Introducing the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS)


Please note that this event is now full.

Alternatively, if you would like to be added to a waiting list for this event please email and you will be contacted if a place becomes available.

This is part one of a two-day workshop introducing the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) with examples of survival analysis for time to event data appropriate for analysing the SLS.

Part one provides an introduction to the SLS and part two covers survival analysis methods for analysing the SLS.

You are welcome to attend either or both parts of the course depending on your interests, but you must register to attend each part separately.

To register for part one, see below.
To register for part two, follow this click here.

Course Presenters:

The confirmed presenters for the course will be:

Susan Walker - NRS SLS Project Manager (National Records of Scotland)
Professor Gillian Raab - Statistician (University of St Andrews)
Dr Kevin Ralston - SLS Support Officer (University of St Andrews)
Dr Lee Williamson - SLS Support Officer (University of St Andrews)

Course Content:
The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) links together routinely collected administrative data for a 5.3% representative sample of the Scottish population (about 270,000 people). It includes a wealth of information from the censuses (currently 1991 and 2001), vital events registrations (births, deaths, marriages), weather and pollution data, and education data from 2007 onwards. The SLS with appropriate permissions can also be linked to other health data sources such as cancer registry and hospital admission data from the NHS in Scotland. Additionally, the 2011 Census data will be linked to the SLS.

The size and scope of the SLS make it an unparalleled resource for analysing a range of socio-economic, demographic and health questions, including those which are based on reasonably rare events. The longitudinal nature of the SLS is particularly valuable, it provides insights into the health and social status of the Scottish population and, how it changes over time. The SLS data includes the dates at which SLS members experience outcomes such as marriage, widowhood, death etc. To analyse such data we can calculate the time to event of interest and use survival analysis techniques to compare groups.

Part one of the course will introduce the SLS and the types of research that can be done with the SLS, along with details on accessing the SLS and procedures for requesting linked NHS data. To develop an understanding of the SLS an introduction to the SLS data dictionary is given alongside some group-work using the SLS data dictionary.  To attend part one sign up using the Register button at the bottom of this page.

Part two of the course 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 either SPSS, Stata or R on the SLS training dataset. Presentations of real SLS projects will also be given to demonstrate research potential.

View the Programme

Course Objectives:

  • To provide a detailed introduction to the SLS data available and how they may be used
  • To give an introduction to the SLS data using a simulated training version of the SLS data

Application process:
There are 18 places available on the course which will be allocated on a first-come first served basis. 

Please note that in order to be eligible to attend this course you must be a member of AQMeN.  Membership is free and non-members who wish to apply can register here.

Criteria for selection:
The course is intended for postgraduate students, academics and other social researchers interested in learning about the SLS, and its research potential. The course is introductory and no prior knowledge of the SLS is anticipated. However, a familiarity with either SPSS or Stata essential.  SPSS users must have experience of using syntax files.

Course costs:
This data workshop is offered free of charge to all AQMeN members but places are offered via a process of application.

Travel bursaries:
Doctoral students registered on a social science degree programme at a Scottish university or at an ESRC-funded DTC may be eligible to claim travel costs to attend.

Full details will be provided to successful candidates.

By applying for this course, you are expected to attend for the full duration.  Failure to attend all sessions (unless by prior agreement with the AQMeN core team) may result in a charge of £50 per day of the course missed, non-reimbursement of expenses and ineligibility to be  considered for future AQMeN training courses and events.

If after receiving an allocated place on the course you are no longer able to attend, you must notify AQMeN as soon as possible to allow the place to be offered to someone on the waiting list.  Failure to do so may result in a charge of £50 per day of the course, non-reimbursement of expenses and ineligibility to be  considered for future AQMeN training courses and events.

If you have any questions regarding the course, please feel free to contact or + 44 (0) 131 650 2105 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 09:45 to 17:00
University of Edinburgh, Main Library