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***This course is fully booked*** This interactive online MSD Skills training course is aimed at MSD postgraduate research students and staff with minimal or no programming experience who want to create reproducible workflows for biological data analysis in R.

You are expected to attend five sessions:

6 July @ 9.30am - 1.30pm

7 July @ 9.30am - 1.30pm

14 July @ 9.30am - 1.30pm

20 July @ 9.30am - 1.30pm

21 July @ 9.30am - 1.30pm


This course is aimed at those with minimal or no programming experience to create reproducible workflows for biological data analysis in R. By the end of this module, you will be able to perform end-to-end analysis of your own data including statistics and visualisation.

Please make sure you read all of the sections below relating to how the course will work, and the survey and attendance certificate policy.


By the end of this course, you will learn:

  • how to set up your R environment, how to handle simple biological data, and how to look for help
  • how to load and clean your data and perform basic statistical analysis
  • how to reorganise and summarise your tabular data
  • how to create graphs and figures for publication
  • how to visualise more complex data and relationships within the data.  


The course is structured into 5 half-day sessions as follows:

  • R basics

Session 1 - Setting up your R environment, data types and structures, conditionals, loops, functions, loading and installing packages

Session 2 - Data exploration - reading and writing data files, looking at and filtering the data, basic graphs and basic statistics

  • Data exploration in depth

Session 3 - filtering, merging, grouping, aggregating data - Introduction to common packages such as dplyr and data.table

  • Visualisation

Session 4 - ggplot2 and other grammar of graphics packages

Session 5 - other plotting packages (heatmaps, networks, interactive plots with Shiny/Plotly etc.)




Pre-course materials such as scripts and markdown notebooks will be made available to participants.

For the online sessions, you will be sent a link along with joining instructions. Each 3 hour session would consist of a mix of teaching and hands-on training within breakout rooms, with a feedback from the tutors and Q&A at the end.


Software and hardware requirements:

•         R (version 4.0 or higher) which you can download using this link.

•         Rstudio (Desktop free version) which you can download using this link:

Any installation questions could be addressed to


In order to receive a certificate of attendance, participation in all 5 sessions is mandatory. After the last session, you will complete the short survey you receive after attending the course, where you can choose/propose the topics, which you would like to be covered in a follow-up advanced R-training module. During the last session, the potential topics would be introduced in more details. 

Once you have completed the course, you will be sent an email with a link to the overall course survey. When you have filled in and submitted the survey, you will be sent an email with a link to your attendance certificate. This is to ensure we receive the feedback we need to evaluate, improve our courses and plan the follow-up modules. Survey results are downloaded and stored anonymously.


Where there is no cost in the shopping trolley, no deposit is required. However, more than two consecutive non-attendances or late cancellations without good reason will be logged and may mean you cannot attend any further MSD training that term. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information.