Q-Step Work Placements

We offer a number of competitive Q-Step work placements over the summer period for our Year 2 Sociology, Criminology and Social Policy students. Students receive a bursary for the duration of their 6 week placement.  The placements give students the opportunity to apply their research skills training in a "real world" work environment. Our students have been involved in a range of activties while on placement, from producing government briefings while at the Northern Ireland Assembly to publishing articles online for The Detail. Read student testimonials here

Image from front page of flyerGet involved - Employers

To date, we have partnered with a range of employers in NI. Government departments and bodies include Research and Information Service at the Northern Ireland Assembly (RaISe), Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA), Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). We have also offered placements with the Probation Board for NI, Public Health Agency, NSPCC, Praxis Care, Ipsos Mori, Millward Brown and The Detail.

If you are an employer and would like more information about our work placement scheme, please download our flyer. Contact Dr Emma Calvert if you would like to discuss a potential student placement. We would also love to hear from you if you have a research project that one of our students could undertake as part of their final year project.

Get involved - Students

You are eligible to apply if you are a Year 2 Sociology, Criminology or Social Policy student in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. Details and application forms are distributed during Semester 2. The field is very strong and we are looking for students who demonstrate enthusiasm and capacity for quantitative data analysis during their Year 2 research skills training.

Example projects and activities

  • At RaISe, students were involved in a review of secondary data sources to assist with the NI Assembly Commission’s Audit of Inequalities as well as writing a research paper drawing on Census data.
  • The placement student working in the Central Survey Unit (NISRA) helped design and programme an online survey using specialist software.
  • As well as carrying out secondary data analysis of relevant surveys and contributing towards internal reports, students got the opportunity to participate in meetings and site visits as part of placements at the Department of Justice and DAERA.
  • The Detail's placement student was involved in a Freedom of Information request for crime-related statistics. Her article on the impact of childhood crime has recently been published and can be accessed here.

Stand out with Degree Plus

‌Students are able to use their experience towards Degree Plus accreditation (Route A). Degree Plus provides Queen's students with a vehicle for accrediting learning and skills developed through extracurricular activities. Employers are looking for graduates who can demonstrate that they have the skills needed for workplace success – the Degree Plus Award will help you do this. You will be kept informed about the requirements for Degree Plus by the Q-Step team. Currently, students are required to submit a poster about their placement activities.

Find out more about the research carried out by student Ron Ewens while on placement at RaISe, in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Ron's research on road traffic collisions was also featured in a committee briefing: watch here. Ron further developed his quantitative research skills in his final year undergraduate project, exploring educational attitudes and values of young people, and was awarded a Q-Step Dissertation Award. Ron has continued his studies with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and is currently registered on the MRes Social Science Research.