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Data skills in geography

Researchers: Steve Brace | Steve Brace ...

Project overview

This integrated programme of work across higher education and schools aims to bring about a step-change in geography teachers’ and students’ understanding of quantitative skills, their confidence in using them and their knowledge of the value of these skills to further study and the workplace.

The programme is being undertaken by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and will achieve its aim by:

  • Working across higher education and schools to inform both sectors of changes and opportunities, and to share good practice and expertise.
  • Producing high quality teaching materials on quantitative skills for GCSE and A level for the new curricula, complemented by a national programme of CPD, delivered in person and supported by online activities and materials.
  • Collaborating with awarding organisations, those involved in initial teacher education, other learned societies and geographers in Q-Step Centres to secure greater impact and underpin sustainability for the future.


Recent substantive changes to both the school curriculum and the higher education benchmark statement have led to enhancements in the demand for, and assessment of, quantitative skills in geography in schools (GCSE, A level) and universities. However, the limited expertise and confidence of many school-level teachers in embedding quantitative skills in course subject content, and in supporting the independent investigation, present challenges to meeting this demand. These issues are not unique to geography but are particularly acute, given its standing as a quantitative social science.


  • Steve Brace
    Royal Geographical Society
  • Steve Brace
    Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
  • Dr Catherine Souch
    Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.