Applied Data Skills for Processing and Presenting Data Microcredential: Online distance learning

Data science skills are increasingly crucial in all areas of work, from processing sales data, to understanding and using social media analytics to grow business and widen outreach. A recent report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (2021) found that 48% of of companies were recruiting for roles that required hard data skills but 46% of them struggled to recruit for these jobs. Additionally, processing data manually can be time intensive and subject to human error. Learning to transform, summarise, and visualise data using code is a critical skill and 'Applied data skills for processing and presenting data' will teach students how to transform a range of data types into informative and visually appealing reports. This course will be of benefit to anyone seeking to increase their data processing efficiency and ability to generate key insights, as well as those looking to broaden their career prospects and upskill.

  • Online distance learning
  • Teaching start: January
  • Microcredential: 10 weeks
    Time commitment: 8-10 hours per week
    Course cost: £799
    Teaching start: 23 January 2023

Why this course

Applied Data Skills for Processing and Presenting Data video

This course provides an overview of the basic skills needed to transform raw data into informative summaries and visualisations presented in professional reports, presentations, and dashboards. The book will introduce learners to R, a programming language that can help automate working with data. The course will cover importing and processing data from spreadsheets, producing data summaries of descriptive statistics in tables, creating beautiful and informative visualisations, and constructing reports, presentations, and dashboards that automatically update when the underlying data changes. These techniques both save time on repeating tasks, such as processing monthly data reports, and reduce errors in reporting.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • use the tidyverse to clean and process data
  • use R to quickly and accurately summarise data
  • use ggplot to informatively visualise data
  • use rmarkdown to create reusable report templates

Course structure

This course is delivered over 10 weeks:

  • Week 1: Intro to R and RStudio
  • Week 2: Reports with R Markdown
  • Week 3: Basic Data Visualisation
  • Week 4: Data Import
  • Week 5: Data Relations
  • Week 6: Data Tidying
  • Week 7: Data Wrangling
  • Week 8: Data Summaries
  • Week 9: Customising Visualisations
  • Week 10: Advanced Reports


Formative quizzes and exercises will be provided throughout the semester to consolidate learning. Feedback will be provided via Moodle quiz feedback functions and by providing the solutions to formative exercises. Students will produce one individual project output (1000 words and associated code) weighted at 100%. Students will choose from datasets made available by the course team and will produce a reproducible report, presentation, or dashboard that includes summary tables and plots appropriate to the data.

Meet the teaching team

This course is designed and delivered by Dr Emily Nordmann and Prof. Lisa DeBruine. Emily is a Senior Lecturer and Year 1 Lead for Psychology at the University of Glasgow and has taught programming to beginners since 2017. In 2020, Emily was awarded the College of Science and Engineering Award for Individual Excellence in Teaching as well as being named Higher Education Teacher of the Year by the British Psychological Society. Lisa teaches coding to postgraduate students and develops web apps and tools in R for reproducible research. Lisa and Emily are both members of the psyTeachR team, which won the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science's 2021 Mission Award for their contributions to teaching reproducible coding methods.

Course alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all courses as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a course. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

This course is for anyone who needs to create reports from spreadsheets or other data sources in their current employment, or wishes to evidence these skills when applying for a new job. Such data can include customer satisfaction surveys, market data, employee databases, sales records, social media data, or any other type of data an organisation would need to process.

In addition to being immediately useful for anyone who works with data, these skills provide the foundation for both data science in general and a range of more advanced uses of R, such as making interactive web applications or creating online books and websites.

Entry requirements

Educational Requirements

SCQF Level 5 Mathematics (Grade C or above) and SCQF Level 5 English (Grade C or above)

Technical Requirements

Students must have access to a computer on which they can install R and RStudio (preferred), or a computer on which they can access RStudioCloud

How to apply

The next run of this course will begin in January 2023.

Book now

This course costs £799. Learners will get full access to course content, plus UofG Student resources and support. All learners will receive a HEAR Transcript to use to evidence their Continued Professional Development. Learners who successfully pass the course assessment will also gain 10 credits (this is optional).

If you have any questions, please visit our helpdesk