the students’ degree course. Students are assessed at the end of the placement via a written reflective review, and, a poster presentation. At the end of the placements, host organisations are invited to an informal lunch event at the university where they can talk to the students about their posters and time on placement.