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The University of Southampton

STAT6119 Data Visualisation

Module Overview

Data visualisation is the process of summarising and communicating the information in a dataset through graphics. This course examines what makes good visualisations, and how this depends on the audience and purpose of the visualisation and the type of data being displayed. The link between good graphics and an understanding of human perceptual and information-processing capacities are discussed. These principles are put into practice by using the R programming language to construct and deploy high quality visualisations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles of information design;
  • the principles of interaction design.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically assess different methods of data visualisation and select one appropriate for a particular purpose and audience.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • interpret and criticise data visualisations, and identify those that are misleading.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • construct effective data visualisations, including both static and interactive visualisations.


- Principles of information design - Graphical typology - Tools for data visualisation - The grammar of graphics - Principles of interaction design - Visualisation on the web - Interactive visualisation in R and Shiny - Report automation and dashboards using R and markdown.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of methods will be used including lectures and computer workshops in the R statistical programming language, mixed in a 5 day course designed for students on release from the workplace. Students are also expected to read wider than the lecture material as part of their individual study, and to critically appraise different approaches.

Independent Study73
Total study time100


Assessment Strategy

100% Coursework


MethodPercentage contribution
Project  (2500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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