Support #2109

Linking air pollution data to the Understanding society teaching dataset

Added by Mary Abed Al Ahad about 1 month ago. Updated 27 days ago.

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Dear UKHLS support team;

I am an associate lecturer in Geography and Population Health at the University of St Andrews and I was interested in linking air pollution and climate data such as air temperature and relative humidity to the understanding society teaching dataset for a module that I will be giving starting September 2024.

I have previously used for my own research the researcher dataset and I had access to local authorities and Lower Super Output Areas which I used to link the environmental data on air pollution and climate to the UKHLS dataset and carry my analysis which investigated the association between air pollution and health and life satisfaction. However, the teaching dataset does not allow for such a linkage because the lowest geography level provided in that file is regional areas. This created a hurdle for me to use the data for my teaching module.

Having explained the above, I am sending this enquiry to ask whether there is any chance that I get local authorities with the teaching dataset to link the air pollution and climate data I need. I can delete the column which has the local authorities after the data linkage is done and provide that file to the students to practice with and carry out their assignments. Is there a possibility that this would be accomplished somehow?

I can also supply the environmental data that I need to link to the teaching dataset to the UKHLS team to link it for me at the local authority level if this could work.

I hope that a solution for my problem can be found so that students can use the amazing and rich UKHLS data to learn in my Module.

Looking forward to hearing back from you,

All the best,
Dr Mary Abed Al Ahad
Associate Lecturer
School of Geography and sustainable development
University of St Andrews
Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 1 month ago

  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10

Many thanks for your enquiry. The Understanding Society team is looking into it and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We aim to respond to simple queries within 48 hours and more complex issues within 7 working days.

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team 27 days ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Feedback
  • % Done changed from 10 to 50
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Hello Mary,

According to the UKDS guidelines on “Research data handling and security guide for users” (, specifically section 3.2 on Teaching purposes, data subject to the Special Licence User Agreement and Controlled data cannot be used for teaching.

However, some projects have developed synthetic data, such as SIPHER synthetic population. This synthetic dataset includes all variables from Main Stage UKHLS at the LSOA level of geography, which might be suitable for teaching purposes. For more information please visit and

I hope this information is helpful.

Best wishes,
Roberto Cavazos
Understanding Society User Support Team

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