Institute of Education


Quantitative Social Science

Applying quantitative methods to inform policy on education, health, labour markets, human development and child/adult wellbeing.

Head of centre: Lorraine Dearden

Quantitative Social Science (QSS) is an interdisciplinary group of 18 academics and researchers with expertise in economics, sociology, psychology, social statistics, survey methods and data collection, and techniques of policy evaluation.

About us 

Our mission
  • Design and deliver world-class undergraduate and postgraduate education in all aspects of quantitative social science
  • Undertake world-class social science research which is both academically renowned and policy-relevant.
Our staff

We work closely with colleagues in our department, especially from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) and Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER), colleagues throughout UCL, particularly in the Departments of Economics and Politics, the Institute of Child Health and the International Centre for Life Course Studies in Society and Health (ICLS), as well as other leading universities in Britain and throughout the world.

Head of centre

Academic staff

  • Ozan Aksoy, Senior Fellow
  • Rebecca Allen, Reader in Economics of Education                   
  • Alex Bryson, Professor of Quantitative Social Science                   
  • Stuart Campbell, Research Associate  
  • Wing Chan, Professor of Quantitative Social Science                   
  • Leslie Gutman, Research Director                   
  • Kirstine Hansen, Reader in Social Policy                   
  • Hedvig Horvath, Lecturer in Economics                   
  • Andrew Jenkins, Research Fellow                   
  • John Jerrim, Reader in Educational and Social Statistics                   
  • Lindsey Macmillan, Reader in Economics                   
  • John Micklewright, Emeritus Professor                   
  • Bilal Nasim, Research Data Scientist                   
  • Terry Ng-Knight, Research Fellow                   
  • Ingrid Schoon, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy
  • Ian Shemilt, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Evidence Synthesis Methodology
  • Nikki Shure, Research Associate                   
  • Maria Sironi, Lecturer in Quantitative Sociology            
  • Richard Wiggins, Professor of Quantitative Social Science                  
  • Gillian Wyness, Lecturer in Economics of Education    

QSS is a partner in the ESRC funded English Administrative Data Research Centre (ADRCE) in collaboration with the University of Southampton, Institute of Child Health at University College London, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. We are also a partner in the new IOE lead Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). QSS also manages the collection and analysis of OECD's TALIS and PISA surveys for England in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

Study with us



We run the Social Sciences with Quantitative Methods BSc programme. Launched in 2016, this degree programme is also part of UCL's Q-Step centre. It gives students training in both social sciences (primarily Economics and Sociology) and quantitative data analysis.

Graduate taught

Quantitative Research Methods - this is a modular degree with two pathways:

    1.    The MSc Quantitative Research Methods (Policy Analysis)
    2.    The MSc Quantitative Research Methods (Education)

Graduate research

We also offer PhD training  - including through an ESRC-financed Doctoral Training Centre in Quantitative Methods.

Applications to undertake PhD training or post doctoral research in any of our areas of interest are welcome. There is a lively environment with a range of opportunities to acquire cutting-edge skills in research methods and to tackle substantive research questions across the social sciences.

Short courses

We also offer short courses for professional development in research methods and in use of various data resources, including the birth cohorts.

Our activities


All of our staff are research-active. Most of our studies involve the design, collection and/or analysis of large scale survey or administrative data sets. Our academic research is funded by research councils and trust funds.

Areas of expertise

  • Policy evaluation
  • Longitudinal research design and analysis
  • Survey methodology and sampling design
  • Economics of education
  • Labour markets
  • Personnel economics
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Subjective Well-being
  • Biosocial and biomedical studies
  • Equal opportunities
  • Social capital and social participation
  • Childcare
  • Child development.

We also undertake consultancy research for:

  • Government departments: the Department for Education, the Home Office
  • Charities: Sutton Trust
  • Universities UK Ltd
  • Overseas universities
  • International agencies.

See more:

Working papers

Work in progress publications intended to stimulate discussion and contribute to the advancement of our knowledge.


QSS hosts a weekly seminar series, where invited speakers present work of relevance to the research interests of the group. The seminars are open to the general public and all are welcome to attend.

Latest news

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Forthcoming events

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