UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Understanding Society Teaching Datasets: Waves 1-3, 2009-2012

Title details

SN: 7990
Title: Understanding Society Teaching Datasets: Waves 1-3, 2009-2012
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7990-1
Depositor: McKay, S., University of Lincoln. School of Social and Political Science
Principal investigator(s): McKay, S., University of Lincoln. School of Social and Political Science
Adkins, M., University of Nottingham. Faculty of Social Sciences
Williams, H., University of Nottingham. Faculty of Social Sciences
Original data producer(s): University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: ES/J011819/2


The citation for this study is:

McKay, S., Adkins, M., Williams, H. (2016). Understanding Society Teaching Datasets: Waves 1-3, 2009-2012. [data collection]. University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research, [original data producer(s)]. UK Data Service. SN: 7990,

Select the text above to add data citation in your outputs.

Select citation format: 
XML citation formats:  CSL  EndNote

Subject Categories

Teaching packages and test datasets - Reference and instructional resources


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The aim of this project was to make easier-to-handle teaching datasets from Understanding Society, building a core of common variables from the first three waves but including some other wave-specific information from each wave. The richness of the data, including the combination of ratio/interval data as well as categorical/ordinal data, makes for an effective dataset from which to teach quantitative methods of all kinds. A distinctive feature is the provision of datasets in native R format in addition to those in a statistical format. The documentation for the 'parent' Understanding Society dataset (SN 6614 at the UK Data Service) is the definitive guide to the variables, sampling, etc.

The dataset was compiled under the ESRC-funded Understanding Society Through Secondary Data Analysis: Quantitative Methods over the Undergraduate Life Course award. This project aimed to enhance the capacity of social science undergraduates to understand and use numeric data in their studies, by generating teaching-ready datasets based on Understanding Society. It also aimed to create associated digital resources that will be available for other students to use; to increase the amount of work using secondary data at the undergraduate level and to underline the relevance of research methods to the study of social sciences. As part of the award, a programme of new courses was planned, taking undergraduate students from their first year through to their final year. This new approach aimed to provide a solid foundation for employability and future careers using quantitative skills (whether in the public sector, in academia, or elsewhere).

Main Topics:
Extraction of data from main Understanding Society study, including sex, age, residential history, country of birth, citizenship, ethnicity, languages spoken, religion, marital history, families, health, employment, environmental conservation habits, income, political affiliation and awareness, education, responsibilities for household tasks, television viewing and newspaper readership.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 01 January 2009 - 31 July 2013
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Respondents to Waves 1-3 of Understanding Society.
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Teaching subset of Understanding Society data.
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: Cases vary according to file construction; see documentation for details.
Method of data collection: Transcription of existing materials
Weighting: No weighting used; see main Understanding Society study for original weights.
Data sources: This study comprises an extraction of data from Understanding Society - see main study under SN 6614.

Thesaurus search on keywords

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 30 August 2016
Copyright: Copyright S. McKay, M. Adkins and H. Williams. Copyright of original Understanding Society data remains with the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
User Guide 7990_understanding_society_teaching_datasets.pdf 230
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7990_Information.htm 7
READ File read7990.htm 10
View related studies and guides... Hide related studies and guides...


View publications... Hide publications...

By principal investigator(s):

Resulting from secondary analysis:


No previously uploaded files

  (login required)

Upload syntax/code file

Understanding Society Teaching Datasets: Waves 1-3, 2009-2012

I agree to the terms and conditions *

Confirm new syntax/code file version

A previous version of syntax file "" has already been uploaded and approved.

If you continue with this upload, the previous version of the syntax file will be overwritten with this new version.

This new version of the syntax file will be subject to the UK Data Service approval process before it becomes available for download.

Do you want to continue?


Back to top