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.

Access to the UK Data Service’s Safe Room

The UK Data Service provides users with access to its most restricted data collections, via the Safe Room at the UK Data Archive, University of Essex. The Safe Room is located on level 5B of the Archive.

If a user is wishing to access ONS data, and other data, through the Secure Research Service (SRS) via our Safe Room, they must have an Accredited Researcher Assurance Registration (ARAR) signed by the UKDA’s Single Point of Contact (currently Leigh Tate) and also the ONS. The User can access these by contacting

Once you have been registered to use the Safe Room, you can go ahead with booking the room. The Safe Room is available for bookings between 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday, with the exception of Tuesdays where bookings are only available between 13:00 to 17:00.

Users who wish to use the Safe Room are required to submit an online booking request using the Safe Room booking form.

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

SecureLab User Experience Survey

We recently ran a user experience survey for our current and future SecureLab users because we want to provide the best service we can.

We wanted to get a better understanding of our users’ preferences. We learnt that Stata is the most widely used software and we identified a number of areas where we could improve the service even further.

Istvan Laszlo Gyimes, Senior User Support and Training Officer


We are continually working to improve the UK Data Service and want to hear from you.

Please email us to help improve the website and services we provide.