Prestigious award recognises Essex excellence in social science education

05 February 2015

Colchester Campus

Q-step logo

The University of Essex has won high-level recognition for the excellence of its social science degrees, with a prestigious award to support the way it develops the key skills of its graduates.

The University has been awarded Q-Step Affiliate status for the Department of Government, the Department of Sociology and Essex Business School. It is one of three institutions to have received this accolade.

Q-Step Affiliate status is awarded to universities that demonstrate a high level of commitment to the aims of Q-Step, 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.

Professor Ismene Gizelis from the department of Government and Q-Step Coordinator for Essex said “We are delighted to have been awarded Q-Step Affiliate status. This confirms the University of Essex's commitment and dedication in advancing quantitative skills in social sciences and continuing our tradition in promoting numerical/quantitative proficiency in our undergraduate degrees.”

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

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