The University of Leeds is delivering a step-change in its social science teaching as part of an ambitious intervention to address the critical shortage of quantitatively skilled social scientists.
It will join a network of Q-Step Centres across the UK, all of which have received funding from Q-Step, a programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training for undergraduates.
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 £19.5 million funding partnerships is the largest in recent times between a research council, a funding council and a private foundation focussed on undergraduate social science education in the UK.
The University of Leeds will receive £718,980 to deliver a programme of Q-Step activities, including:
- New modules in quantitative methods (QM) in its undergraduate social science courses. These will form part of new quantitative methods pathways through undergraduate degrees, enabling students to graduate from a with QM degree.
- Courses will be available across a range of disciplines, including education, human geography, demography, management studies, business studies, political studies, international relations, social policy, socio-legal studies and sociology.
- Summer schools for sixth form students (Years 12 and 13) to provide a taster of quantitative social science, and for undergraduates at the end of their first year who would like to transfer to a QM pathway.
- Introduction of a new four-year Integrated Masters degrees in Business disciplines Provision of work placements for undergraduates.
- 2 new teaching posts.
Sharon Witherspoon, Director of the Nuffield Foundation said: The Nuffield Foundation, ESRC and HEFCE are delighted that the University of Leeds will become one of our Q-Step Centres. Its planned programme of activities will be an important contribution to our goal of promoting a step-change in quantitative skills training in the social sciences.
Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: "I am delighted that the University is to be part of the Q-Step programme. Working with the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC, HEFCE, and our partner universities we see this as a unique opportunity to achieve a step-change in the teaching of social sciences.
"We look forward to developing a suite of new programmes across the social sciences that will provide graduates with the quantitative skills that are so in demand in today's job market. The new programmes build on a great tradition of education in quantitative methods in Leeds and will draw on the cutting-edge research being undertaken here at Leeds, particularly emerging from the ESRC-funded work on big data analysis."
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