COVID-19 survey

We carried out an online survey of the participants of five national longitudinal cohort studies in May 2020, and over 18,000 study participants took part.

This Wave 1 data is now available from the UK Data Service.

A second Wave 2 survey was sent out in September 2020, and Wave 3 planned for early 2021.

Participants in all four of the national longitudinal cohort studies that we manage at CLS, as well as participants in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development are being invited to take part.

These studies have been following large nationally representative groups of people since birth, with ages currently ranging from 19 through to 74:

Wave 1 content

The aim of the survey was to collect insights into the lives of study participants including their physical and mental health and wellbeing, family and relationships, education, work, and finances during the lockdown. The questions focused mainly on how participants’ lives had changed from just before the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 up until their response to the survey during the height of the lockdown restrictions in May 2020.

The survey covered different topics, including:

  • Physical health (including COVID-19)
  • Time use
  • Family and household
  • Financial situation and benefits
  • Employment and education
  • Health behaviours
  • Mental health and social connectedness

An open question on how the pandemic affected the lives of participants was also included.

Participants were also asked to use a COVID-19 symptom tracker app, developed by King’s College London, so that the data collected through this app could be linked to their study records.

The full Wave 1 questionnaire is available to download from this page.

In August we ran our first online training session to help researchers find their way around the Wave 1 COVID-19 data, and a recording will be available shortly. Check this page for any further training events being planned.

Our own initial analysis of the data is available through a series of briefings.
Explore the links below to find out more.

Wave 2

The aim of the Wave 2 survey is to capture how participants’ lives have changed from Wave 1 (collected at the height of the lockdown restrictions in May 2020) until late Summer/Early Autumn 2020. The topic areas mirror closely those for Wave 1, with additional questions about:

  • Health care
  • Financial transfers
  • Life events
  • Children’s schooling in summer and autumn term

The full Wave 2 questionnaire is available here.

Wave 3

Wave 3 will take place in January 2021. The majority of the content will comprise questions included in the first (May 2020) and second (September 2020) surveys. However there may be room for additions which address policy issues arising now as circumstances change. We ran a short consultation about this in September. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and suggestions.

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL