The course has been split over two days, each from 9 am to 1 pm. The first day introduces the building blocks of the R language and covers the features of R and how it compares to other languages along with writing scripts and how to get help when you need it. This session will introduce data types and objects (e.g., vectors and lists) and show you how we can use ‘subsetting’ to slice and select our data. Finally we’ll introduce functions, iteration and control flow — allowing you to work efficiently and avoid repetition.

The second day will focus on data manipulation in R. Up to 90% of our time is spent cleaning data, so we’ll need some tools to help. We’ll cover essential tasks such as selecting columns or rows, sorting a dataset, creating or modifying columns, merging or reshaping, and grouping or summarising data. We’ll also see how pipes can combine these steps into efficient, streamlined workflows. This day also introduces ggplot2, a package for creating publication-ready graphics. We’ll wrap up with a practical exercise to put your new skills to the test and time for your questions about problem-solving with R.

The interactive online sessions will combine lectures with plenty of time for practice so that you can get hands-on experience with the material in a health data science context. Places are limited, so please book now to avoid disappointment and reserve your spot.

Ticket cost: £90

A limited number of free spaces are available for members of the HDR UK Alliance and Alumni Group. Please email if you are a member of one of these groups and wish to attend.


  • (Practicals are integrated into each session).

    09:00 — 10:00 Welcome & Introduction to R:

    • What is R?
    • How does it compare to other languages?
    • R packages, the console, scripts, getting help.

    10:00 — 10:05 Break (5 minutes)
    10:05 — 11:00 Data types, objects, subsetting
    11:00 — 11:10 Break (10 minutes)
    11:10 — 11:30 Data types, objects, subsetting (continued)
    11:30 — 12:45 Functions, iteration, control flow
    12:45 — 13:00 Wrap up, looking ahead, your questions

  • 09:00 — 11:00 Data manipulation in R:

    • Base R, tidyverse, data.table
    • Pipes
    • Essential data manipulation tasks (selecting columns or rows, sorting a dataset, creating or modifying columns, combining datasets, reshaping a dataset, grouping and summarising data, and recoding with case_when)

    11:00 — 11:45 Graphics with ggplot2
    11:45 — 12:15 Practical: putting it all together
    12:15 — 12:30 Quarto, going further with R
    12:30 — 13:00 Your questions: how do I do X in R? Wrap-up.

Interested in accessing more training from HDR UK? Sign up to HDR UK Futures to access our growing online curriculum.

HDR UK Futures