A big Q-Step forward
Gaining quantitative skills is good
for your career, and with these skills in demand by employers, we'll help
you to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs after Essex.
Training social scientists of the future
As a Faculty, we are committed to providing highly quantitative social
science research and education to you. We are one of three institutions in the
UK to be awarded
Q-Step Affiliate Status for the
Department of Government,
Department of Sociology and
Essex Business School, to develop your quantitative skills.
With a shortage of highly-skilled quantitative social scientists in the UK,
we are investing to fill this gap by providing students with the skills required
to go on to have successful careers in government, business, data analysis,
evaluation, impact assessment and research.
How do I get involved?
Through our Q-Step Affiliate Status, we have been awarded funding to provide
bursaries for work placements to develop quantitative skills needed to evaluate
evidence, analyse data, and design and commission research. We can also give you
a specific degree path to follow, graduating with enhanced quantitative skills
on your degree transcript.
All of this helps you to gain the top quantitative jobs and have a successful
career in a number of different fields when you leave Essex.
Follow a specialised degree pathway
If you're studying qualifying degrees in the Department of Government,
Department of Sociology, or Essex Business School, you have the opportunity to
follow a specialised pathway that embeds a substantial amount of quantitative
methods in your degree.
The successful completion of the specified modules will entitle you to
receive the qualifier ‘(Applied Quantitative Methods)’ at the end of your degree
title, for example BA Sociology (Applied Quantitative Methods) and this will
appear on your transcript and degree certificate.
Developing your skills
Employers are looking for knowledgeable and highly-skilled graduates who can
adapt rapidly to the changing environment. Having the qualifier, '(Applied
Quantitative Methods)' will help you to:
- develop advanced analytical skills, in high demand by employers in the
public and private sector
- gather, present and interpret data
- use statistical software and tools to analyse data
- enhance your skills for future advanced postgraduate research and
- Essex Business School students will construct and run models using
econometrics packages to inform business decisions
- Government students will apply quantitative skills to assess the
effectiveness of policies and develop different scenarios on their potential
- Sociology students will develop the methods and principles required to
design and critically evaluate empirical sociological research
Find out more
Q-Step paid work placements
As part of your degree, we offer you the opportunity to take up a paid work
placement for up to 10 weeks in an external organisation.
You apply to organisations to secure a summer work placement between your
second and third year. We help you with this process, preparing you for your
placement and supporting you whilst you’re there.
- Gain valuable work experience to develop the professional skills sought by
- Learn about a particular sector, company or job role, helping you to choose
your career after Essex.
- Apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment.
- Complete assignments throughout the year to demonstrate the academic
benefits of your placement.
If you're on a Q-Step placement, you receive a bursary equivalent to £250 per
week (full-time). Payments will be made in up to three instalments with the
first payment being made prior to the start of your placement.
- Colchester Borough
Council: an analysis of customer query data to inform the
development of an online customer portal on the council website.
- Sage Publications:
reviewing quantitative research paperwork submitted by academics for inclusion
in the SAGE Research Methods case study database.
- World Land Trust:
an analysis of donor demographic information to inform future engagement with
- YouGov: a variety of
tasks relating to quantitative market research.
- Profusion: discover
patterns and meaning in data from businesses and organisations to help inform
business development in marketing, logistics, customer service or employee
- Essex Community Rehabilitation
Company: Data Analyst - an opportunity to use Ministry of Justice
approved IT systems to assist with ongoing performance data analysis. Finance
Researcher/Analyst - an opportunity to work at the Head Office, covering areas
such as staff payroll and expenses, service user fares, procurement, and
For more information on placements, email
Join our community
When you follow the 'Applied Quantitative Methods' pathway for your course,
you join a community of like-minded students across the Department of
Government, Department of Sociology and Essex Business School.
As part of this community, you are invited to quantitative events and
workshops at Essex. You can also find out about other quantitative activities at
Q-Step Centres outside of the University.
Our Q-Step graduates
In July 2016, 21 students from the Department of Government, Department of Sociology and Essex Business School
graduated with enhanced quantitative skills as part of our commitment to the Q-Step programme.
In March 2017, staff, students and employers came together to talk about Q-Step,
why quantitative skills are important in the workplace, how to stand out with an
AQM qualifier at Essex and our Q-Step summer placements.
What is Q-Step?
Q-Step is a £19.5
million programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative
undergraduate social science in the UK over a five year period from 2013.
The programme was developed as a strategic response to the UK’s shortage of
social science graduates with the quantitative skills to evaluate evidence,
analyse data, and design and commission research – skills which are essential to
employers across all sectors.
Q-Step is funded by the Nuffield
Foundation, the Economic and Social
Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher
Education Funding Council for England
The programme, described as one of the largest partnerships in recent times
between a research council, a funding council and a private foundation, launched
in the autumn of 2013 when 15 universities across the UK were invited to form a
network of Q-Step Centres. The new Q-Step Affiliates have been awarded funding
for student bursaries for relevant short courses and work placements.
Got a question?
If you'd like to know more about Q-Step, contact: