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QS305: Numbers in the Workplace (Placement)

This option module renders your degree professionally relevant, enabling you to develop real world employability skills and apply your statistical analysis skills in a non-academic setting.

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To enable students to:
  • Undertake a 4-week work placement;
  • Prepare (via seminars, workshops and practice sessions) for consultancy work in quantitative analysis during their placement;
  • Reflecting on the transferable and disciplinary skills gained on the placement, and applying the learning back into the discipline in their third year work;
  • Gain a practical experience of working with numerical data in the workplace and appreciate their role.

Principal learning outcomes

  • Develop a range of transferable professional skills for future employment (e.g. CV design, job application, cover letter. etc.);
  • Develop a critical understanding of the role of data analysis in the workplace.
  • Develop professional practice with clients;
  • Become familiar with key terminology and soft skills associated with acting as a consultant in quantitative analysis.

Timetabled teaching activities, and assessment

Preparatory sessions in Year 2.

Although the module is credited in Year 3, Year 2 consists of a number of mandatory workshops and seminars (both Autumn and Spring Term) to prepare you for your placement. The module is assessed through a 2500-word reflective essay (70% of your overall mark) and a poster (30% of your overall mark) displaying information and results from the project(s) you undertook during your placement. You will be asked to submit your assignments at the first term of Year 3. We will also organise a poster session in the same term, providing you with the opportunity to present your poster to fellow students and members of staff, and hear about other student’s experiences.

Pre-requisites for this module

  • Sociology students: 45 CATS of quantitative methods modules, with marks 2.1 ("Upper Second") or higher in these modules.
  • PAIS students: 30 CATS of POQ coded modules, with marks 2.1 ("Upper Second") or higher in these modules
  • Students need to provide a 1-page motivation letter for the placement (how the modules you have taken relate to the placement; what skills you expect to gain from the placement; how the skills you gain from the placement relate to your career plan). The number of placements is limited.

Please contact Prof. Ulf Liebe if your are interested in taking this module:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we offer a placement?

Placements benefit students in a number of ways including:

  • Giving students the experience of working with quantitative data and methods in a professional organisation;
  • Enabling students to develop real world employability skills such as teamwork, professional communication skills, application of numeracy in the workplace, dealing with numbers, general quantitative awareness and its application in practical contexts, achieving set goals and targets and working to tight deadline.
  • Giving students practical experience and insights that they can draw on for their final dissertation project in Year3.
When will the placement take place?

The placement will take place in the summer after the end of the second year of the degree course. Employers are usually flexible in terms of timing. Once you are offered a position, you and your employer can negotiate about the period during which you will conduct your placement.

How long will the placement period be?

The duration of the placement is 4 weeks.

Will the placement be paid?

All students are paid a bursary by the University, which is intended to contribute to travel and accommodation costs for the duration of the placement.

What types of organisations will students be placed in?

We collaborate with organisations that use statistical analysis and social surveys to study topics around sociology and politics. Students from previous cohorts have conducted placements in organisations such as British Academy, The Family and Child Care Trust, National Centre for Social Research, Ipsos MORI. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau, Institute for Social and Economic Research, Office for National Statistics, Demos, Oxfam, European Social Survey. Some students chose to conduct internal placements, working as research assistants for members of staff in Sociology and PAIS.

Where will the placements be located?

We collaborate with many prestigious employers in the UK. Placements are adapted to the employers' work model, often a hybrid or home-based format.

Will students have a choice in which placement they are allocated to?

Students are able to apply for their choice of placement from a set list of employers. We will send their CVs and cover letters to their employer of choice, who may then ask for an interview in order to make an informed decision. We make every effort to match you with an employer who focuses on your substantive interests, and take account of any mitigating circumstances that may affect your ability to work in London etc.



Placement Providers

In the last years students undertook placements with organisations including:

  • British Academy
  • The Family and Childcare Trust
  • National Centre for Social Research
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Office for National Statistics
  • European Social Survey
  • Demos
  • ISER
  • Oxfam GB
  • Respondi
  • Centre for Educational Development, University of Warwick


Our organisation really benefited from the placement and we were also able to provide the students with useful work experience, including specific research skills.

- One of the Placement Providers