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R for the Life and Behavioural Sciences

Course 2016-2017

Admission requirements

Knowledge of elementary calculus and statistics, e.g. integration, derivation, t-tests, chi-square tests, analysis of variance, linear and logistic regression. Mastery of the basics in TeX.

Make sure you have a laptop available during each lecture with the latest version of R and RStudio (for details see Blackboard)


to be announced.

Course objectives

A self-sufficient use of R for research in the life & behavioural sciences by

  • using consistent style in coding

  • applying appropriate object types and functions

  • producing (interactive) plots of data and (intermediate) results

  • write reproducible reports in which R code is embedded

Mode of Instruction

This course is a combination of lectures and lab sessions.

Time Table

For the course days, course location and class hours check the Time Table under the
tab “Statsci Students —> Program Schedule” at

Assessment method

Home assignments and a written report at the end of the course which are together being graded as Fail, Pass, or Good.

Reading list

The art of R programming. Norman Matloff, No Starch Press 2011, ISBN: 978-1-59327-384-2

Course Registration

Enroll in Blackboard for the course materials and course updates.

To be able to obtain a grade and the ECTS for the course, sign up for the (re-)exam in uSis ten calendar days before the actual (re-)exam will take place. Note, the student is expected to participate actively in all activities of the program and therefore uses and registers for the first exam opportunity.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

v [dot] j [dot] c [dot] buurman [at] math [dot] leidenuniv [dot] nl


  • This is a compulsory course in the Statistical Science Master’s programme of the specialisation Statistical Science for the Life & Behavioural sciences.