School of Social and Political Science

Alan Marshall

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods. Director of the SPS Research Training Centre. SGSSS Associate Director (Advanced Methods Hub)


Room number

2.12C (enter through 2.12A)

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)



I joined Edinburgh in 2017 as Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods and director of the Q-Step Centre. In 2019 I became the Director of the Research Training Centre within the School of Social and Political Science.  I am an academic lead of a work package within the Advanced Care Research Centre that will involve combining data from various sources to better understand the interrelationships between trajectories of health, wellbeing and social participation in later life. Together with colleagues in the Research Training Centre and across the School I am involved in research that considers the impact of covid19 on parents, older people and those with family members in care homes.


In 2020/21 I convene the following courses and methods workshops:

Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection

Multilevel-Modelling in the Social Sciences

Introduction to Demography (Micro-Methods workshop)

Designing a web-based questionnaire (Micro-Methods workshop)

Demographic Forecasting (Micro-Methods workshop)

Natural experiments in the Social Sciences (Micro-Methods workshop)

In previous years I have taught the following courses:

Applied Demographic Analysis/Applied Demography (Undergraduate and Postgraduate versions)

Intermediate Inferential Statistics

Mathematics for Social Science

Introduction to Statistics for Social Science

Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection

I have a strong interest in teaching quantitative research skills within the social sciences. I have contributed to the undergraduate teaching literature in the social sciences in the UK. I am a co-author of Population and Society and I have a chapter on Quantitative Modelling in Human Geography in Key Methods in Geography.

Teaching publications and resources

Marshall A. (2016) Quantitative modelling in Human Geography. In Key Methods in Geography. Editors: Clifford, N., Cope, M., French, S., Gillespie, T. Sage. London.

Holdsworth, C., Finney, N., Marshall, A., Norman, P. (2013) Population and Societies. Sage.

Marshall, A. (editor), Browne, B., Plewis, I., Tranmer, M. (2012) Introducing multilevel models and applying them to the Health Survey for England using MLwIN. Available at

Marshall A. (2010) Small area estimation using ESDS Government Surveys: an introductory guide. Available at

Webinar on the use of the Census Longitudinal Studies for research on health inequalities (2017) Available at:

Webinar: An introduction to data on ageing (2014) Available at:

Research interests

Research interests

Policy, Health policy, Social Determinants of Health, disability, retirement, Population ageing, Demography

I am a Social Statistician by training with both substantive and methodological research interests. My substantive research uses longitudinal data from social surveys in the UK and overseas to better understand the social and biological determinants of inequalities observed in health and wellbeing in later life. I have made methodological  research contributions around the development of local estimates and projections of populations and of populations in poor health in collaboration with the UK's National statistical agencies and local authorities.

Recent research publications

Cezard, G., Finney, N., Kulu, H., Marshall, A. (2020) Ethnic differences in self-assessed health in Scotland: the role of socioeconomic status and migrant generation. Population, Space and Place.

Marshall, A., Skafida, V. (2020) Re-evaluating the Social Gradient in Handbook of Research Methods in Health Psychology. Ed. Keenan, J., Fish Ragin, D. Taylor & Francis. New York.

Prattley, J., Buffel, T., Marshall, A., Nazroo, J. (2020) Area effects on the level and development of social exclusion in later life. Social Science & Medicine. DOI:

Rattray, N., Trivedi, D., Xu, Y., Chandola, T., Johnson, C., Marshall, A., Mekli, K., Rattray, Z., Tampubolon, T., Vanhoutte, B., White, I., Wu, F., Pendleton, N., Nazroo, J., Goodacre, R. (2019) Metabolic dysregulation in vitamin E and carnitine shuttle energy mechanisms associate with human frailty. Nature Communications. DOI:

Cox, F., Marshall, A. (2019) Educational engagement, expectation and attainment of children with disabilities. Evidence from the Scottish Longitudinal Study. British Educational Research Journal. DOI:

Sabater, A., Graham, E., Marshall, A. (2019) Does having highly educated adult children reduce mortality risks for parents with low educational attainment in Europe? Ageing and Society. DOI:

Hou, B., Nazroo, J., Banks, J., Marshall, A. (2019) Are cities good for health? A study of the impacts of planned urbanisation in China. International Journal of Epidemiology. DOI:

Hou, B., Nazroo, J., Banks, J., Marshall, A. (2019) Impacts of migration on health and well-being in later life in China: Evidence from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Health and Place. DOI:

Martin, G., Inchley, J., Marshall, A., Shortt, N., Currie, C. (2018) The neighbourhood social environment and alcohol use among urban and rural Scottish adolescents. International Journal of Public Health.

Godhwani, S., Jivraj, S., Marshall, A., Becares, L. (2018) Comparing subjective and objective neighbourhood deprivation and their association with health over time among older adults in England. Health & Place. DOI:

Matthews, K., Nazroo, J., Marshall, A., (2018) Digital inclusion in later life: cohort changes in internet use over a ten-year period in England. Ageing and Society. DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X18000326

Hou, B., Banks, J., Nazroo, J., Marshall, A. (2018) Migration Status and Smoking Behaviors in Later-Life in China—Evidence From the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Frontiers in Public Health. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00346

Finney, N., Marshall, A. (2018) Is migration in later life good for wellbeing? A longitudinal study of ageing and selectivity of internal migration. Area. DOI: 10.1111/area.12428

Mekli K, Stevens A, Marshall A, Arpawong TE, Phillips DF, Tampubolon G, et al. (2018) Frailty Index associates with GRIN2B in two representative samples from the United States and the United Kingdom. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0207824.

Marshall, A., Christison, S., Simpson, L. (2017) Error in official age-specific population estimates over place and time. Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics

Eendebak., .T, Swiecicka, A., Gromski, PS., Pye, SR., O'Neill, TW., Marshall, A., Keevil, BG., Tampubolon, G., Goodacre, R., Wu, FCW., Rutter, MK. (2017), Ethnic differences in male reproductive hormones and relationships with adiposity and insulin resistance in older men. Clinical Endocrinology. DOI: 10.1111/cen.13305

Rogers, NT., Marshall, A., Roberts, CH., Demakakos, P., Steptoe, A., Scholes, S. (2017), Physical activity and trajectories of frailty among older adults: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. PLoS One, vol 12, no. 2, e0170878. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170878

Wade, KF., Marshall, A., Vanhoutte, B., Wu, FCW., O'Neill, TW., Lee, DM. (2016), Does pain predict frailty in older men and women?: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) Journals of Gerontology Series A - Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol Advance Access. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glw226

Marshall, A., Nazroo, J., Vanhoutte, B., Pendleton, N. (2015a) A comparison of hypertension health care outcomes in the USA and England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205336

Marshall, A., Nazroo, J., (2015) Inequalities in trajectories of self-reported illness at retirement. Journal of Population Ageing. Doi: 10.1007/s12062-015-9130-2

Marshall, A. Nazroo, J., Tampubolon, G., Vanhoutte, B. (2015b) Socio-economic and gender inequalities in frailty: findings from a growth modelling approach. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 69:p 316-321 doi:10.1136/jech-2014-


Mekli, K., Nazroo, J., Marshall, A., Kumari, M., & Pendleton, N. (2015). Proinflammatory genotype is associated with the frailty phenotype in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research (Online). DOI:10.1007/s40520-015-0419-z.

Mekli, K., Marshall, A., Nazroo, J., Vanhoutte, B., Pendleton, N., & Kumari, M. (2015). Genetic variant of Interleukin-18 gene is associated with the Frailty Index in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Age and Ageing, 44(6), 938-942. DOI:10.1093/ageing/afv122

Sperrin, M., Marshall, A., Higgins, V., Renehan, A., Buchan, I. (2015) Body mass index relates weight to height differently in women and older adults: Serial cross-sectional surveys in England (1992-2011). Journal of Public Health. 38(3). DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv067

Marshall, A., Jivraj, S., Nazroo, J., Tampubolon, G. (2014) Does the level of wealth inequality within an area influence the prevalence of depression among older people? Health & Place 27: 194-204. DOI:

Sperrin, M., Marshall, A., Higgins, V., Buchan, I. & Renehan, A. (2014). Slowing down of adult body mass index trend increases in England: a latent class analysis of cross-sectional surveys (1992 to 2010). International Journal of Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2013.161

Topics interested in supervising

Social determinants of health (particularly in later life) Retirement and health Population ageing Small area demographic estimation/forecasting

If you are interested in being supervised by Alan Marshall, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Monday 12-2pm