CLS Year 12 Summer Course: Harnessing the power of longitudinal research for policy impact


**Applications for our Summer Course are now closed**


View the 2023 student projects here

Information about 2024 course coming soon


Are you interested in social sciences, psychology, economics or population health?

Are you a student in Year 12 attending a state school in London, who wants to find out more about university life and the different undergraduate courses available at UCL?

Then the Centre for Longitudinal Studies Year 12 Summer Course is for you!

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) is part of the UCL Social Research Institute, and is the home to four national longitudinal cohort studies:

  • 1958 National Child Development Study
  • 1970 British Cohort Study
  • Next Steps
  • Millennium Cohort Study

These studies follow the lives of tens of thousands of people from birth through to old age and collect data on all aspects of their lives from their physical health to their dreams and aspirations.

Together, these studies have been pivotal in understanding all aspects of our lives and society and informing many areas of government policy. For example, these studies have helped understand the roots of social inequality, how the prevalence of mental ill health has changed over time and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the old and young alike.

This summer CLS will be hosting a 7-week course (2 hours each week after school for the first 6 weeks, and one final all-day event) delving into different topics that are researched using the CLS data sets. These include:

  • Understanding families: How do “only children” fair compared to children with siblings?
  • Cognition: Does early-life cognitive ability explain educational attainment, or are other factors more important? What might protect normal cognitive ageing in mid-life?
  • Health: How have levels of obesity changed over time? How does early life matter for long-term health?
  • Mental Health: What predicts mental ill-health among adolescents growing up today? Are levels of mental-ill health worse now compared to 50 years ago?
  • Socioeconomic Inequalities: What are socioeconomic inequalities? How do socioeconomic factors affect our lives from our health to career outcomes?

Over the course of 7 weeks, you will engage in an immersive and multidisciplinary course aiming to give you a taste of university life.

Sessions 1-3

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

Session 1 (Tue 30th May) – in person, 5.00-6.30pm, followed by pizza and bowling 6.30-8.00pm

Session 2 (Tue 6th June) – online, 5.00-7.00pm

Session 3 (Tue 13th June) – in person, 5.15-7.00pm. There is the option to join a CLS conference focusing on children born in the year 2000 ( before the teaching session.

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 (Tue 20th June) – online, 5.00-7.00pm

Session 5 (Tue 27th June) – online, 5.00-7.00pm

Session 6 (Tue 4th July) – in person, 5.00-7.00pm

Session 7

The final week will celebrate all your work and your involvement in the summer 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.

Session 7 (Fri 14th July) – in person, 9.30am – 4.30pm (timings provisional)

Why should you attend the CLS Summer Course?

  • Get the 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 looks great on your university applications and on your CV
  • Attend fun activities, including bowling and two meals out
  • Trip to parliament!
  • Meet new people with similar interests


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 5 of the 7 sessions, and we strongly encourage you to ensure you can participate in the all-day session culminating in presentations and a trip to parliament (Friday 14 July 2023).

Applications for our Summer Course are now closed

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL


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