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Instructor-led course

Provided by: Graduate School of Life Sciences

This course has 1 scheduled run. To book a place, please choose your preferred date:

Fri 29 Nov 2019

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Core Statistics


This course is intended to provide a strong foundation in practical statistics and data analysis using the R software environment. The underlying philosophy of the course is to treat statistics as a practical skill rather than as a theoretical subject and as such the course focuses on methods for addressing real-life issues in the biological sciences.

There are three core goals for this course:

  1. Use R confidently for statistics and data analysis
  2. Be able to analyse datasets using standard statistical techniques
  3. Know which tests are and are not appropriate

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

In this course, we explore classical statistical analysis techniques starting with simple hypothesis testing and building up to linear models and power analyses. The focus of the course is on practical implementation of these techniques and developing robust statistical analysis skills rather than on the underlying statistical theory

After the course you should feel confident to be able to select and implement common statistical techniques using R and moreover know when, and when not, to apply these techniques.

Target audience
  • The course is open to graduate students and postdocs from all departments and affiliated institutions within the GSLS
  • This course is included as part of several DTP programmes as well as other departmental training within the university (potentially under a different name) so participants who have attended statistics training elsewhere should check before applying.
  • Please be aware that this course is only free for University of Cambridge students. Any University of Cambridge staff, including postdocs, wishing to attend will be charged a registration fee. A purchase order will need to be provided.

This course requires users to be familiar with the R language. Attending an introductory R course (or doing a bit of Googling) is definitely advantageous if you do not have a working knowledge of the R language already.


Learning Objectives After this course you should be able to:

  1. Use R and RStudio to manipulate data, produce figures and perform exploratory data analyses
  2. Analyse datasets using standard statistical techniques
  3. Know when each test is and is not appropriate

During this course you will learn about:

  • One and two sample hypothesis tests
  • Simple linear Regression
  • Linear Models
  • Model selection techniques
  • Power Analyses

The course is primarily based around computer practicals interspersed with short lectures and presentations used to explain core ideas and principles.


The course is split over six 3 hour sessions all held in the eLearning Suite within the Clinical School. If you book onto this course you must attend all of the sessions as detailed below.


Six three hour sessions


Several times per term


Events available