Using Survey Data Guide

When starting a research project, you may assume that you need to collect data. However, there are many good quality datasets for you to use.

Indeed, the UK is particularly rich in data. The government regularly uses representative surveys to inform policy and academics and research organisations conduct many large scale social surveys.

Data from large social surveys, and other data sources, is routinely archived and made available for others to (re)use in secondary data analysis.

Learning how to use data can give you useful skills for the job market or prepare you for doing your own research. 

The following pages aim to help new researchers utilise some of the extensive survey data available. In particular, the pages are designed to support those starting small research projects, especially students doing dissertations.

The pages include material to read, worksheets for getting started and questions to think about and answer.

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