Presented by: Chris Taylor, Cardiff University


The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a major UK-wide birth cohort study that began following over 19,000 children born between 2000 and 2001.  This free workshop introduced the Millennium Cohort Study to first-time users.

It was organised in two sessions. The morning session provided an introduction to the Study and the afternoon session provides the opportunity for participants to experiment using the data under the guidance of an experienced user. After the morning session participants should have felt comfortable understanding and using findings from existing analyses of the MCS. After the afternoon session participants would have had enough experience of using the MCS to begin undertaking their own descriptive analysis of the MCS and to begin planning more detailed statistical analysis.

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a major UK-wide birth cohort study that began following over 19,000 children born between 2000 and 2001. The Welsh Government helped fund the study to ensure there was a significant representation of children born in Wales (just under 3,000). The cohort was also selected to ensure there was an over-representation of children born in disadvantaged areas so that detailed analysis on the impact of disadvantage can be undertaken. A wide range of information about the children, their families, their home, teachers and their schools has been collected and at several times during their childhood, when they were aged 3 months, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 11 years. The Centre for Longitudinal Studies in the University of London, who run the study, are currently planning the next ‘sweep’ of data when the children reach 15 years of age. The intention is that data will continue to be collected from these children as they grow up, leave compulsory schooling and enter adulthood. Although this workshop looked at the first seven years of the children’s lives it was still of relevance to anyone who might be interested in using this longitudinal data and analysis when later data becomes available.

The day was organised in to two parts. The first half of the workshop provided an introduction to the MCS, including its design, sample and the structure and organisation of the data. The way that children were selected to participate in the MCS is very different to previous major cohort studies, and has a complex sample design. Therefore some of this first half of the workshop was spent outlining the sample design and the implications of this for analysis. The first half ended with a presentation of current analysis of the MCS that has been undertaken in WISERD. The second half of the Workshop began with a practical demonstration in the use of the MCS before giving participants an opportunity to use and explore the data for themselves.

Participants were then encouraged, under supervision, to begin to plan their own analysis of the MCS in their own area(s) of interest. Throughout the day there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions and to receive useful tips and advice for how the MCS can be used in Wales.


9.30 Registration and Coffee
9.45 Introduction to the MCS
10.15 Accessing data and documentation
Short break
11.00 MCS sample design
11.45 Analysis of the MCS in Wales
12.30 Lunch (provided)
13.00 Demonstration and practical
o   Variable search
o   Linking datasets
o   Recoding variables
o   Creating new variables
Short break
14.30 Participant-led exploration and analysis
16.00 Workshop ends