A number of Schools in the Faculty of Social Science at The University of Nottingham have been awarded a national affiliate status, to help increase the number of social science graduates with quantitative skills.
The UK has a shortage of social science graduates with the quantitative skills needed to evaluate evidence, analyse data, and design and commission research. Yet these skills are increasingly in demand from employers across all sectors such as in government, business and charities.
The Q-Step programme was developed as a strategic response to the shortage and is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the ESRC and HEFCE. The aim of the Q-Step programme is to increase the number of quantitatively trained social scientists so that they can address the growing number of issues that require these skills, and to offer broader training that opens up a wider range of job prospects for social science students.
In 2013, fifteen Q-Step Centres were established to deliver the Q-Step programme. Following that process, and in recognition of its strengths in social science quantitative methods, The University of Nottingham was invited to identify individual Schools to apply for Q-Step Affiliate status to support the Q-Step programme.
The following Schools at Nottingham have been awarded Q-Step Affiliate Status: Contemporary Chinese Studies, Geography, Law, Politics and International Relations and Sociology and Social Policy. The School of Economics and School of Education also have recognised links to the Q-Step Affiliate programme.
“We are delighted that we have been successful in our application for Q-Step Affiliate Status” said Paul Heywood, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Sir Francis Hill Professor of European Politics. “This award recognises the strength in quantitative methods within our Faculty of Social Sciences, and our initiative and commitment to addressing national concerns regarding the shortage of social science students with quantitative skills.”
Cees van der Eijk, Professor of Social Science Research Methods, Director of the Methods and Data Institute and Q-Step Affiliate Status Co-ordinator for the Nottingham programme added: “As part of our Q-Step Affiliate Status, we will be offering exciting new ‘with Quantitative Research Methods’ pathways and also have plans to introduce a new interdisciplinary 3+1 Quantitative Research Methods degree in the near future. In addition to new and enhanced lectures and seminars, students will also have the opportunity to take part in placements, allowing them to develop their quantitative skills and apply them to ‘real world’ problems, as well as access to bursaries to take optional extra-sessional courses provided by Q-Step Centres and Affiliates across the country.”
Q-Step Affiliate courses will commence in September 2015 and further information can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.
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