Main Survey

User guides

Mainstage (Waves 1-9)

The User Guide contains information about the study such as sample and questionnaire design, fieldwork data collection and data processing, as well as the details related to the usage of different types of variables, response outcomes, weighting, and imputation of income variables.

Mainstage (Waves 1-9) - User Guide
Mainstage (Waves 1-9) - Revisions since last release

Getting Started Guide

This guide provides a quick introduction to using data from Understanding Society. It is aimed at new users and covers the Main Survey and the harmonised Understanding Society/British Household Panel Survey. 

Getting Started Guide

BHPS – Harmonised User Guide

This guide accompanies the first edition of the Understanding Society – harmonised BHPS. It focuses on the harmonisation process, not the differences in scope, fieldwork practices, questionnaire design and content of the two studies.

BHPS – Harmonised User Guide

Marital and Cohabitation Histories, 1991-2015 User Guide

This guide contains information about partnership spells reported by adult respondents in all Understanding Society and BHPS samples except the Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Boost sample up until Wave 6.

Marital and Cohabitation Histories User Guide

BHPS – User Manual

This User Manual provides information required for analysing BHPS data, including details of the fieldwork, sampling, weighting and imputation procedures, plus information to assist users in the linking and aggregating data across waves.

BHPS – User Manual

Ethnicity Research

This guide provides further support for researchers wishing to carry out ethnicity-related research with Understanding Society.

User Guide to ethnicity and immigration research
IEMB and non-IEMB questionnaire/variables comparison file

Cognitive Ability Measure

This specialist guide describes the concepts, questions and measures for the cognitive ability modules included in Wave 3 of the main and Innovation Panel surveys.

Cognitive Ability Measure – User Guide

National Pupil Database Wave 1 Linkage (Linked Data)

This guide provides further support for researchers wishing to use Understanding Society data linked with the National Pupil Database at wave 1 (available under secure conditions from the UK Data Service).

National Pupil Database Wave 1 Linkage – User Guide