Pathways to Data Analytics

The demand for a high level of numeracy skills and knowledge of statistical methods is extending across occupations. As all sectors rapidly generate more data, a search for staff with the skills to analyse it and translate it into information that benefits organisations, is growing fast.

Pathways to Data Analytics offers the opportunity for students across all disciplines to approach data analytics over five intensive training sessions. This pathway will introduce participants to essential statistical concepts and analytical tools needed to use Excel or Python as a data analytics instrument.

Successful students, selected from a range of disciplines and year groups, will undertake five sessions of experiential learning delivered by the Q-Step Centre in Exeter, followed by a one-week, full-funded internship with a local organisation.

The pathway to Data Analytics is supported by European Social Fund in partnership with Exeter Q-Step Centre as a mean to develop technical and job specific skills and bolster employability prospects.





Testimonials from previous employers:

"This programme allows businesses to attract intelligent, hard working interns that can be used to complete key research tasks within your department" Nathan Sutton, Trading Standards

“Our undergraduate intern (Ruby) is fantastically bright and capable. She has been a pleasure to work with and no task is too big or small. We are planning a variety of sector specific events for social enterprises in the south west region, and Ruby has produced databases for these sectors, extracting useful information using filters and pivot charts so we can create a nicely targeted marketing campaign. Data analysis is incredibly important these days and these graduates have the skills to produce a range of statistical information very quickly. I would highly recommend the programme.” Susanna Jones, Devon County Council

"Applegate’s participation in the Pathways to Data Analytics programme was a great success; we hosted a bright student who even in the short timeframe available was able to grasp complicated ideas and contribute usefully to our process." Chris McCormack, Applegate

"Thanks for organising this placement. I found it incredibly useful to have some support with data tasks.  Lydia worked efficiently and with precision to complete the data tasks I set. She suggested different ways to synthesise and present the data and was happy to explore these options and explain why they were appropriate. She was enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the tasks and the relevance behind the data she was working with. I would be very keen to work with another Pathways to Data Analytics placement in the future, I found the support extremely useful. I would highly recommend!" Student Recruitment Team, University of Exeter

"The student who applied was perfect. She did such a great job so the output and being able to work with her was the best thing about this project.  I was also very impressed with how well you supported us as placement providers. You were extremely helpful, efficient and proactive which made the whole experience so much easier." Leanne Fennel, Articulacy

"The mini-project work completed by our intern has been really valuable.  It has enabled us to gather insightful objective information that we would not otherwise have the time capacity to compile.  The information was also presented in a well thought out report and presentation, which was great to be able to cascade within our organisation." Faye Martin, Trading Standards

"An outstanding programme that allows organisations to gain input from hard working students from a variety of study backgrounds; it allowed us to focus time on long standing projects that will be a key asset in our company's development. The process was easy to apply, and well supported by helpful staff. I would highly recommend." Marina O'Shea, Phonic FM

 "Swanky were extremely impressed with the quality of intern University of Exeter provided for the Pathways to Data Analytics programme. Our intern had excellent attention to detail, was on time, efficient and willing to listen, collaborate and learn. We can only hope that future interns are of as high a calibre and look forward to hosting more in the future." Sean Clanchy, Swanky Agency

 "I am so glad that I saw the advert for a placement as the week was invaluable! I have gained a great deal of insight from the data set the student worked with and I was so grateful for their methodical and independent approach to their work. I will be taking action as a direct result to ensure that immediate improvements are made to the processes that I manage for the benefit of the customers I serve." Helen Cocks, Plymouth City Council

 “The project completed by our student has been invaluable for providing us with new answers to previously unexplored research questions that will be used for more detailed research studies in the future. Our student presented the findings within an insightful report that not only included sufficient statistical testing and graphical visualisations, but also veterinary literature support which we did not expect the student to carry out by themselves in such a short period of time. We found that our student was genuinely interested in the work that she was doing and was always keen to make sure that she was performing tasks that would be of the most use to us as an organisation. We would highly recommend the programme!” Holly Little, The Donkey Sanctuary 

"The programme is highly beneficial to us in supporting our strategic planning in relevant areas, helping us to keep up to date on new and developing research methods. It is also great to be able to support the University and the student." Lisa Knight, Royal Voluntary Service

“The student was extremely professional and hardworking; we had a great week working with her.” Ben Dunford, Epraise 

"Having hosted several QStep students we have found them keen to engage with the data as well as the wider purpose of the tasks. It has been a rewarding experience for us in terms of gaining an extra pair of hands as well as an opportunity to support their development." Student Recruitment Office, University of Exeter



The training sessions will include: 

  • Measures of central tendency
  • Bivariate and correlation analysis
  • Introduction to sampling
  • Data Analysis in Excel/Python
  • Mock business project to produce a data analysis report

Please note some of these sessions may be subject to change.

We are seeking reputable employers based in the South West, who can offer a challenging project for a student to undertake either in the workplace or working remotely. 

As the University will fully-fund the student's internship wages, we will employ and pay them through our payroll, but the student will be seconded to your organisation. Therefore all parties will need to sign the completed Student Secondment Agreement, and you will need to have suitable liability insurance.

If you would like to offer an internship please contact Project Support Officer Chloe Harvey at qstep@exeter.ac.uk

All students will go through a rigorous recruitment and selection process conducted by the University, to ensure we select the best candidates.

Students will be presented with all the internships opportunities on offer and asked to set their preferences. We will make the final decision who be matched to your opportunity and as such, your organisation will not need to undertake any recruitment or selection process of our students.

Once we have identified the most suitable applicants for you we will send you their details. We very much hope that you will be satisfied with our selection, however if for any reason this is not the case, you will have the opportunity to withdraw from the scheme or ask for additional applicants. Unfortunately at this stage of the recruitment process, we cannot guarantee we will be able to find a replacement intern. 

Where possible, we will allow you to make a decision on the successful student when more than one applicant has been shortlisted.


At the beginning of the internship, we ask that you work through a basic induction with your new intern. You have the option to use some or all of this Internship Induction Checklist.

We ask employers to set clear objectives for the intern and available to provide information and guidance throughout the week. 

The Pathways to Data Analytics team will be available the whole internship week to support you and your intern should this be required. 

At the end of the internship week we ask that you please provide feedback on the experience.

All parties (the employer, the University and the intern), must adhere to the Student Secondment Agreement

 If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the Q-Step Centre team by emailing qstep@exeter.ac.uk or phone: 01392 727650