Carlton Hill

CDCS Summer School 2024

10-14 June 2024 

The Centre for Data, Culture & Society is delighted to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2024 Summer School.

Held in Edinburgh Futures Institute, the Summer School will be an intensive, 5-day, in-person event, with a practical focus. There will be a choice of two streams, which will run throughout the week: A Gentle Introduction to Coding for Data Analysis, and Text and Data Analysis in the Wild. Find out more about each stream and which best suits your needs below. 


A Gentle Introduction to Coding for

Data Analysis


This course is designed for researchers who are complete beginners with no prior knowledge of coding and data analysis. Through lectures and exercises, attendees will learn how to code in Python, starting from core concepts such as variables and loops, through to coding live data visualisation. 

The course explores the basics of programming: variables, functions, loops, operating on data structures, data wrangling, and visualisation.

 By the end of the course, attendees will understand how to bridge the gap between humans and computers, and how to apply the skills they have learnt to their own data analysis and research. This course is intended to be a foundation for those starting out with data-led Humanities and Social Sciences research.


Key principles: 

  • No previous coding experience is required. 
  • Encourage collaboration with other students to achieve goals and tasks. Instructors will be available in the room to help.
  • The course combines mini-lectures, guided coding examples and programming challenges.
  • Students will work towards describing and visualising data.
  • Provides the foundations needed to continue your coding journey through self-study.


Find out more about this stream 




Text and Data Analysis

in the Wild


This course is designed to help researchers with coding experience understand how data and text analysis projects are performed in a research environment. 

It starts with identifying a series of research questions connected to this year’s core topic (Living in Scotland Past and Present). 

Then it explores how computational methods can be used to obtain, clean, and analyse structured and unstructured datasets in R to answer those questions. 

Topics will include data wrangling, web scraping, text analysis, sentiment analysis, statistics, and data visualisation.


Key principles: 

  • General knowledge of the interface of RStudio and coding is required. 
  • Fosters interdisciplinary thinking by bringing social science and humanities researchers together to explore methods.
  • Covers both structured and unstructured data.
  • Illustrates the development process of data-led projects by moving through phases of the project lifecycle.
  • Challenge-led, helping researchers learn how to deal with real-world data.

   Find out more about this stream



Students working at tables in Playfair Library

Audience & Prerequisites

The course is primarily aimed at researchers from Higher Education institutions, and has a competitive applications process. We will also consider applications from professionals who are interested in learning digital research methods: please get in touch if you would like to discuss whether this course is suitable for your needs. 

For Stream 1: A Gentle Introduction to Coding for Data Analysis no previous knowledge of coding is required and the practicals will be delivered in Python.

For Stream 2: Text and Data Analysis in the Wild a general knowledge of the interface of RStudio and coding is required. Materials will be released in advance to support attendees in refreshing their R skills. 



  • 29 March – Applications open
  • 03 May – Applications close
  • 17 May – Attendees are notified
  • 31 May - Deadline for payment (for external attendees)
  • 10 – 14 June – Summer School takes place

Fees & How to Apply


  • General registration (including coffee and lunch each day): £250
  • University of Edinburgh students and staff: no cost 
  • If you are a SGSAH-funded doctoral researcher, you may be considered for a supported place. Please ensure you tick the relevant box on your application. SGSAH-funded students may also apply to SGSAH for the Engagement Fund to support related travel and accommodation costs if relevant. Please specify this in your application form.

Information on how to pay the fees will be circulated with selected attendees.



Applications are now closed