Introduction to R

  • Sheffield - 26th March 2018
  • 09:30am - 5pm
  • Pam Liversidge Design Studio 1 - D06


R is a highly-regarded, free, software environment for statistical analysis, with many useful features that promote and facilitate reproducible research.

In this course, we give an introduction to the R environment and explain how it can be used to import, manipulate and analyse tabular data.

After the course you should feel confident to start exploring your own dataset using the materials and references provided.

Who should attend this course?

Researchers in life sciences who want to get started using R for their data analysis

Objectives:- After this course you should be able to:

  • Import data and plot graphs
  • Create a documented and reproducible piece of R code
  • Know how to develop your skills in R after the course
  • Interrogate and visualise data with Bioconductor packages

Aims:- During this course you will learn about:

  • The RStudio interface to R
  • The many ways to access help about R
  • Basic object types in R
  • Importing tabular data into R
  • Manipulating data in R
  • Using in-built functions
  • Basic Plotting
  • Customizing plots
  • Creating reproducible reports in R


  • No prior programming experience is required, but those attending should be able to use a plain text editor.
  • A very basic knowledge of UNIX would be an advantage, but nothing will be assumed and extremely little will be required.

Software installation

You will need to bring an internet-enabled laptop to the course and install the latest versions of both R and RStudio before coming to the course


Install R by downloading and running this .exe file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on .exe file and select “Run as administrator” instead of double-clicking). Otherwise problems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.


Install R by downloading and running this .pkg file from CRAN. Also, please install the RStudio IDE


You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo yum install R). Also, please install the RStudio IDE.


  • Mark Dunning, Bioinformatics Core Director
  • Anna Krystalli, Research Software Engineer
  • Emily Chambers, Bioinformatics Core Analyst

Course Data

  • Please download and extract (un-zip) this zip file into the directory on your computer that you wish to work in

Timetable (provisional)


Registration is open. Click here to sign-up