Introduction to Data Visualisation and Web Applications Using R

An online short course

This course aims to introduce the key aspects of data visualisation using R, with applications of powerful R tools to illustrate the generation of fully reproducible documents (e.g. analysis reports), and to introduce the Shiny framework for web applications.

Course date 15 - 16 March 2021
Course fee £440
Course Organisers Dr Chris Penfold


Please ensure you meet the following prerequisites before booking:

Knowledge Course participants should either have attended the Introduction to R course or be familiar with R and/or RStudio. This course is not intended for people who have never used R before.
Software This course will use RStudio Desktop (Open Source version). This is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and is freely available from:

Alternatively, RStudio can be run as a cloud app for free at:
If you intend to use the cloud version of RStudio please let the course tutor know.

You will also need software able to open and view .pdf (e.g. Adobe Reader) and .docx files (e.g. MS Word).


Course format

The course will be delivered using a combination of pre-recorded sessions, live lectures and practical sessions. All live lectures will be recorded.

The course will run from 9am to 4:30pm on both days.

Course objectives

By the end of the course participants will be able to:
  1. Create high-end graphical figures, using the ‘ggplot2’ package
  2. Customise plot features
  3. Add, amend and customise plot layers
  4. Produce interactive graphs and display them online
  5. Generate dynamic documents using R Markdown
  6. Use R Markdown documents to produce pdf, html and Microsoft word reports; and
  7. Develop simple web applications using Shiny to present results in tabular and graphical form.

Who the course is intended for

The course is intended for individuals with an interest in data visualisation, statistical analyses, reproducible research and data science. The course topics apply to nearly all areas of quantitative research.

It is assumed participants will have attended the Introduction to R course or have a similar level of experience with R and/or RStudio. This course is not intended for people who have never used R before. However, the course is not focussed on statistical analysis using R.

Course outline

This is a 2-day course with practicals and demonstrations to provide participants with skills in using R to visualise data, build dynamic reports, and develop web applications.

We will cover:

  1. Basic and Advanced R graphics: Create simple and advanced informative graphics using 'ggplot2' that include bar plots, histograms, scatter plots, density plots, heat maps and many more.
  2. Customise graphs: Introduce geoms, stats, layers, scales, axes, legends, facets, colour themes, general themes, fonts and grid layouts.
  3. Interactive graphs: Introduce the 'ggplotly' tool, used to produce web-based graphs where a user can interactively select, display and highlight visualised data points, lines, etc.
  4. Dynamic documents: Illustrate how R Markdown can be used to create dynamic reports that incorporate descriptive text and statistical plots, with the code used to perform the analyses and the results.
  5. Web applications: Demonstrate how R can be used to develop simple web applications to display results or perform an analysis online.

Online Course Bookings

Bookings are open for online courses running in 2021.

The tutors are knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about the topics they teach.

Course feedback, January 2019

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We may need to make responsive changes to our courses at short notice in order to follow the latest Public Health, Government and University guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).

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