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The Manchester Q-Step Centre

Year 1 course units

Q-Step units are listed below by Degree, but can usually be taken as options by students from other disciplines too.


Criminological Research Methods

The unit aims to introduce and promote a critical appreciation of the purposes and practice of research in criminology. You will learn the intellectual roots of empirical enquiry, key distinctions and traditions in social research and the stages in the research process. The unit will also cover the diversity of methods and designs used at different levels of analysis in criminology.


Making Sense of Politics

Making Sense of Politics provides a foundation for the use of data to analyse political problems. The goal of the course unit is to introduce you to the idea of using data to resolve central research questions across the discipline, and to the methods used to gather, analyse and interpret data used in politics research. You will also be provided with an introductory exposure to widely used data analysis software (SPSS and Excel).


Researching Culture and Society

This course unit examines the process and practices of sociological knowledge production, and explores what is distinctive about sociological approaches to understanding and researching social life. It provides a foundation for the study of sociology by introducing the core issues of sociological method and research which underpin many of the sociology courses, and readings, you encounter.

Social Statistics

Understanding Social Media

The unit will develop your understanding of of social research methods using social media data such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. You will be provided with basic training in the use of software for the handling and the analysis of social media data, and develop critical skills in sampling, sample bias and statistical inference in social research.

Unequal Societies: Health, Wellbeing and Happiness

This unit will provide an introduction to accessing and using quantitative data and evidence with a focus on health, wellbeing and happiness. You will review different data types and consider how to access and analyse such data. This will include developing your critical data skills and will involve hands on training and practice analyses of social survey data using online interfaces such as NESSTAR and software such as Excel and SPSS.