Introduction to Multilevel Modelling Using MLwiN, R or Stata - online

Organised by

Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol


Professor George Leckie and Professor William Browne


13/07/2021 - 15/07/2021


Run online by Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol


View in Google Maps  (BS8 1QU)


Lucy Haslam


This three-day course provides an introduction to multilevel modelling and includes software practicals in your choice of software: MLwiN, R or Stata. We focus on multilevel modelling for continuous and binary responses (dependent or outcome variables) when the data are clustered (nested or hierarchical). These models can be viewed as an extension of conventional linear and logistic regression models to account for and learn from the clustering in the data. Such models are appropriate when, for example, analysing exam scores of students nested within schools, or health outcomes of patients nested within hospitals. Special interest lies in disentangling social processes operating at different levels of analysis by decomposing the within- from the between-cluster effects of covariates (explanatory or predictor variables). Longitudinal data are also clustered, with repeated measurements on individuals or multiple panel waves per survey respondent. Throughout the course we emphasize how to interpret the models and to decide on what kinds of research question they can be used to explore.


  1. Overview of multilevel modelling
  2. Variance-components models
  3. Random-intercept models with covariates
  4. Between- and within-effects of level-1 covariates
  5. Random-coefficient models
  6. Growth-curve models
  7. Three-level models
  8. Review of single-level logistic regression
  9. Two-level logistic regression


The course starts and ends each day at 09:30 and 16:00 with a 15-minute morning break and a one-hour break for lunch from 13:00 to 14:00.

The course will consist of a 2:1 mix of lectures and hands-on practical sessions applying the taught methods to real datasets. The instructors alternate the lecturing. Each lecture is immediately followed by a practical giving participants the chance to replicate the presented analyses and to consolidate their knowledge. The lectures are software independent. The practicals are offered in participants choice of MLwiN, R, or Stata and are self-directed: participants complete the practicals at their own pace. In both the lectures and practicals, participants have opportunities to interact with the instructors.


The course will be delivered online via the freely accessible Zoom platform. The lectures will be delivered live. Participants can ask questions via Zoom’s text-based chat facility that will be monitored and answered by one of the instructors not presenting or relayed to the instructor presenting to answer live.

Participants are encouraged to join the lectures live, but recordings of the lectures will be made available shortly afterwards for eight weeks following the course if participants are unable to attend at the scheduled time. After eight weeks, video access will end and can’t be extended.

During the practicals, participants can als speak 1:1 with the instructors in short Zoom meetings. Participants can use these opportunities to ask specific questions about the course material or about multilevel modelling related to their own research.

In the lunch hour, participants will also have the opportunity to meet one another and share their interests, via Zoom's breakout rooms.


Participants will be emailed in advance with comprehensive PDF copies of the lecture slides together with point-and-click instructions and datasets for MLwiN, and annotated syntax files and datasets for R and Stata. During the practicals, participants are encouraged to view the lecture slides on a screen (or tablet etc.), else print copies out to have in front of them. Those choosing to use MLwiN may also want to view ona a second screen else print out their point-and-click instructions.


For those choosing to use MLwiN, we will provide instructions as to how to download and install the free teaching version of this software. For those wishing to use Stata or R we assume you are already users of these software so already have these software installed.


MLwiN is dedicated multilevel modelling software developed by our research team over the last 25 years. On this course we will be using the free teaching version of MLwiN. This version works with all the datasets used on the course and a wide range of other teaching datasets which come with the software. We will email you the teaching version prior to the start of the course.

Should you wish to use MLwiN after the course with your own data, you will need to use the regular version of MLwiN. This is free to UK academics (but without user support) reflecting long periods of funding from the UK’s Economic and Social science Research Council (ESRC). For all other users there is a 30-day trial version, but after that you will have to purchase MLwiN if you wish to continue using it to analyse your own data. There are various price options available.

MLwiN is Windows software, but can be run on Mac via the Wine software or through a virtual machine. Note that Wine will only work on versions of MacOS prior to Catalina.


We assume no prior knowledge of multilevel modelling. However, participants should be familiar with estimating and interpreting linear regression models, including the writing and interpretation of model equations, hypothesis testing and model selection, and the use and interpretation of dummy variables and interaction terms.

Some participants may wish to refresh themselves of linear regression by reading module 3 of our LEMMA online course.

For those choosing to use MLwiN, we assume no prior knowledge of using this software, and so we will email in advance a video lecture which provides an introduction to MLwiN in terms of fitting linear regression models. We will also provide step-by-step instructions to allow you to replicate the presented analyses in MLwiN.

Please click here to read the booking terms and conditions before completing the booking form. Note that it is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that the Zoom and MLwiN software work on their computer in advance of the course, as the Centre for Multilevel Modelling is unable to provide technical support.


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


If you would like to attend this workshop, please complete and submit the online application form (accessed via the link below). Please note the closing date for applications is Sunday 9th May 2021. If application numbers are high and we cannot accept everyone without compromising the quality of the course, we will offer places on a first come, first service basis. We will email you by Monday 17th May to tell you whether or not your application has been successful. If you are offered a place on either workshop, it will not be confirmed until you have accepted and paid the relevant fee. Course fees: For UK-registered MSc and PhD students - £180 / For UK university academics, UK public sector staff, and staff at UK registered charity organisations - £360 / For all other participants - £660. Please note, in order to be eligible for the reduced pricing brackets please submit your application using your UK academic/organisational email address. Cancellation/refunds: A full refund will be given if cancellation occurs three weeks prior to the event. No refund is given after this date. By completing the application form, you are accepting these cancellation terms.

Website and registration


South West


Regression Methods, Logistic regression, Multilevel Modelling , Mixed models, Growth curve models

Related publications and presentations

Regression Methods
Logistic regression
Multilevel Modelling
Mixed models
Growth curve models

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