UK Data Service
The UK Data Service can give you social and economic data including:
- UK census data
- government-funded surveys
- longitudinal studies
- international macrodata
- qualitative data and business microdata
Resources include tools to analyse census data, and secure access to data that is too detailed, sensitive or confidential to be made available under a standard licence.
Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK)
ADR UK links together data held by different parts of government, and facilitates safe and secure access for approved researchers to these newly joined-up and anonymised datasets.
You can find out what data is available for research, and which routes you can access it through, on ADR UK’s website.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds several survey-based data collections, most of which can be accessed via the UK Data Service.
- Centre for Longitudinal Studies: data from 5 cohort studies from 1958 onwards, relevant to research in a wide number of domains
- election studies for Britain, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- European Society Survey: cross-Europe data including about living conditions, social structure, public opinion and attitudes. ESRC is the funder of the UK component
- Understanding Society: a UK-wide household longitudinal study to which 40,000 participants have contributed. The study also collects health information from around 20,000 participants
- CLOSER exists to enable the use of social and biomedical longitudinal population studies, including those funded by ESRC. Its website includes the CLOSER Discovery resource, to assist finding longitudinal data
Digital footprint data
You can access data arising from people’s interactions with technology and business organisations through 3 data research centres funded by ESRC:
- Urban Big Data Centre: big data and data-driven analytics about social, economic and environmental wellbeing in cities
- Business and Local Government Data Research Centre: access to funding, training and world-leading expertise in data analytics
- Consumer Data Research Centre: consumer data that provides insight into societal and economic challenges
The centres make data accessible for research that is of mutual benefit to data owners and in ways that safeguard individuals’ identities.
Census data is available via the census section of UK Data Service.
ESRC funds 3 support units, which enable the use of census longitudinal studies in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland:
- CeLSIUS (supports use of the ONS Longitudinal Study, covering England and Wales)
- Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study: Research Support Unit
- Scottish Longitudinal Study: Development and Support Unit
National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM)
You can find training materials and resources on methodology through NCRM. The centre aims to increase research methods capability in the social sciences and beyond through training and capacity-building.