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Basic Data Handling and Visualization with R

Course given autumn 2022

Preliminary week 39 (26-30 September)
Monday-Thursday 9-16. For the last day, attendance on-site is not compulsory.

Course leader 

 Karin Engström (


Helena Persson

Target group

 Ph.D. students at the Faculty of Medicine


 The course equals one week (1.5 ECTS credits). Five days are scheduled, as well as self-studies.


BMC, I1341

Number of participants





The purpose of the course is to provide basic knowledge of the programming language R to facilitate independent future use of applications written and / or implemented in this language, such as statistical analysis programs.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:
 • perform basic data operations using R
 • identify potential pitfalls when handling data with R
 • create basic and visually appealing diagrams using R
 • identify online resources to independently answer questions and troubleshoot when programming in R


This course introduces students to the basic terms and concepts used within programming. The focus is on the handling of data with R, e.g., importing it into RStudio, summarising, cross-referencing, merging, creating new data. Different forms of relevant and graphically appealing visualisations will also be covered, as well as exporting the data and diagrams created in different formats. Packages in the tidyverse software collection are used.


A pre-course assignment involves installing RStudio and studying basic programming concepts and terminology, with the help of provided course literature. Access to a laptop computer is required. The course consists of four compulsory full days. Teaching methods include lectures, programming demonstrations and individual exercises. On the final day of the course, students work on the examination, with teachers available. On-site participation is not compulsory during the final day of the course. Students who are unable to participate in the compulsory classes can work on the specified exercises on their own and contact the teachers according to their scheduled availability.


The examination consists of solving assignments using programming in R. The programming scripts that are used to answer the questions are then sent to the teachers for evaluation.


The grades awarded are Pass and Fail.

Admission requirements

Applicants who are admitted to postgraduate studies at Lund University are given priority. Other applicants affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine can be accepted if there are vacancies.

Required reading

Literature on programming concepts distributed before the start of the course.


The application for this course is now closed (the course is full and has a waiting list).

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