Course overview

This course aims to introduce the basics of the R software environment including the graphing capabilities of R using the graphics package within the integrated development environment (IDE) RStudio.

Participants will learn how to create an R script in RStudio, import data into R, clean data, change data and create new variables, manipulate variables, save data, produce simple descriptive statistics, create and customise various graphs, and use R's Help system.

A demonstration of other graphing packages will also be provided briefly.

Course outcomes

After the Introduction to R Software course, students should be able to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the RStudio IDE
  • Import tab or comma-delimited data into R
  • Import Excel, Stata and SPSS data into R
  • Inspect and list the data in an R object 
  • Change data and create new variables
  • Manipulate variables and save data
  • Generate simple descriptive statistics for data
  • Create and customise various graphs including scatterplots, histograms, boxplots, and barplots  
  • Use a script file to run a sequence of R commands
  • Install R packages and update R  
  • Use the R Help system

University of Melbourne
This course is delivered by Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (CEBU), a working partnership between Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.


This course was designed for beginning researchers, but it assumes familiarity with computer file management, such as how to recognise different file types by their extensions and how to move files between directories.

Please note: Although R is available for other operating systems such as macOS, the course will be Windows-based.

Course format

  • The Introduction to R Software course will run on two scheduled days.
  • The Friday before the course, the course notes and required files (R files and Excel files) will be made available for students to download.
  • Our course coordinators have recorded a series of short videos between 5-10 minutes which support you in systematically working through the course notes. These are available on Teams for the duration of the course.
  • On each day of the course, one of our course coordinators will do a brief introduction for the day via Teams, and then you can work through the course notes and view the instructional videos at your own pace.
  • Instructors will be available from 9:30am-4:30pm (last questions at 4:00pm) on both days of the course to help you with any questions or difficulties you have while working through the material.

Students will be provided with:

  • Comprehensive course notes, including answers to all exercises
  • Files required for course exercises
  • Optional training videos that cover key concepts in the course notes (available for the week of the course)
  • Quick access to tutors for the two days of the course
  • One-on-one video chats during the course date via request. 

Course dates & times

  • Date: 16-17 July 2024
  • Times: 9:30am-4:30pm (both days)
  • Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams (please provide a work or student email in your registration, no Gmail or Hotmail etc)

Course fees

  • $300 for internal applicants – Melbourne Children’s campus staff only (Murdoch Children's Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital and the University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics)
  • $700 for external full-time students and Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH-affiliated) institutions (please enter institution name)
  • $990 for external applicants with no appointment on Melbourne Children’s campus
  • Returning participants: We offer a 50 per cent discount for people who have previously attended this course and would like to attend a refresher. Find out more by contacting the email address below.
  • Low- or middle-income country (LMIC) participants: We offer special rates for people from low- or middle-income countries. Find out more by contacting the email address below. 

Payment and registration

Payment by credit card (not available to Murdoch Children's Research Institute staff)

You or your organisation can register and pay for the course directly via Trybooking. Follow the prompts to make payment and register. You will receive a course confirmation and tax invoice via email. 

Please note: There is a Trybooking fee of 50 cents per registration which will be applied when you register online.

Trybooking – Register for Introduction to R

Payment via Unimarket (Murdoch Children's Research Institute staff only)

Payment must be made via Unimarket. MCRI staff must not make credit card payments and seek reimbursement from an MCRI cost centre (this is not permitted).

  • Go to Unimarket (Unimarket can also be accessed from the MCRI intranet homepage for internal staff).
  • Log in and search for CEBU as a supplier.
  • Select CEBU courses and add the required course to the shopping cart for the CEBU course/s you wish to enrol in.
  • The GL account for training is 34460. Instructions on using Unimarket are on the intranet (internal staff only).
  • Once your Cost Centre manager approves it, CEBU will email you with the Trybooking link and promotional code to register for the course.

Please note: Your place in the course is not confirmed until you have registered via Trybooking.

Cancellation of registration

You can apply for a refund or request to change the course session to a different date pending availability if it is received seven (7) calendar days prior to the course start date. No refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations or non-attendance after this time.   

Full course timetable

See our full course timetable below for information on all CEBU courses.

CEBU course timetable

Contact us

Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Unit (CEBU)
Murdoch Children's Research Institute
The Royal Children's Hospital
50 Flemington Road
Parkville VIC 3052

Fiona Snashall or Julie Perkins
Phone: show phone number