This course is designed for those who will be joining a third year Research Methods and Statistics (RMS) course and covers a number of introductions to topics which are core to statistical analysis in psychology and beyond. You will find here an introduction to R as a tool to analyse data, visualize it and to use it for a very very basic analysis of the relationships in your data. It will further revise some of the most commonly used statistical tests and provide you with a guidance how to set up and interpret them in R.

We reccomend to you use a textbook by Danielle Navarro as the main reference. Parts IV and V are probably the most useful for you to read and practice.

Install R

If this is your first time dealing with R, we may need to ask you to get the installation of R sorted. If have R already installed, make sure to update your R in case you have not used it for a while:

Installation Steps

  • Install R using one of CRAN mirrors MAC users get one here (choose R 3.6.0 or 3.3.3) Windows get one here

  • Install RStudio ( after R set up is done) -> https://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/download/ -> Choose Rstudio desktop and then choose either: RStudio 1.2.1335 - Windows 7+ (64-bit) RStudio 1.2.1335 - Mac OS X 10.12+ (64-bit)

Open RStudio (no need to open R itself, it will live there as a substance behind you RStudio interface) - start exploring!

If you have time , try to practice a bit of R using swirl() - which is kind of a robot which will talk to you and make you do some things in R, just to try :)

Data sets

Each section will have a selection of datasets that we will use either for illustration or for practical exercises that you can attempt at your own time.


To ensure that this intoduction is actually useful, you are expected to attempt the exercises presented in the materials in your own time. You may also find that some of the materials will be more useful for you than others, yet do not skip the rest. All of these make up a very good overview of fundamentals which will be relevant not just for passing RMS modules but for your dissertation work or even future career. Even if you think you already know introductory parts, still do check the materials as you may learn few new things.

List of extra resources

You can find a list of resources that can help you to take an in depth look at materials we covered in your own time or just glimpse at some advanced things you will be able to learn after taking RMS modules.


The content of these materials was partially adapted from work by colleagues at Edinburgh as a part of statistics curriculum provision at both UG and PG levels, where material was adapted from other resources, these were cited in text. If you have any comments/feedback just get in touch and let us know!

Last, but not least

The book was created using brilliant book down, if you want to learn how to build one, have a look here: its quite easy and fun!