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Dissertations using secondary analysis of survey data

Target audience:
Anyone who’s undertaking a dissertation or student project reusing data or conducting secondary analysis.
Level: Beginner
Beginner. No experience of using surveys or data analysis is assumed.
Learning objectives

By the end of the pathway, you should have learned about:

  • Secondary analysis and why you might want to use it
  • Examples of how you can use survey data in your dissertation
  • Data management and research integrity
  • Some example datasets that are suitable for use in a dissertation
  • How to find the right data for your project
  • How to evaluate the suitability of a dataset for your project
  • Which data you can access as a student
  • How you can submit your dissertation to the UK Data Service dissertation award
1 More
Video
Secondary analysis
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

This video talks about reasons you might want to do secondary analysis in a dissertation and introduces some of the data available from the UK Data Service.

2 More
PDF
Dissertations and their data: promoting research integrity in undergraduate projects
18 pages
Overview:

This pack has been designed to be used as a resource for encouraging better data management and research integrity in undergraduate dissertations, and is aimed at teachers supervising research projects and students undertaking them. The resource consists of a number of practical templates and exemplars, and a link to the slides for teaching is also
included. These can be adapted and modified to suit various project needs and different disciplines.

3 More
Webtext
Using survey data in a dissertation
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

The amount of survey data available is amazing. For instance, in the UK, government departments and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) use representative surveys to inform policy. Academics and independent research organisations (such as NatCen) run large-scale social surveys on a wide range of topics. Data from these studies is usually archived and made available for others to use. This section of the website outlines these studies and how they can be used.

4 More
Webtext
Quick start guide: British Social Attitudes (BSA)
5 - 10 minutes
Overview:

Survey data can be a great option for a dissertation project. From the UK Data Service, you can access data from representative samples of the population on a wide range of topics. This quick start guide introduces one of these datasets – the British Social Attitudes survey.

5 More
Webtext
Quick start guide: Health Survey for England (HSE)
5 - 10 minutes
Overview:

Survey data can be a great option for a dissertation project. From the UK Data Service, you can access data from representative samples of the population on a wide range of topics. This quick start guide introduces one of these datasets – the Health Survey for England.

6 More
Webtext
Finding and accessing data for your project
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

How do you find the right data for your project? Our resources on how to find data for your project cover ways to search and evaluate data as well as all you need to know about registration and access conditions.

7 More
Video
Finding the right data for your project
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

This video will help you think about your data needs and demonstrate where you can search for data on the UK Data Service website. It covers:
Thinking about your data needs
UKDS Data Catalogue search tool
Data by theme
Data by type
Variable and question bank
Search tip

8 More
PDF
Worksheet: Thinking before doing
4 pages
Overview:

This worksheet will help you define your project and identify what data you need.

9 More
Video
Evaluating datasets
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

This video outlines the key things to consider when evaluating data for use in your dissertation or final project.

10 More
PDF
Worksheet: Finding data for your project
2 pages
Overview:

If a dataset seems promising, a next step is to review the documentation and evaluate how useful it is for your project. For example, if you are looking at data from a social survey, you can use the documentation to find out what questions the survey asked and consider which variables relate to your key concepts. This worksheet walks you through the key steps to do this.

11 More
Video
What data can you access for a student project? Understanding access conditions
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

This video talks about data licenses and access conditions. It covers how they apply to undergraduate and postgraduate students and how to find out information about access conditions.

12 More
Webtext
Dissertation Award
0 - 5 minutes
Overview:

Undergraduate students who use our data in a dissertation on a social science topic can enter the UK Data Service Dissertation Award. These webpages contain further information on how to enter.