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June 2015

Q-step work placements

(25 June 2015)

The University’s Q-Step programme is helping Humanities students to secure paid work placements with some of the world’s most influential and well-known organisations, including The World Bank, Santander, the UK Government and Ipsos Mori.

Q-Step debuted in 2014 with 20 students taking part. This year the project has more than doubled with 50 students securing placements this summer. The project has also led to the introduction of five new BA Social Sciences with Quantitative Methods degree courses starting this September.

The aim of the Q-Step programme is to create work-ready students who have real experience that is of value to society. It is designed to answer the demands of employers by developing graduates who can use real world data to answer real research questions of academic and policy interest, for application across a wide range of careers including social and political research and consultancy, business and marketing.

Students who completed placements in 2014 said the scheme gave them real life experience alongside their degree. Pete Jones, a student from the School of Social Sciences (SoSS), enjoyed a placement at Manchester City Council, said: “My placement was great, I really enjoyed it! It’s helped me with my CV and with interviews. I definitely feel more employable. I have since secured a job as a Research Assistant for a search engine company here in Manchester.” Anna Kiel, a politics student in the SoSS, echoed this saying: “I feel more confident going into the job market now.”

Dr Jackie Carter, Director for Engagement with Research Methods Training, and The University of Manchester Q-Step Co-Director, said: “Q-step is about students applying what they learn in the classroom to real workplace projects, with outstanding results.

“This is a differentiator for Manchester undergraduates. It helps them to understand how and why data matters, and why they need to be critical consumers of data if they are to develop into well-rounded graduates. Critically, it builds confidence and employability so that not only do they have something to write about on their CV, but they have something to talk about at subsequent interviews, and start to develop networks they might otherwise not have the opportunity to do.”

Watch the video below to find out how the scheme helped Charlotte McCarthy, who studies Sociology in the School of Social Sciences.