Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


News and events


ONS Longitudinal Study joins CLOSER

CeLSIUS is delighted to announce that the ONS Longitudinal Study is one of eleven studies to have joined CLOSER. We very much look forward to collaborating with CLOSER, which brings together world-leading longitudinal studies to maximise their use, value and impact and improve understanding of key social and biomedical challenges.


Guides to using ONS LS data

A new guide to mortality data - our final guide - is now available, along with guides to births and fertility data, defining a study population, ethnicity data, events data and socio-economic indicators.


CeLSIUS funding to 2025

We are delighted to announce that we have secured funding from ESRC to continue to support the ONS Longitudinal Study until 30 September 2025. We are currently supporting users remotely - please see below. We look forward to continuing our work with our current LS users, and to welcoming many new researchers - please get in touch via celsius@ucl.ac.uk for more information.



SRS and CeLSIUS response to COVID-19

The ONS SRS Safe Settings and UCL offices were closed in March, in accordance with government guidelines, and will remain closed until further notice. CeLSIUS is able to offer remote user support for ONS LS projects - please contact us via celsius@ucl.ac.uk.

LS project support will be prioritised in the following order:

1) of immediate government interest – e.g. covid-19
2) examined work nearing deadline (before July 31st 2020)
3) work only using the LS nearing study period end (before July 31st 2020)
4) work using the LS nearing study period end (before July 31st 2020)
5) ongoing work only using the LS
6) new work only using the LS 
7) other work
Please note:
We will still accept and process new applications to use the LS but we estimate that, from application submission to final approval, you should allow a minimum of eight weeks. Also, support for these once they are approved will be limited for the time being.
Large scale cross tabs and other work involving extensive manipulation to prevent disclosure will not be cleared. 

New x-file (restricted variables) requests may be submitted, but ONS can only review them and cannot prepare/provide access to them. If you have already been given access to an x-file dataset, however, you will still be able to access it.

Additionally, approved researchers can apply to access their existing projects from home subject to guidelines set out by ONS on accessing secure research data as an accredited researcher.

Thank you for your patience while this remote service is in place.



New CeLSIUS paper

Are ‘healthy cohorts’ real-world relevant? Comparing the National Child Development Study (NCDS) with the ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) (Authors: Gemma Archer, Wei Xun, Rachel Stuchbury, Owen Nicholas & Nicola Shelton) is now out on fast track release  https://doi.org/10.1332/175795920X15786630201754


Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak we have had to cancel the UK Census Longitudinal Studies (UKCenLS) 2020 Conference (which had been arranged for 20th April 2020 at Cardiff Castle). We aim to rearrange this conference at some point soon - watch this space.


7-Up, Social Mobility and University

8 November 2019, 6 – 9 pm

Cumberland Hall, Ullswater Community College, Wetheriggs Lane, Penrith CA11 8NG

The 'Up' series, which has followed 14 people since 1964 when they were 7 years old, was shown on ITV in June. CeLSIUS has used 40 years of census information to see how fairly the series represents society - could the participants' pathways have been predicted back in 1964?

Join us to:

  • Find out more about what the group of 14 were like when they were 7 years old back in 1964.
  • Learn more about Neil, one of the group, who is now a local councillor in Penrith and completed an Open University degree in his 40s.
  • Judge for yourself whether social mobility in the UK is increasing or decreasing.
  • Learn about schemes and event that universities hold so that you can experience what university life might be like.

The event is free and open to all year 11 and sixth form students, and their parents and teachers.


An Introduction to Survival Analysis Training using the Scottish Longitudinal Study

7 November 2019, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Room G20, Christopher Ingold Building, Department of Chemistry, UCL, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ

Free event, but please book via Eventbrite

A workshop on survival analysis for time to event data suitable for those with experience of statistical analyses but new to this type of analysis. This course would be of particular interest to those considering using the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) or any of the UK longitudinal studies to analyse time to event data. It will introduce methods to display and model time to event data, including Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazards regression. The survival analysis theory will be complimented with hands-on practical sessions using Stata (R if sufficient interest is indicated) on training datasets. Presentations of real projects will also be given to demonstrate research potential.


An introduction to using the UK Census Longitudinal Studies (UKcenLS)

6 November 2019, 1.30 - 5.30 pm

Room G20, Christopher Ingold Building, Department of Chemistry, UCL, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ

Free event, but please book via Eventbrite

A workshop to provide a general introduction to the UKcenLS datasets: the Northern Ireland LS (NILS), the ONS LS (England and Wales) and the Scottish LS (SLS), follwoed by the opportunity to:

  • explore which variables are held by each LS in the data dictionary and use test data
  • have help completing an application to use LS data (main example from the SLS
  • meet Support Unit staff from CeLSIUS & the SLS-DSU to discuss the development of new research projects.


Webinar: Journey to work data in the UK - what data are available?

12 March 2019

Jointly organised by CeLSIUS and the UK Data Service, the webinar explores journey to work data in the UK, focussing on data from the census, in particular the longitudinal studies, including:


UK Census Longitudinal Studies First Annual Conference:  8th - 9th April 2019, Queen's University Belfast

This event was organised by the three UK census longitudinal studies to showcase research and build research capacity amongst existing and prospective users. The first day of the conference presented research findings from across the UK and set the UK experience in a wider context with an international panel. The second day offered two parallel workshops. One strand provided 'safe researcher training' to certify attendees to use longitudinal data across the UK. The second was concerned with the development of research ideas and seeking research funding.


CeLSIUS Research Brief: Windrush migrants in the LS (PDF)

CeLSIUS estimate that in 2011 there were around 1,735 Windrush children who had entered the country prior to 1971 - find out more about how the ONS LS can be used to estimate the number of Windrush migrants in ways which go beyond the methods based solely on the most recent census, or on the Labour Force Survey.


Webinar: Geography and longitudinal data - the UK Household Longitudinal Study and the UK Longitudinal Studies, held on 11th July 2018


Presentations and other materials now available from 'A showcase of student research using the ONS LS and census microdata', held on 28th March 2018


Recent changes to ONS LS output clearance procedures:

LS users may have received several emails from CeLSIUS/the ONS relating to changes to clearance procedures - please note that the following are the only changes that have occurred recently:

  • 'Pre-publication' clearance will replace 'Intermediate Outputs'.
  • 'Publication' clearance will replace 'Final Outputs'.
  • BOTH procedures will require results to be aggregated to the same minimum cell threshold. That is, in results from which a count of individual persons could possibly be calculated - e.g. percentages, or graphs based on percentages - the cell count will be 10 or more.
  • However, both types of clearance may be possible for results which do not meet this criterion if there is a scientific justification, i.e. both a reason why clearance of lower cell counts is needed, and a persuasive argument that in this case they could not lead to disclosure.
  • Publication and Pre-publication clearances will involve two members of staff.
  • LS users working overseas will be dealt with on the same basis as those based in the UK.

Please also note that CeLSIUS support officers will continue to:

  • do pre-publication clearance on log files and other formats
  • run code for users and send out the cleared outputs (subject to the conditions outlined above)
  • alter users' outputs where necessary to make them clearable


Book chapter on the UK LSs

'Longitudinal Studies in the United Kingdom'

by Nicola Shelton and Oliver Duke-Williams of CeLSIUS, Chris Dibben of SLS-DSU & Ian Shuttleworth of NILS-RSU

In 'The Routledge Handbook of Census Resources, Methods and Applications' edited by John Stillwell.

From the publisher's website:

The Routledge Handbook of Census Resources, Methods and Applications provides a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the collection, processing, quality assessment and delivery of the different data products that constitute the results of the population censuses conducted across the United Kingdom in 2011. It provides those interested in using census data with an introduction to the collection, processing and quality assessment of the 2011 Census, together with guidance on the various types of data resources that are available and how they can be accessed.