The Q-Step team

Professor Malcolm Williams

Director of Cardiff Q-Step Centre and Director of School of Social Sciences

Malcolm has been Director of the School of Social Sciences since 2010. His research interests divide into the methodological and empirical. In the first of these he has an interest in a realist approach to methodological problems in the social sciences and these include probability, causality, representation and objectivity. Many of Malcolm’s publications are in these areas. His empirical interests have been in household change, including living alone, housing need and migration. In recent years he has become very interested in and concerned about the ‘quantitative deficit’ in social science and has led or participated in several projects in this area.

Dr Luke Sloan

Deputy Director of Cardiff Q-Step Centre and Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods

Luke joined the Cardiff School of Social Science (SOCSI) in January 2011 as a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods with responsibility for delivering numeric methods across the school at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is also involved in redesigning the methods curriculum and researching the pedagogical implications of teaching quantitative techniques and student engagement. Luke works across the social sciences as an expert in quantitative methods advising on data collection, analysis and visualisation. He is part of the Cardiff Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS) and is the data integration lead involving linking official data produced by the Office for National Statistics with social media data produced on Twitter. In addition to this, Luke has an interest in the pedagogy of quantitative methods and has run training courses for both academics and professionals in survey methodology and data analysis.

Dr Sin Yi Cheung

Reader in Sociology

Sin Yi joined Cardiff University in 2011 and served as Q-Step Deputy Director until September 2015. Her research addresses different forms of social inequalities, primarily in Britain but also in a cross-national comparative perspective. She has published on changing inequalities in higher education, ethnic disadvantage in the labour market, lone parents on benefits, claimants’ dynamics, children in care, and refugee integration. Her work on ethnic penalties in the labour market has attracted much policy attention including invited seminars at the Social Exclusion Unit, the Cabinet Office and the Office for Deputy Prime Minister. Before joining Cardiff, Sin Yi worked at Oxford Brookes University and University of Birmingham and held visiting positions at University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, and Stanford University. Since 2011, Sin Yi has been actively involved in several ESRC and British Academy initiatives addressing the quantitative deficit in UK Social Sciences and held two ESRC awards in the Quantitative Methods Teaching Initiatives, which culminated to the Nuffield Q-Step Centre at Cardiff.

Rhys Jones

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods, Further Education

Rhys has a background in medical biochemistry and immunology, and has taught science and mathematics/statistics at GCSE through to post graduate level. He was a lecturer in applied human physiology at Birmingham City University from 2010 until recently, which included performing admissions tutor duties for several degree courses. He was also the lead academic for technology, which involved training academic staff in designing virtual learning environments. The role placed him on several cross faculty committees, aimed at enhancing the student learning experience. He also has experience developing online courses for distance learners, as well as leading an interdisciplinary team of academic staff and students to set up mentorship programmes for new students. Rhys provides external educational consultation to several agencies throughout the UK, including AD instruments and the AVA OCN ACCESS network for the West Midlands. His research interests include the utilisation and evaluation of embedding information communication technologies into pedagogical practices, as well the role of peer learning between students.

Dr Will Baker

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods (

Will Baker is a broad-based social scientist with research interests in social and educational inequality, poverty, neighbourhood effects and the processes by which micro-level interactions are linked to macro-level outcomes. In his research, he uses both quantitative and qualitative methods, and is interested in developing rigorous research designs to study important social processes. Before coming to Cardiff, he was a DPhil student at Oxford Universityís Department of Education. His doctoral work examined the development of young peopleís educational and occupational aspirations and their impact on the educational attainment process. At Cardiff, he will contribute to both teaching and research in the Q-Step Centre.

Dr Marco Pomati

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods (

Marco Pomati has a broad-based background in Sociology, Anthropology, Social Policy and Research Methods. Before joining Cardiff he worked at the National Foundation for Educational Research, NatCen and Centre for Social Inclusion where he carried out quantitative analysis of small and large scale surveys and assessment data. He was a PhD student at the University of Bristol (School for Policy Studies). His doctoral work draws on his interest in poverty, work-life balance and social networks. His recent work focuses on the longitudinal exploration and validation of living standards measures, the relationship between low income and parenting practices and time poverty. He will contribute to both teaching and research in the Q-Step Centre.

Dr Honor Young

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods (

Honor Young is both a lecturer on the Q-Step Programme and a Research Associate for PHIRN (the Public Health Improvement Research Network). Honor has a background in health psychology. Before working at Cardiff University, Honor was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the National University of Ireland, Galway working on the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. Honor’s postdoctoral and PhD research has used mixed methods to explore adolescent sexual risk taking. Her current research interests include adolescent risk behaviours, youth participation in research design and data collection and the application of quantitative methods in social science.

Dr Steven Cook

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods (

Steve joined the Cardiff School of Social Sciences (SOCSCI) in January 2017 as a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods and Criminology. Before joining Cardiff he was a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Toronto and was a lecturer in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nipissing University in Ontario Canada. Steve is an applied quantitative researcher interested in the application of quantitative methodology to the study of crime. Steve is particularly interested in studying at-risk and hard-to-reach populations, such as youth in custody, youth in psychiatric hospitals, and youth living on the streets.

Dr Scott Orford

Reader in Spatial Analysis and GIS

Scott is a social geographer in the School of Planning and Geography and joined the University in early 2000. He specialises in quantitative approaches to analysing spatial processes and spatial phenomena. He is an expert in Geographic Information Systems and spatial analysis with experience in multi-level modelling, geographically weighted regression, accessibility and spatial network analysis and mapping and geo-visualization. His substantive research interests include housing markets and the built environment, electoral geography and voting patterns, health inequalities and the socio-spatial structures of cities. He is a researcher in the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) and is lead on the data integration programme of work which includes research into the importance of meta-data in linking both quantitative and qualitative data records. He will contribute to teaching of Q-Step involving spatial analysis approaches to research.