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Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMI)

Introduction to Sequence Analysis

Date: 1 April 2019
Time: 9.45am–5pm
Instructor: Morten Wahrendorf
Level: Introductory
Fee: £195 (£140 for those from educational, government and charitable institutions). 

CMI offers up to five subsidised places at a reduced rate of £60 per course day to research staff and students within Humanities at The University of Manchester. These places are awarded in order of application. 

Humanities PGR students at The University of Manchester can apply for a methods@manchester bursary to help cover their costs. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and applicants will be required to provide a supporting statement from their supervisor.

Please contact Joshua Edgar (email: for a Bursary application form for any general course enquires please contact

Please note: this is not guaranteed and is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us for more information.


Sequence analysis has recently experienced increasing interest in life course research and summarizes a variety of techniques to analyse whole "sequences", for example, employment or partnership histories. The interest, hereby, is not only to describe and visualize whole sequences but also to compare and regroup similar sequences into clusters, which in turn can be used within other methods (e.g. an independent variable in regression analyses). The course provides a basic introduction to sequence analysis, including its theoretical implication within life course research, and the practical skills required to conduct sequences analysis with Stata.

Course objectives

The course has two objectives:

First, the course introduces the general theoretical idea of sequences analysis and illustrates which kind of questions can be investigated by its mean within life course research.

Second, the course provides a practical introduction to sequence analysis based on Stata, focusing on describing and visualising sequences and on methods to compare and regroup sequences into clusters.


Participants should be interested in life course research and have experience in handling longitudinal data.

Recommended reading

  • Abbott A and Tsay A. (2000) Sequence analysis and optimal matching methods in sociology - Review and prospect. Sociological Methods & Research 29: 3-33.
  • Aisenbrey S and Fasang A.E. (2010) New Life for Old Ideas: The 'Second Wave' of Sequence Analysis Bringing the 'Course' Back Into the Life Course. Sociological Methods & Research 38, 4: 652-654.
  • Halpin B. (2014) SADI: Sequence Analysis Tools for Stata. Department of Sociology, Working paper WP 2014-03. University of Limerick, Limerick. Download.

About the instructor

Morten Wahrendorf is a sociologist with expertise in research methodology. His research areas are work stress, health inequalities, life course epidemiology, comparative welfare research and ageing. He is an attached member of the International Centre For Life-course Studies in Society and Health (ICLS), and is presently working at the Institute of Medical Sociology, University Düsseldorf, Germany, where he leads the working group “Work and Health”.


Course has been cancelled.