Critical and analytical thinking
Being able to objectively analyse an issue or problem, and critically appraise different aspects or solutions. This includes being able to reason well, define and review the work of others, apply theories or abstract concepts and explain your thinking methodically to others. This skill may also be described as ‘problem-solving’ in relation to particular issues.
Research design and question formulation
Being able to identify and define a particular problem, and then design a research question or project to adequately address the problem. This includes the appropriate use of research methods, the creation of a suitable question and an understanding of research ethics and requirements.
Experience of qualitative research
Being able to conduct qualitative research e.g. interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and knowing when to use these methods and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Conducting research in an ethical way, and drawing appropriate conclusions from the evidence.
Experience of quantitative research
Being able to conduct quantitative research e.g. using polls or questionnaires, or manipulating existing data, and knowing when to use these methods and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Conducting research in an ethical way and drawing appropriate conclusions from the evidence.
Being comfortable with basic numerical data and manipulating this to provide information or analysis e.g. calculating ratios, percentages and forecasts based on previous data. Also, being able to integrate numerical and non-numerical information where necessary, and to explain the meaning of data to a larger issue or question.