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The Manchester Q-Step Centre

Year 2 course units

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


Accessing and Understanding Data for Criminologists

This course unit is concerned with introducing the idea of secondary data analysis. You will learn about the different sources of data which criminologists might access. In terms of understanding data, we teach them the basics including frequencies and crosstabs, independent and dependent variable, levels of measurement and measures of central tendency. We also introduce them to one test of significance, chi square and the concept of probability.


Introduction to Psycholinguistics

This course provides you with an introduction to psycholinguistics, with special focus on written and spoken language comprehension. We will discuss the central topics and major findings of psycholinguistics and learn about the experimental methods that researchers use to investigate the psychological processes underlying language understanding.

Quantitative Methods in Language Sciences

This course unit aims to familiarize you with the basic concepts of statistics through hands-on practice. You will learn the computer skills needed to work with quantitative data and the critical thinking skills necessary for conducting quantitative research in the future.

Variation and Change in English

The course unit aims to introduce you to the ways in which language can vary and the types of factors (both internal and external) that may condition that variation. You will learn about the effects of age, time, sex, social class, identity, geographical region, and internal linguistic factors on phonetic, phonological, lexical, and morphosyntactic variables, as well as experiencing the different methods by which sociolinguistic data can be gathered and the statistical tests and methodology for quantitative data analysis.


How to Conduct Politics Research

This course allows students to develop research skills by preparing them to conduct an independent research project in politics, covering a range of different methodologies and types of data.

Social Statistics

Essentials in Survey Design and Analysis

This course unit will discuss practical issues involved in the planning of surveys, as well as practical topics involved in the analysis of survey data taking into account the design of the survey, management and handling of survey data from a range of social science datasets, exploratory analysis, comparing differences between means and proportions and chi-square tests for testing associations.

Research Design and Statistical Inference

This course unit will introduce you to the principles of collecting, summarising, and interpreting data. You will explore the importance of sampling and designing appropriate studies in answering research questions, and some of the debates surrounding making inferences from intelligence tests.

The Survey Method in Social Research

This course unit will introduce you to the social survey and its use in academic and policy research. You will be given basic training in the use of SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Scientists) for the handling and analysis of survey data, and the critical skills needed to interpret and report simple analyses using survey data.

Market Research

The aim of this course unit is to present and impart a working knowledge of the basic techniques used in contemporary marketing research. This will involve being able to understand and identify secondary data sources (customer and area profiling), implement methods for the collection of primary data (surveys, sampling, questionnaire design), and understand qualitative marketing research methodology (focus groups).