ESRC Data and Methods Services: supporting research and providing training


The ESRC funds a range of data and methods services to support research and study. It provides resources needed to access high quality socio-economic data and to develop research skills.  

These services are:

UK Data Service

The UK Data Service hosts the UK’s largest collection of UK and international social and economic research data. The Service is widely used by research students to access data, to obtain support and for advice on how to manage and share data.


The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) manages four British cohort studies: the 1958 National Child Development Study, the 1970 British Cohort Study, Next Steps, and the Millennium Cohort Study.


CLOSER supports the use of longitudinal research. Key resources include reading lists and summaries of findings, and a search platform to help find out what data has been collected across all eight studies in the CLOSER partnership.

Understanding Society

Understanding Society is a major longitudinal survey of around 40,000 UK households. The site contains information on the survey, as well as research articles, reports and policy briefings based on this survey.


Census and Administrative data LongitudinaL Studies Hub promotes and supports the ONS LS, SLS and NILS datasets which hold up to 40 years of individual-level data including census and linked administrative data.

NCRM (external site)

The National Centre for Research Methods supports researchers in eveloping their research skills. It hosts an extensive database of research methods training courses.


The Business and Local Government Data Research Centre provides safe and secure access to datasets across their specialist streams: local economic growth, support for vulnerable people, mapping public access to green infrastructure, and methodologies for big data; as well as specialist guidance and training for local authorities, businesses and researchers. 


The Consumer Data Research Centre provides access to consumer related data and provides training and capacity building for academic and non-academic researchers.


The Urban Big Data Centre supports researchers, data owners, policy makers and everyday citizens in accessing, and extracting useful information from, urban-related data.

Each service provides support and delivers training, including joint training, and can be contacted if you are interested in bespoke training. The services coordinate support for postgraduate research and to organise joint events.

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