CLS Year 12 Spring School 2024

Applications to the Spring School 2024 have now closed. 

What is the Spring School?

The Spring School is an immersive and multidisciplinary course run by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS). Through this free course you can learn about the power of longitudinal research and how this can be harnessed to impact policy.

A group photo of last year's Summer School participants on the steps of the Houses of Parliament.

2023 CLS Summer School participants on a visit to the Houses of Parliament

Taking place over seven-weeks, the course delves into the different topics that are researched using CLS’ data, such as social sciences, psychology, economics and population health.

You will look at how longitudinal research can be used to influence policy, and how research findings can be presented in an engaging format. You will work on communicating research findings by creating your own infographics and blogs which will be published online, and you will visit the Houses of Parliament!

As well as giving insights to social research and policy, the Spring School also aims to give you a taste of university life.

You can see what you’d be hoping to achieve and examples of work from last year’s course on the 2023 course page.

Why you should attend the CLS Spring School:

  • get experience of university life
  • understand more about UCL and the different undergraduate courses offered
  • interact with experts in their fields
  • produce output that will be published online
  • it will look great on your university applications and on your CV
  • attend fun activities, including bowling and two meals out
  • trip to the Houses of Parliament
  • meet new people with similar interests.

What is CLS?

CLS is part of the UCL Social Research Institute. We are home to multiple generations of nationally representative cohort studies. These follow the lives of tens of thousands of people.

These studies have started in childhood – either from birth or adolescence onwards – and follow people across their lives.

Using longitudinal data, CLS conducts cutting-edge research into some of the UK’s most pressing social and public health challenges.

By collecting information from the same people over time, we build powerful resources for research and policy development. For more than 60 years, evidence from our studies have helped to shape the world we live in today, informing choices we face as individuals, and as a society.

Find out more on our About page.

Entry requirements

To be eligible to participate, you must be an AS-level student (Year 12) attending a state school in London and have an interest in pursuing higher education.

There are no subject requirements to attend, but the course will be of particular interest to students interested in social sciences including psychology, medical and health sciences, statistics, economics, politics and demography.

You need to be able to attend at least five of the seven sessions. We strongly encourage you to ensure you can participate in the final all-day session which will include the opportunity to present your work and a trip to parliament.

How to apply

To apply, please complete this application form:

The deadline for applications is 6pm on Sunday 10 March.

In the application form you have the option of writing up to a 300-word motivational statement explaining why you want to be involved. This may be used to select applicants if the course is oversubscribed.

You will also be asked to select your order of preference for topics to work on during the course, however there will be opportunities to change this at a later point.

The Spring School is free to attend, and we will cover all costs associated with the course (eg, meals out), excluding travel to and from the sessions. However, please let us know in the application form if you think you may need financial support for travel costs in accessing the sessions, as we have a few travel bursaries available.

For any further questions or queries, please contact Dr Charlotte Booth by email:

What’s involved?

This free seven-week course delves into the different topics that are researched using CLS’ data, and how this research can be used to influence policy.

CLS’ research topics include:

  • Understanding families: How do “only children” fare compared to children with siblings? How has the transition to adulthood changed across generations?
  • Cognition: Does early-life cognitive ability explain educational attainment, or are other factors more important? What might protect normal cognitive ageing in mid to later life?
  • Population health: Are more recent generations less healthy than older ones? How do socioeconomic factors such as education and income affect long-term health?
  • Mental health: What predicts mental ill-health among adolescents growing up today? What are LGBTQ adolescents’ experiences of mental health?
  • Socioeconomic inequalities: What are socioeconomic inequalities? How do socioeconomic factors affect our lives from our health to career outcomes?

Sessions 1-3

The first three sessions will introduce you to the main topics covered at CLS, and will give you a chance to get stuck in and explore the data! You will learn about why it’s important to consider the whole life span when investigating topics such as social inequalities, health, mental health and cognition, and you will have the opportunity to attend talks and activities led by experts in these fields. The first session will include a campus tour, welcome meal and an activity such as bowling!

Session 1 (Tuesday, 9 April 2024) – in person, 9.30am-5.30pm, followed by pizza and bowling 5.30-7pm.

Session 2 (Tuesday, 16 April 2024) – in person, 5-7pm.

Session 3 (Tuesday, 23 April 2024) – in person, 5-7pm.

Sessions 4-6

The next three sessions will get you thinking about how longitudinal research can be used to influence policy, and how to present research findings to policymakers in an engaging format. You will have the opportunity to apply our data for real-life impact. In groups, you will work towards creating your own infographic and blog, which will be professionally published online.

Session 4 (Tuesday, 30 April 2024) – in person, 5-7pm

Session 5 (Tuesday, 7 May 2024) – in person, 5-7pm

Session 6 (Tuesday, 14 May 2024) – in person, 5-7pm

A photograph of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Session 7 (Tuesday, 21 May 2024, 9.15am – 5pm)

The final week will celebrate all your work and your involvement in the spring course! We

will attend a tour of the Houses of Parliament and a talk from a representative of Parliament. We will go out for a celebratory lunch and in the afternoon, you will have a chance to present your work to researchers at CLS.


Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL


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