Sheffield Q-Step Centre

Society is more than ever driven by big data, it informs the way we see the world. What is important about such data is its ability to allow for the consequences of societal and economic changes to be analysed and understood; and this is where the Q-Step Programme comes in.

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, fifteen 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.

Q-Step was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates. It is 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 will produce 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. This support doesn’t just end with the BA in Quantitative Social Science; there are also provisions provided for internships, placements and postgraduate bursaries available for our graduates.

Part of the SMI and led by departments from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Q-Step at Sheffield will be able to draw upon a wealth of expertise and research. Through this approach Q-step will build upon the established excellence of the University of Sheffield’s quantitative training, as well its close working partnership with the White Rose DTP. Doing so will ensure a successful longevity to quantitative methods training here at Sheffield.


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Nuffield Foundation