Study Social Analytics at Cardiff University

Q-Step Cardiff

Interested in Sociology, Criminology, Education, Social Policy or Politics?

Whether you are inexperienced or great with numbers we offer you a multidisciplinary BSc in Social Analytics and BSc in Social Analytics and Politics through which you’ll learn about societychallenging theoriesstatistical literacyfascinating methods not to mention the placement module in your second year. For more info on UCAS codes and course requirements visit the Cardiff Course Finder

Hear from our students:

Studying Social Analytics BSc was the best decision I ever made! The fact that I am able to complete a guaranteed placement in my second year was something I was particularly drawn to, as I thought that this would aid my future career considerably.

The teaching staff across the Social Sciences are very supportive and my favourite first year module, Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics, taught me a lot of skills that I can transfer into my later studies and future career! I can’t wait to start my second year!

 Social Analytics BSc has not only enabled me to learn the core Social Science skills but the added advantage of learning specific analytical skills that businesses highlighted in feedback that graduates lacked in the work place. This course has reignited my passion for learning and studying…I would highly recommend this course to students that want to be able to have the freedom to choose a mix of the Social Sciences as well as benefiting from the amazing opportunities…’                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                      First Year BSc Social Analytics student

‘Lecturers were very engaging and passionate about their module.’

‘Lectures and seminars made the course applicable to daily life, used a lot of examples that made topics easier to understand. This module used a lot of activities to help us learn the content which was useful.’

‘Great teaching that was fun and interactive. The lecturers made it fun to learn.’

Students taking 1st Year BSc Social Analytics module (Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics)

The Q-Step team is also working with schools and colleges in South Wales


The Cardiff Q-Step Team visit New Zealand!


The Cardiff Q-Step team have just been awarded the SOCSI Teaching Innovation Fund. They will use the awarded funds to link up with world leading experts in social statistics education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Honor, Marco and Rhys will exchange experience and material with the Auckland Department of Statistics and the Auckland COMPASS center, both of which undertake and facilitate theoretically informed and empirically grounded internationally outstanding social science research using a range of methodologies.


The Inaugural Regional Postgraduate Q-Step Event (19th October, Cardiff) 

The first event for the Postgraduate Q-Step network was held in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University on Monday 19th October. The conference marked the launch of the network and allowed postgraduates in the network to hear about the research being done by colleagues across the different Q-Step centres.


Cardiff Q-Step Centre Annual Conference (24th September 2015)

The Q-Step initiative is not just about more quantitative methods teaching, but how we teach quantitative methods.  Q-Step also needs to tackle student perception of social science and create a constituency of young people who aspire to be social scientists.  This conference is a critical exploration of teaching methods, assessment and the experiences and views of employers, teachers and other stakeholders.

Find out more details and register 


ESRC Festival of Social Science – A World Full of Data – 10 November 2014

A World of data will introduce year 12 and 13 students to the fascinating world of quantitative social science.


BSc Social Analytics 2nd year Internship module partners


Second year BSc Social Analytics students will take Real World Research, an exciting opportunity to work with an employer to develop and manage a research project in the workplace.

Some of our Real World Research partners include: The Office for National Statistics (ONS), The Big Issue Cymru,  Central South Consortium Joint Education Service (CSCJES), Colegau Cymru/Colleges Wales, Diverse Cymru, Innovate Trust, Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA),  National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Office for National Statistics (ONS),  Pact Cymru, People 1st, Rathbone Cymru, Remploy, Royal Voluntary service, Shelter Cymru, Voluntary Community Service (VCS) Cardiff, Wales Cooperative Centre and Wales & West (Tai) Housing.




The 4th Survey Methodology Summer School in Cologne 

Charlotte Brookfield recently attended the GESIS 4th Survey Methodology Summer School in Cologne after being awarded a DAAD scholarship. The emphasis of the course was on understanding and applying up-to-date concepts of reliability and validity to evaluate measurement instruments. Over the duration of the course, the German Data Forum Quality Standards were referred to as guidelines for how social science researchers should conduct and document their work. As well as the taught sessions, GESIS hosted a party on their roof terrace at the end of the week. This was a great opportunity to network with international academics, share some local beer with new friends and enjoy watching the sun set over Cologne cathedral. The summer school was a valuable experience and the techniques learnt have enhanced Charlotte’s understanding and will hopefully help her with the development and evaluation of her own measurement instrument in her PhD research and beyond.


Tony Coxon Memorial Thursday 4th June

The Cardiff Q-Step Centre invites you to attend an event celebrating the work and life of Professor Tony Coxon.  It will take place in the Council Chamber of the Glamorgan Building, at Cardiff University at 4pm on the 4th of June and will be followed by an informal reception.


His groundbreaking work on Multidimensional scaling can be accessed here and see here for more about his life.Tony’s work was methodologically sophisticated and he worked in a number of substantive areas, notably the Medical Research Council funded 5-wave national longitudinal SIGMA Project (Socio-sexual Investigations of Gay Men and Aids).Tony Coxon was an outstanding quantitative researcher who died  in 2012.  Tony held academic posts at a number of UK universities, including Cardiff. He was the first Director of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MISOC, now ISER) at the University of Essex.  In retirement he remained an active academic and as an Emeritus Professor at Cardiff, advised and helped in the pedagogic work prior to the Q-Step Centre.  Since Tony’s death, his partner Phil Hawkins, has kindly donated Tony’s large collection of methods works which will form the core of a new quantitative methods library in Cardiff Q-Step Centre.


CUROP Placement

The Cardiff Q-Step Centre are looking forward to welcoming an undergraduate researcher to the team in the summer after successfully being awarded funding for a CUROP placement. The student will be working alongside the doctoral researchers in the Centre on their research. Over the course of the placement the student will enhance their social science research skills and practices, specifically, they will be introduced to Qualtrics questionnaire design software and more advanced statistical analysis using SPSS.

4th GESIS Summer School in Methodology 

Charlotte Brookfield, a doctoral researcher within the Cardiff Q-Step Centre, has been awarded a DAAD scholarship to attend the ‘Development, Evaluation and Quality of Measurement Instruments’ course as part of the 4th GESIS Summer School in Methodology in Cologne in August. Charlotte is grateful to be afforded the opportunity to receive advanced level training alongside supportive, enthusiastic researchers and hopes to not only enhance her own skills by attending the course, but also to share these new skills with the rest of the Q-Step team at Cardiff. ​


Quantitative Pedagogy Workshop Monday 16th February
Date: Monday 16th Feb 2015
Time: 5pm-6:30pm
Venue: Main Building Room 0.52

Wendy Olsen (a sociologist at Manchester University) has in recent years established a reputation for pedagogy in sociology (and in social sciences more generally), following her success in obtaining a number of ESRC grants in curriculum innovation. She runs these teaching workshops regularly at CMIST (Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, formerly CCSR). We are delighted that she will be delivering one of these workshops in Cardiff. This brief workshop is for people who teach substantive topics in Sociology such as the family, ethnicity, sociology of religion; and those in politics or other areas.  If you wish to use more graphics, data, and methods of handling up-to-date numbers, this workshop will help. There will be resource packs from recent experiments in classrooms for Undergraduates in social science, covering ten areas in total. Helpful suggestions about amending your learning outcomes can also be provided to staff.Early career staff are particularly welcome, as are senior staff, generating a learning environment of our own in this workshop/demo.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science in Cardiff – Why Quantitative Methods?
The ESRC Festival of Social Science event – Why Quantitative Methods? Attracted over 50 year 12 and 13 students and 6 teachers, from 2 of the largest colleges in Wales (Cardiff and the Vale College and College Cymoedd). The students are currently studying a variety of courses, including; Access to Science, BTEC Extended Diploma in Medical Science, and A’ levels in psychology and sociology. Several students who attended are also enrolled on the Level-3 pilot scheme in Social Analytics.

The Cardiff Q-Step Launch


The Cardiff Q-Step Centre builds upon the significant amount of quantitative pedagogical development achieved in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in the past two years. It integrates a number of teaching and learning strategies, such as the ‘embedding’ of methods in substantive modules and a number of research projects intended to extend our understanding of teaching and learning quantitative methods. Cardiff Q-Step is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC and HEFCE, as a response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates wanted by public, private and third sector employers.



RMF 2014- Teaching Quantitative Methods session

Malcolm Williams (Director of Cardiff Q-Step) chaired the session on Teaching Quantitative Methods at the National Research Methods Festival 2014. Sin Yi Cheung and Luke Sloan (Deputy Directors) also contributed to one of the top 12 most helpful and interesting sessions (RMF survey of delegates).


Our aims

The Centre has two clear aims:

  1. to develop an interdisciplinary BSc Social Analytics pathway that will combine a thorough training in quantitative methods with substantive modules from  sociology, criminology, education or social policy.
  2. to substantially increase the quantitative competency of all of our undergraduate students, whereby on completion of their degree they will have operational skills in survey research, interpretation and manipulation of data, descriptive statistics and data analysis to the level of simple OLS regression.

Our pedagogic strategy is a centre–periphery model, whereby we develop a core of a specialised degree that when fully operational will have an annual cohort of no more than 25 students.  The periphery is developed through joint programmes with the core degree, the re-use of new modules on other programmes and, of course, a culture of quantitative social science that will be developed in both the student and academic body as a result of a critical mass of quantitative social scientists.

A further assumption is built into Cardiff Q-Step:  this is that in order for the project to succeed in raising general student competency and producing a trained cohort of students with quantitative expertise, an ambitious programme of social engineering must be put in place.  Part of this is through the model described above, gradually changing student perceptions and expectations of what it is to do social ‘science’.  However, in the medium term this is not sufficient and we see the necessity of creating a different kind of pool of students that we might recruit to BSc Social Analytics.   Thus, along with the WJEC, the RSSCSE and a consortium of schools and colleges in South Wales, we will pilot a new QCF level 3 (AS level equivalent) qualification also provisionally known as Social Analytics.

Contact us at:



Q-Step is a £19.5 million programme designed to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training. Over a five-year period from 2013, fifteen universities across the UK are delivering specialist undergraduate programmes, including new courses, work placements and pathways to postgraduate study. Expertise and resources will be shared across the higher education sector through an accompanying support programme, which will also forge links with schools and employers.

Q-Step was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates. It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). For more information go to