Exeter Q-Step Centre brings together international research-focused social scientists. Q-Step research takes an interdisciplinary and data-driven focus to address major societal challenges. Our approach to research is interdisciplinary and works across the University of Exeter and with a number of industry partners. Q-Step’s interdisciplinary research activity also offers an opportunity for our students to learn-by-observing data analysis and to be part of cutting-edge research.
The University of Exeter’s Q-Step Centre has a total 17 core research staff across a number of disciplines including Politics, Sociology, International Relations and Criminology as well as over 20 affiliated staff and several industry partners. These staff have expertise in a number of areas including complex survey data, text analysis and network analysis. Exeter Q-Step has research funding from a variety of sources including the EU, ERSC and the Policing College Fund.
Exeter Q-Step Centre’s research focuses on the three themes of connecting people, society and data. These themes will provide scientifically coherent programmes of research aimed at driving forward innovations in social science theory, the development and application of novel research methods, and the collation and analysis of data sources.
The research programmes that sit within these research themes are:
This research programme looks at how social inequalities, and in particular inequalities in education, evolve and have an impact on individuals over the life course. To do this, we use high quality British longitudinal data sets, such as the National Pupil Database, Understanding Society, and the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study. Our projects include a study of how parental social class is associated with children’s educational attainment, a study of the effect of converting English schools to academies on educational trajectories of children with special educational needs, and a study of the role of education and lifestyle factors in fertility outcomes of UK couples.
Disciplines: Demography; Education; Social Science; Sociology
Topics: ageing; education; ethnic groups; fertility; inequalities; life-course; longitudinal studies.
“The role of lifestyle factors in explaining fertility variation among couples in the UK" (Nitzan Peri-Rotem, the Understanding Society Biomarker Data Project Fellowship)
“Parental Social Class and Filial School Level Educational Outcomes in Contemporary Britain: Analysis of Understanding Society and Administrative Data” (Chris Playford, with Roxanne Connelly and Vernon Gayle, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative)
“Inclusion and the academisation of English secondary schools: Trends in the placement of pupils with significant SEN and those permanently excluded” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Alison Black, Brahm Norwich and Yi Liu, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative)
“An innovative classroom reading intervention for Year 2 and 3 pupils who are struggling to learn to read: Evaluating the Integrated Group Reading (IGR) programme” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Brahm Norwich and George Koutsouris, Nuffield Foundation)
“Ethnic groups in the Russian labour market” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Andrey Shcherbak, British Academy)
Policing in practice research at Exeter Q-Step aims to understand and improve policing policy, practice and professionalism through innovative data use and the development of police data collection. This research programme focuses on how force is used by police, the health of police officers, and how police-civilian interactions get reflected in data.
Staff: Abigail Dymond, Katharine Boyd, Brian Rappert
Disciplines: Sociology, Politics, Anthropology, Psychology, Exeter Medical School
Topics: criminology, policing, data collection
Computational social science research at Exeter Q-Step looks at the intersection between computer science and social science. Q-Step has expertise in social networks, text as data and Bayesian inference.
Staff: Susan Banducci, Travis Coan, Lorien Jasny, Lamprini Rori, Oliver James, Alice Moseley, Gabriel Katz
Disciplines: Social Sciences and International Studies, Mathematics, Business
Topics: Computer Science, social networks, text as data
Projects: ExpoNET, Local Elections and Voter ID Pilots