Analysing the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) using Survival Analysis


This is part two 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.

If you have previously attended a one-day introductory SLS course or are already using the SLS you may apply to attend this part of the workshop without attending part one to avoid repetition.  If you are not familiar with the SLS and the content covered in part one you must also register to attend that session to be eligible to attend this one.

Course Presenters:
The confirmed presenters for the course will be:

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.

This workshop 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 or Stata on the SLS training dataset. Presentations of real SLS projects will also be given to demonstrate research potential.

View the Programme

Course Objectives:

  • To teach participants how to use some survival analysis techniques appropriate for analysis of the SLS in preferred statistical package (SPSS, Stata or R)
  • 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 and places will be allocated following a process of application. To apply for this event, a completed on-line application form should be submitted to On receipt, your application will be reviewed and you will be contacted by AQMeN within 7 days confirming whether or not you have been allocated a place.

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 how to do survival analysis in a statistical package (SPSS or Stata). The course assumes a knowledge of the SLS and to be eligible to attend you should have attended part one of this workshop, previously attended a 1-day introductory SLS course, or be using the SLS. You should also have intermediate skills in statistical analysis, in particular a good knowledge of multiple regression and logistic regression would be beneficial. Additionally, a familiarity with either SPSS or Stata is 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 to ensure that applicants meet the pre-requisites.

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.

Apply for the course

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 09:45 to 17:00
University of Edinburgh, Main Library