Sheffield Methods Institute is home to Q-Step Sheffield. It's part of a £19.5 million national programme of Q-Step Centres designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training.

Q - Step logo with text 'A step-change in quantitative social science skills. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC & HEFCE

Q-Step was developed as a strategic response to a shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates. It was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), since 1 April 2018 this is now the Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation.

Created in response to the nationally recognised deficit of social science graduates with exceptional quantitative skills, Q-Step has produced graduates able to interpret and make sense of increasingly large and convoluted data. Giving social science graduates the means to excel in the field of quantitative analysis, and prepare them for the future of social science research. 

The ethos from the Q-Step centre continues to inform our teaching practice, with strong emphasis upon the applied use of quantitative methods running through our Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes. The Sheffield Methods Institute academic team includes lecturers who specialise in quantitative research methods. Our undergraduate courses also give students the opportunity to undertake work placements, where they can further develop their knowledge and put quantitive skills into practice in a professional environment. 

Q-Step launched in 17 universities in 2013/14 - An independent evaluation found that Q-Step training equips students with a deep and secure grasp of the skills needed to make sense of data in research and professional settings. It also boosts their employment prospects. In 2022, universities started to fund their Q-Step Centres directly.

Image of Charlie SMI Alumus sat in his office

Mae & Charlie are here to tell you more about Applied Social Sciences

Applied Social Sciences student Mae and alumnus Charlie will tell you what they enjoy most about the course, what skills they have learned and how it has helped develop their career.

Search for a course

Use our search to find the right course for you.