The Q-Step Centre at Kent is part of a multi-million pound, nationwide initiative funded by Nuffield, HEFCE and the ESRC to promote a step-change in quantitative skills amongst social sciences undergraduates in the UK. Kent was one of only 15 universities nationwide to secure Q-Step funding in a highly competitive application process.
The Q-Step programme is a response to the UK’s current shortage of quantitatively skilled social sciences graduates. Quantitative skills are vital, both for social sciences research and in the wider workplace, and the UK is currently experiencing a skills deficit in this area. Check out our employability page for more information on the importance of quantitative skills in today’s data driven world.
The Kent Q-Step Centre applies the values of the University of Kent to the Q-Step initative - combining an exciting range of new programmes with innovative teaching methods, creative uses of technology and an active presence in the wider community.
We are a cross-school centre, working across the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), the School of Politics and International Relations, Kent Business School (KBS) and Kent Law School (KLS). Our diverse academic team is comprised of staff from all four schools.
We offer a “minors” programme, through which students from all of our four schools can add a significant quantitative element to their degrees, graduating with “with Quantitative Research” (or, for business students, “with Data Analytics”) added to their degree title.
These courses are all available to new applicants, but we also offer existing Kent students the chance to convert to a Quantitative Research degree after their first year.
As with all of our courses, students taking a Quantitative Research Minor have the opportunity to complete a quantitative work placement in Stage 3, honing their skills in a real world environment and gaining valuable workplace experience.
You can view all of our undergraduate courses here.
Students converting to a minor pathway after their first year attend a residential summer school between their first and second years, to prepare them for the more advanced second and third year modules.
The two week programme uses a problem based learning approach. Working in small groups, students complete short quantitative projects, and present them at a mini-conference on the final day.
Despite being challenging, the fortnight has a relaxed feel, with plenty of social events scheduled and the chance for students to mingle with staff.
All of our degree programmes offer students the opportunity to complete a work placement in which their new quantitative skills are tested and refined in a practical workplace setting. We offer 20 funded summer placements each year, and students can also complete placements on a one-day-a-week basis during their final year of study.
We run a large scale survey of students at the University, which collects data on a wide range of metrics. As this project develops it will provide an invaluable longitudinal dataset, both for research and teaching. Students and staff can apply to have questions included in the self-study survey.
IT for Teaching
Our innovative "virtual server" allows students to access advanced statistical software such as SPSS and STATA from their own devices anywhere on campus. This allows us to take quantitative teaching outside of the computer lab, breaking down the barriers between quantitative and qualititative work and embedding statistical analysis directly into the wider curriculum at Kent.
We work actively with University’s partnerships development office to provide outreach sessions and activities to local schools. Events include Students as Researchers days, where A-level students hear from expert researchers about their current work, and then develop their own research proposals under the guidance of our academic staff.
As well as working in schools, we also run events within the wider community. Our monthly “pubTALK” series sees academics delivering informal talks on topical issues in a pub in Canterbury. The floor is then opened for a public discussion - all over a pint or two.