Access levels and conditions

Each dataset held in the UK Data Service collection has an access level designated by the data provider depending on the detail, confidentiality and sensitivity of the data: open, safeguarded or controlled. Differences in how a specific dataset can be accessed vary according to these levels.

Open data – Researchers can access open datasets without any registration. Some may be subject to an Open Government Licence (OGL) or a Creative Commons Licence (CC).

Safeguarded data – Thousands more safeguarded datasets can be downloaded, ordered or analysed online by registering and accepting our End User Licence (PDF). Some safeguarded data may have additional conditions attached. This includes those data under Special Licence.

Controlled data through SecureLab – Data that are too detailed, sensitive or confidential are accessed through SecureLab. After registering, experienced researchers can apply to access controlled data. To enable quicker access to this service, please check you meet all the application criteria set by data providers before you apply.


UK Data Service login

Access the UK’s largest repository for quantitative and qualitative digital social science and humanities research data.

Access level Access conditions Who can access?
Open Open data - open licence


Safeguarded End user licence (EUL)

Anyone (once registered)

Special conditions

Registered users

  • Accept special conditions
Depositor permission

Registered users

  • Request (and await) depositor permission
Special licence

Registered users

  • Complete application
  • Request (and await) depositor permission
  • Not available for commercial use
Controlled SecureLab access (remote) or safe room access (on site)

Registered users (must be researchers)

  • Request (and await) researcher approval
  • Request (and await) project approval
  • Obtain legal agreement from researcher’s institution
  • Undergo training
  • Pass test


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