Manchester Metropolitan University Q-Step Centre: Q-Step in the Community

Dr Julie Scott Jones, MMU Q-Step Centre Coordinator, recently hosted a 'mixer event' between students and representatives from host organisations taking part in the 'Q-Step in the Community' programme. MMU hosts one of the Q-Step Centres funded under Q-Step to develop new and exciting ways of teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social scientists.  Here, Julie explains what the programme entails and how the event went.   

Q-Step in the Community is a programme whereby students conduct Quantitative Methods research for a set period for an organisation within the Greater Manchester area. This year we have a partnership of 12 organisations taking part, from the public and third sectors and 32 students who are starting their final year dissertations. Some organisations want our students to collect data for them and analyse it, but most have data that they need to analyse, but lack the time or resources to do so.  

HM Inspectorate of Probation

Kevin Ball, Head of Information & Operations, was so impressed with the students that he agreed to double the number of places available from two to four.  

Back on Track

Louise O'Neill, Business Development Manager of the charity Back on Track has already tasked her students with the job of cleaning up and organising the charity's database! After that they will evaluate the charity's user data and Louise is particularly keen to understand why some clients finish their training programmes and others do not.

Greater Manchester Police

Six students met with Chief Inspector Patrick McKelvey (not pictured below) to discuss their projects. They will be attending a further meeting at GMP's North Division HQ to finalise projects, which include initiatives related to begging, sex worker safety, neighbourhood policing and truancy patrols.

Other organisations that attended the Mixer Event were Greater Manchester Youth Network, Women MATTA, Positive Steps and Heather Williams, Policy and Research Manager for the Manchester LGF who said: "We were impressed with [the students] interest and enthusiasm for the proposed projects, and look forward to working with them! It’ll be exciting to see what comes out of their work with us."

Overall, the week was exciting, and a bit tiring! The enthusiasm of students and organisation reps never ceases to impress me. I am so proud of our students and I cannot wait for the work to start; this work will make a difference to the lives of countless people in our city.