Introduction to R and RStudio workshop summary

Based on the hugely popular Introduction to R and R Studio course run by NHS-R Community volunteers, the one day course has been extended into 3 half days and covers the principles of data manipulation. The concepts covered in the course, and even some function names, will be familiar to those who use SQL and this course is aimed at those who have not used R/RStudio before or used only very little of it (perhaps running other people’s work for example). As we work through the course we will be using and exploring Quarto to see how reports that mix text and code can be produced in R as well as be used as a way of managing analysis workflow.

Learning outcomes

To introduce RStudio as an IDE (integrated development environment) Introduce familiar concepts of data manipulation but using R Practice these concepts and bring them together in a Quarto report

Detailed Programme

Session 1: Introduction and getting started

  • Course agenda and aims
  • Introducing and getting started with RStudio
  • Introducing what packages are in R
  • Projects
  • Opening Quarto

Session 2: Data Manipulation

  • Import a csv
  • Import a messy csv
  • Import a csv from the web
  • {dplyr} data wrangling with a selection of main functions
  • {dplyr} showcase more functions
  • Creating new objects
  • Introducing vectors
  • Joining data together
  • How to style your R code

Session 3: Categorical Variables

  • Finding help on functions using RStudio and the internet
  • Ongoing learning resources
  • Introducing chart visualisations using {ggplot2}
  • Using {datapasta}
  • Using {janitor} to remove blank rows/columns and tidy column names
  • Using {stringr} for cleaning with strings (for example % wildcard searches)


No previous knowledge of R is expected.


3 half days (3.5 hours each day)

Course materials

Slides are published through GitHub.