Introduction to quantitative time-diary analysis (few places remaining)


22/07/2021 - 29/07/2021

Organised by:

University College London UCL


Dr Pierre Walthéry


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


UCL Institute of Education

video conference logo

Venue: Online


This short course aims to introduce participants to time diary analysis, a multidisciplinary field which has made a sustained contribution to social science over the last 50 years. It is targeted at academics, doctoral students, post-doctoral as well as public or private sector researchers interested in studying the way people spend their time throughout the day.  It requires basic to intermediate prior knowledge of statistics and basic experience with statistical programming.

Course structure

The course will take place on 22nd and 29th of July, from 2:00pm until 5:00pm, and each afternoon will consist of 2-3 sessions, with a presentation followed by a computer demonstration and questions and answers.

Participants are invited to follow and replicate on their own computer the code demonstrated during the session.

The course covers:

  • Historical outline of time-diaries and time use research
  • Activities nomenclatures, survey designs & time diary dataset structure
  • Deriving duration and participation in activities from long and wide datasets
  • Multivariate analysis of aggregate time diary data
  • Weekly work schedules and working time
  • Weighting and accounting for clustering in time diary data

Event Outline

Thursday 22nd of July - Introduction to time diary data analysis

Session 1

2.00 - Origins and milestones of time diary analysis; structure and design of time diary surveys

2.45 - Q&A, break

Session 2

3.00 - Structure and design of time diary surveys (continued). Estimating duration and participation: day- and person-level aggregate statistics

3.45 - Q&A, break

Session 3

4.00 - Estimating duration and participation (continued); tempograms

4.30 - Q&A; discussion of participants research ideas and interest

 Thursday 29th of July - Working with time diary data

Session 1

2.00 - Multivariate analysis of time-diary data: modelling time and participation

2.45 - Q&A, break

Session 2

3.00 - Special topics: work schedule; weighting; and robust estimates

4.45 - Q&A, break

Session 3

5.00 - Estimating duration and participation (continued); Q&A; discussion of participants research ideas and interest

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • identify significant milestones and contributions to time diary research
  • identify the main characteristics of time diaries, time diary surveys, and datasets
  • derive estimates from time diary surveys and use them in in their own analysis

Participants will receive written slides and syntax files electronically after the course (by email).

Participants are advised to use their own laptop with the latest version of the R software and the dplyr and ggplot2 packages installed.

No preparatory readings are required. People can visit the CTUR website for general information:


Dr Pierre Walthéry is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR), part of the Social Research Institute (UCL).  His research cover work and employment, gender inequality and subjective wellbeing through the prism of time diary.  Recent work includes exploring enjoyment at work and the sharing of childcare using the 2015 UK Time Use Survey, and more recently, occupational risk associated with COVID 19.


The fee per eaching day is £30 for students registered at UK/EU University, £60 for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions and £100 for all other participants. The course is run across two afternoons and equates to one teaching day for payment purposes. In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given.

Website and registration:




Survey Research, Time use & time diary research , Secondary Analysis , Survey Data Analysis and Estimation , Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) , Daily activity duration

Related publications and presentations:

Survey Research

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