FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

Essex Q-Step Centre

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Gain quantitative skills and enhance your degree with Q-Step

Are you an undergraduate student of the Department of Government, the Department of Sociology or Essex Business School? If so, you could be graduating with enhanced quantitative skills simply by enrolling on specific Q-Step modules.

If you follow the Q-Step pathway you will receive a qualifier award at the end of your degree which will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Whilst taking part in Q-Step you will also get the chance to undertake paid work placements of up to £300 per week.

Why take part in Q-Step?

Quantitative skills are highly desired by employers across all sectors. The skills you'll learn during your Q-Step modules will equip you for a range of well-paid careers. Q-Step will help you learn all the skills a 21st century social scientist requires to help tackle the big questions facing society.

The Q-Step pathway emphasises the practical rather than theoretical – you’ll use the latest datasets and software – so when you graduate you’ll be ready to enter the workplace straight away. Achieving a Q-Step award will also open doors to postgraduate study in a range of disciplines.

What will I gain?
  • Advanced analytical skills, in high demand by employers in the public and private sector, all in readiness for a rewarding career.
  • Proven skills to help you gather, present and interpret data using the very latest statistical software and tools.
  • An enhanced C.V. to prepare you for advanced postgraduate research and studies.

Who can become a Q-Step student?

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. This will signal to employers that you are highly skilled in quantitative methods.

You will automatically be enrolled for the Applied Quantitative Methods qualifier if you are taking the appropriate modules to make you eligible. This will be awarded to you at the end of your degree at the Final Board of Examiners, as long as you have taken the correct modules and also met any grade requirements in these modules.

Photograph of a Q-Step graduate in mortar board and gown
"Q-Step really helped me prepare for the workplace. After completing my Q-Step placement at Colchester Council I was actually offered a job with Essex County Council. I would recommend the Q-Step pathway to any student looking to improve their career prospects after uni."
Sorin Bobeica Q-Step Graduate DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT

Paid work placements for Q-Step students


As part of your degree, we offer you the opportunity to take up a paid work placement for up to 8 weeks in an external organisation. This placement will ensure you utilise quantitative skills and methods in a real-world working environment.

Between your second and third year you will apply to organisations to secure your summer work placement. Whilst on your Q-Step placement, you will receive a bursary equivalent of £300 per week (full-time). Payments will be made in up to two instalments with the first payment being made prior to the start of your placement.


Nervous about applying for placements? Don't worry, the Q-Step team will help you with your application process, prepare you for your placement and support you whilst you’re there.

 

Previously successful Essex Q-Step graduates have undertaken placements at Colchester Borough Council, Sage Publications, World Land Trust, YouGov, Profusion and Essex Community Rehabilitation Company. For more information on work placements, please email ss-placements@essex.ac.uk.

Why do a placement?
  • Gain valuable paid work experience to develop the quantitative and professional skills which are specifically sought by graduate employers in a competitive job market.
  • Get the chance to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, helping you to define your career pathway after your time at Essex.
  • Learn how to apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment and receive a bursary of up to £300 a week.

How do I follow the Q-Step pathway?

For students of the Department of Sociology

Sociology students will develop the methods and principles required to design and critically evaluate empirical sociological research.

In order to be eligible for the Q-Step award, you must successfully complete the module pathway outlined below.

If you have specific questions about Q-Step modules and your Department, please email the Department of Sociology Q-Step Director: Professor Nick Allum.

Compulsory modules for the pathway:

Year One: 

SC101-4-FY (30 credits) Researching Social Life I

Year Two: 


SC208-5-FY (30 credits) Stratification Across the Life Course: Inequalities From Cradle to Grave 

Final Year: 


SC385-6-FY (30 credits) Models and measurement in Quantitative Sociology

SC830-6-FY (30 credits) Quantitative Research Project

Recommended modules for the pathway:

The following modules are recommended options but are not considered essential in passing the pathway:

Year Two: 


GV205-5-SP (15 credits) Measuring Public Opinion (Requires GV207-5-AU-CO)

GV207-5-AU (15 credits) Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS

SC213-5-FY (30 credits) Social Psychology: Self and Interaction

SC207-5-FY (30 credits) Computational Social Science and Digital Issues

Final Year:


SC308-6-SP (15 credits) Race, Ethnicity and Migration

SC338-6-SP (15 credits) Religion in Modern and Post Modern Societies

For students of the Department of Government

Government students will apply quantitative skills to assess the effectiveness of policies and develop different scenarios on their potential outcomes.

In order to be eligible for the Q-Step award, you must successfully complete the module pathway outlined below.

If you have specific questions about Q-Step modules and your Department, please email the Department of Government Q-Step Lead: Professor Martin Steinwand.

Compulsory modules for the pathway: 

Year Two:

GV207-5-AU (15 credits) Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS (You must achieve a mark of 70 to be awarded the qualifier) 

And at least one of the following:  

GV205-5-SP (15 credits) Measuring Public Opinion

GV217-5-SP (15 credits) Conflict Analysis

GV261-5-AU (15 credits) The U.S. Presidential Election

SC208-5-SP (15 credits) Stratification Across the Life Course: Inequalities From Cradle to Grave

Final year:

GV300-6-FY (30 credits) Quantitative Political Analysis

GV831-6-FY (30 credits) Project: Politics (must include sufficient quantitative methods as agreed by your Academic Supervisor) 
 
Note: GV831-6-FY can be substituted with either of the other final year project modules GV832-6-FY or GV836-6-FY

And at least one of the following: 

GV508-6-SP (15 credits) The Analysis of Conflict and Peace

GV307-6-FY (30 credits) Political Economy

GV384-6-AU (15 credits) Democracy, Dictatorship and Regime Change

For students of Essex Business School, Colchester campus

Essex Business School students will construct and run models using econometrics packages to inform business decisions.

In order to be eligible for the Q-Step award, you must successfully complete the module pathway outlined below.

If you have specific questions about Q-Step modules and your Department, please email the Essex Business School Colchester campus Q-Step Lead: Dr Cheng Yan.

Compulsory modules for the pathway: 

Year Two:

BE311-5-SP-CO (15 credits) Corporate Finance

BE313-5-AU-CO (15 credits) Portfolio Analysis

BE314-5-SP-CO (15 credits) Financial Modelling

Note: Students must achieve 2:1 or above in one of the modules listed above and no result (from the list above) can be lower than a 2:2.  

Final Year:

BE332-6-AU-CO (15 credits) Options and Futures

BE333-6-AU-CO (15 credits) Empirical Finance (take as option in Accounting & Finance, Banking & Finance and Financial Management)

BE631-6-SP-CO (15 credits) Risk Management and Financial Institutions

Note: Students must achieve 2:1 or above in two of the modules listed above and no result (from the list above) can be lower than a 2:2.  
 
BE936-6-FY (15 credits) Accounting Project

BE937-6-FY (15 credits) Finance Research Project

Note: Students must also have completed and pass one of the modules listed above (must utilise data gathering/retrieval, econometric estimation and analysis and a result of no lower than 2:2 must be achieved).

For students of Essex Business School, Southend campus

Essex Business School students will construct and run models using econometrics packages to inform business decisions.

In order to be eligible for the Q-Step award, you must successfully complete the module pathway outlined below.

If you have specific questions about Q-Step modules and your Department, please email the Essex Business School Southend campus Q-Step Lead: Dr Marta Fernandez De Arroyabe Arranz.

Compulsory modules for the pathway: 

Year Two:

BE216-5-SP-SO (15 credits) International Business Strategies

BE218-5-SP-SO (15 credits) Business Research Methods

BE220-5-SP-SO (15 credits) Strategic Entrepreneurship


Note: Students must achieve 2:1 or above in two of the modules listed above and no result (from the list above) can be lower than a 2:2.  
 
BSc Marketing will have no additional options due to the module choice (Will have to take BE217-5-FY-SO 30 credits, as 90 credits will be taken by compulsory modules and AQM choices).  

Final Year:

BE441-6-FY-SO (30 credits) Business Strategy

And at least one of the following:

BE141-6-SP-SO (15 credits) Strategic Management Accounting

BE260-6-AU-SO (15 credits) Supply Chain Management  

Note: Students must achieve a 2:1 or above in two of the modules listed above and no result (from the list above) can be lower than a 2:2. 
 
Students must also have completed and pass one of the following modules (quantitative research methodology and data analysis must be utilised):  
 
BE932-6-FY-SO (30 credits) Research Project - Business Administration

BE933-6-FY-SO (30 credits) Research Project - Marketing

BE934-6-FY-SO (30 credits) Research Project - International Business and Entrepreneurship

BE935-6-SP-SO (15 credits) Research Project – Tourism Management

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Want to find out more about Q-Step?

Ready to join the Q-Step pathway? Or perhaps you're already on your way but need a little support? Don't worry, the Q-Step team are here to help. Our dedicated Q-Step officer is here to guide you through the pathway and will ensure your Q-Step journey is a smooth one. Still have questions about Q-Step and your academic Department? Please feel free to contact the Departmental leads listed below.

An exclusive opportunity for students of Essex

Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme developed specifically to help social science graduates gain the quantitative skills to evaluate evidence, analyse data, and design and commission research – all of which are essential skills to employers across all sectors.

The University of Essex is one of only 17 universities across the UK that have been invited to take part in the prestigious Q-Step programme. This exclusive opportunity is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Office for Students (OfS).

Get in touch
Get in touch
Edmund Walker, Q-Step Officer University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: +44 (0) 1206 872493