In-Person Course – An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R

We offer an instructor-led, in-person based around our book An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. It is run over two days. It is a practical course and it is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn how to carry out basic data processing and statistical analyses on biological data using R. This includes importing data sets into R, error-checking and processing them to prepare them for analysis, calculating basic summary statistics, creating graphs, assessing and transforming their distributions, and running statistical tests such as Shapiro-Wilk tests, t-tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, paired t-tests, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs tests, F-tests for equality of variance, Levene’s tests, ANOVAs, Kruskal-Walis tests, chi-squared tests, correlations and linear regressions. It will also cover how to use R, how to work out how to do things for yourself in R and how to create annotated R script archives of what you have done. No previous experience with R or statistical analysis is required to do this course.

*** Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, we are not currently offering our in-person course based around An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. This page will be updated as soon as we are offering this option again. ***

Each session in this course will consist of a series of background talks covering specific topics (more details are provided below), followed by related practical exercises based on instructions from An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. As a result, all participants will receive a free copy of this book at the start of the course.

This course will be hosted by Dr Colin D MacLeod, one of the authors of An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. Dr MacLeod has been working in biological research for more than 25 years. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and a series of books written to help biologists learn practical skills, such as statistics and GIS.

At the end of the course, all attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and completion. Each certificate is embossed with the GIS In Ecology official stamp to prevent its fraudulent reproduction. In addition, each certificate has its own unique identification number that we will record, along with your name, meaning that we can verify the authenticity of the certificates we issue (and the course you have completed) on request.

Attendance will be limited to a maximum of 19 people. The fees for this course are GBP 250 per person (with a discounted rate of GBP 195 for students, the unwaged and those working for registered charities). To book a place, click on the button below to pay the course fees with a credit/debit card. For more information, or if you would prefer to pay using another method (such as a bank transfer), contact

Please Note: If you choose to pay using the button below, please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received an email from us confirming your booking for a specific course (this may take a couple of days, depending on how busy we are).

This course will cover:

  1. An introduction to R and Rstudio (and, if required, this will include help with installing these software packages).
  2. What you need to know to get started with using R.
  3. What to do if you get stuck with using R for data processing and statistical analysis.
  4. How to import data into R and prepare it for analysis.
  5. How to create graphs from biological data in R.
  6. How to assess and transform the distribution of biological data.
  7. How to compare data from different groups with statistical analysis.
  8. How to use correlations and regressions to biological data.
  9. How to work out how to do things in R.