In order to meet the objectives of increasing the number of graduates with quantitative skills and embedding our training in the curriculum, we have undertaken activities in four main areas: a range of courses and modules across five disciplines (Curricula); added value and specialised projects (Projects); University and college support services (Employability); and University and external engagement (School Engagement).
To support the delivery of Centre activities outlined below, we have recruited four new lecturers and a teaching assistant. The lecturers have been recruited in the following areas: Criminology, Sociology, Political Science and International Relations.
3 new lecturers and the teaching assistant are already in post and, the fourth lecturer will join the team in January 2015. They contribute to programme and module development, undertake outreach, liaise with external partners and
be champions of quantitative social sciences within the university and in the wider academic
community. Each lecturer is in charge of leading one of the four areas of work (work streams)
The QStep Centre was officially launched on March 20, 2014 with a day event that included workshops of lecturers, researchers and students. The event closed with a conference by economist and broadcaster Tim Harford.
Exeter launched its QStep Centre in March 20, 2014 with a series of workshops and a conference by economist and broadcaster Tim Harford.
The aim of the launching event was to create awareness amongst the University staff, lecturers, researchers and students of QStep and the new BSc Degree Programmes.
The work has been organised in four main working areas called work streams. Each work stream is led by one QStep lecturer.
A project administrator has been hired. The administrator is responsible for the finance and operational administration of the project.
Website is in place as well as Social Media features: We got 223 follower in Twitter and have recently open a Facebook page to communicate with students
Lead by Dr Alexey Bessudnov
Academic and support staff focused on the development and accreditation of the new degree programmes: BSc Politics and Sociology, BSc Sociology, BSc Criminology. and the formalisation of the pathway (PADA) as well as the MPol (3+1)
BSc PolIR first cohort started this academic year 2014/15 (61 students: 29 BSc Politics and International Relations, 13 BSc Politics and International Relations with Study Abroad, 8 BSc Sociology, 11 MPol (3+1))
BSc Sociology will transfer students from this Academic Year to the next year within a formalised QStep programme. BSc Criminology is in place ready to receive students in 2015/16
We have recruited staff with skills to reflect the subject areas in which the BSc will be delivered. To do so 6 recruitment rounds took place between October 2013 and September 2014 as a result, From the first four: 3 academics were hired. The fourth appointed person withdrew the offer at last minute and this caused an extra round. The sixth recruitment process focused on hiring a Teaching Assistant to support the Stats Desk, as it was not possible to identify qualified PGs to run the HelpDesk.
Exeter has been successful in attracting academics from top universities in the US and Europe. Lecturers have been hired to higher rate. This to ensure the highest quality of QStep personnel (investing in staffing as a sustainability strategy). Relocation expenses have been agreed to a higher rate as well (both to be covered by the University)
Lead by Dr Katharine Boyd
A Employability Officer has been hired. She has engaged with external agencies to build a network of placement providers.
During the first year we have engaged 7 partners: - TNS Opinion & BMRB, ComRes, GfK and Devon and Cornwall Probation Trust, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue
Work placements are expected to kick off in Summer 2016
Difficulties/ Lessons learned
Lead by Dr Travis Coan
The QStep Center at Exeter will bring together a range of activities related to training and curriculum development in quantitative methods and develop new expertise in the delivery of undergraduate programmes in the social sciences.
This work stream is devoted to enhance the experience of QStep students by creating further teaching materials and providing training to the QStep students.
With the first cohort in place, project will kick off in October 2014
From October 2014
From October 2014
Lead by Ekaterina Kolpinskaya
School engagement works closely with the University’s Students Recruitment team to identify schools in Devon.
We have piloted the initiative using the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2014 . If the workshops proves successful we have identified other 3 schools we would like to engage in the process.
This will be identified once we start working with them
The first workshop will take place in October 27
Methods Matters will kick-off in term 2 during Academic Year 2014/15
This will take place over the last two year of the project