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About Us
The Q-Step Programme

Q-Step is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

For more information go to the Nuffield Foundation website

What is the Q-Step Programme?

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 is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). For more information go to the Nuffield Foundation website.

The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work has a reputation for research that focuses on Ireland in an international context, including comparisons with Europe, the US, the Global South and North-South Irish comparisons, including specific issues around borders. We continue to advance scholarship in a number areas: childhood and childcare; gender and welfare; the development of new theoretical ideas and measurement techniques in the field of poverty and equality; historical and contemporary social movements; health, illness and disability; drug use and misuse; and social identities.

We see ourselves as social scientists committed to ways of working that interact with and build knowledge and capacities in the communities around us.

Our annual research income is currently over £1.6m and our funders and partners include the research councils, government departments, the EU, Council of Europe and the large foundations. School research is informing thinking and the development of policies in many areas, such as the well-being of children, social cohesion, equality, physical and mental health, and illicit drug use.

The School's research training is recognised by the ESRC and we attract postgraduate research students from many parts of the world including several European countries, Ghana, India, Jordan, Russia, Uganda and the USA.  

Staff within the School are grouped into five research groups, one of which is the Q-Step research group.

Find out more about The Q-Step programme and how our innovative research makes a difference in everyday life.

Watch Paul Boyle (Chief Executive, ESRC 2010-2014) talk about how Q-Step will help the shortfall in graduates with quantitative skills

Find out why we shouldn't leave it to the economists and why quantitative skills are needed across the social sciences (Andrew Dilnot, Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority)

Read the British Academy's position paper 'Society Counts'

Discover why graduates with core quantitative skills are vital

"Well-rounded graduates, equipped with core quantitative skills, are vital if the UK is to retain its status as a world leader in research and higher education, rebuild its economy, and provide citizens with the means to understand analyse and criticise data. Quantitative methods facilitate ‘blue skies’ research and effective, evidence-based policy."