Accessing and using ‘real-world’ study data: A Stata-based introduction for newcomers to longitudinal research ShareThis


This course comprises a series of introductory workshops to help you get to grips with accessing and analysing data from UK longitudinal studies, using examples from actual datasets available via the UK Data Service (UKDS). The course is being jointly run by CLOSER and the UKDS.

Are you new to using longitudinal study data and need help getting to grips with the basics? Or, maybe you’re looking to use longitudinal data in your dissertation but are unsure where to start?

This entry-level course will help you to become familiar with the basics of data access and analysis using longitudinal studies through guided examples, interactive quizzes and hands-on analysis tasks. The course content will focus on analysis with Stata, from descriptive exploration of data to linear regression techniques.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a clear understanding of the following;

  • How to access and explore longitudinal study data
  • How to find and use data documentation for your research
  • How to answer begin answering research questions using data from longitudinal studies

Prerequisites: This is an introductory-level course suitable for those with little or no prior knowledge of quantitative data analysis.

Participants will require access to a computer with Stata version 13 or newer installed (including during the live webinar sessions).

Timing and access

The course commences the week beginning 10th February 2020, with live webinars on 12th and 19th February 2020 from 12.30-14.00 GMT. Requires 6-8 hours study, including participation in the webinars.

You can register now for the course.

Who is this course for?

The course is designed for undergraduate and master’s students in social sciences or epidemiology/health research who are interested in learning more about how to access and analyse longitudinal quantitative data.

What prior knowledge do I need?

The content of the course is suitable for all students, and assumes little or no prior knowledge of quantitative data analysis. There will be some preparatory reading to do before each session.

When does it run?

The course runs across three weeks, commencing 10th February 2020, with live interactive webinars on 12th and 19th February 2020 (from 12.30-14.00 GMT).

How do I use the course?

You will need to register and log-in in advance of the sessions to confirm your participation and to access the course materials. Once you have registered you will be instructed on how to create a free UKDS account so that you can access and download the CLOSER teaching dataset, which uses real data from the National Child Development Study.

The course is divided into two sessions: 1) Understanding and Accessing Longitudinal Study Data, and 2) Exploring Relationships in Longitudinal Study Data. In addition to the interactive webinars, course materials will include quizzes to test your knowledge, assignments to practise in your own time and access to web-based resources (reading lists, useful links, FAQs).

Course team:

  • Dr Dara O’Neill, Research Fellow at CLOSER, UCL Institute of Education
  • Dr Neil Kaye, Research Fellow at CLOSER, UCL Institute of Education
  • Dr Deborah Wiltshire, Senior User Support and Training Officer at UK Data Service
  • Dr Valerija Kolbas, Senior User Support and Training Officer at UK Data Service

CLOSER Learning Hub

Interested in finding out more about longitudinal studies and research in general?

Take a look at the CLOSER Learning Hub – an educational resource designed to introduce longitudinal studies to beginners.

The online platform includes information and resources covering basics of longitudinal studies, study design, and analysis techniques. Users can also access research case studies exploring how longitudinal studies can be used to investigate topics such as obesity, social mobility, and childhood bullying.

Explore the CLOSER Learning Hub.