Using R:  Environmental and Agriculture Applications - SCIEN505

This micro-credential introduces students to data collection and statistical data analysis using R and R studio, and focuses in detail on a set of specific methods relevant to obtaining non-market value information. The specific context of the examples used are relevant to research and data analysis in environmental and agricultural science, and environmental and agricultural economics, and environmental management.

Students first learn to recognise the appropriate statistical technique for different types of data, and also learn how to obtain and interpret results using the R software platform. Methods such as ANOVA, linear regression, generalised linear regression, non-linear least squares, and non-parametric methods are explained and illustrated in the online lectures. Students are also introduced to basic programming concepts that allow R to be used to automate repetitive data management and analysis tasks; the advanced graphics capacity of R; and the workflow for reproducible report generation. Emphasis is placed on learning through the completion of practical computer based exercises.

The second part of the course focuses on the specific methods that can be used to obtain non-market values for environmental assets, with a focus on agricultural and environmental trade-offs. Questions that are answered include questions such as what is the community willingness-to-pay to ensure that farmers fence and maintain remnant vegetation; what is the value of a recreational park or fishing area to the community; and what is the value of public open space. In the second part of the course emphasis is placed on learning through reproducing the results from published research studies.

This micro-credential provides students with a deep understanding of the major methods of classical statistics, with agriculture and environment applications, and provides students with the skills and confidence to undertake independent statistical analysis. Additionally, it provides students with the knowledge and skills to undertake a wide range of non-market valuation studies.

This micro-credential was developed with the support of the Australian Government's Micro-credential Pilot in Higher Education

Upon successful completion, you'll receive:

  • Twelve (12) PD Points
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials
Delivery mode
Course dates
  • 22 July - 1 November 2024 [MC-2C]
  • 22 July - 13 June 2025 [MC-2Y]

  • Duration
    12 or 24 weeks
    300 hours
    Academic lead
    Associate Professor James Fogarty 
    Thanks to a Microcredentials Pilot in Higher Education grant this 12 point micro-credential will be offered on a fee-free basis.

    Critical information summary

    SCIEN505 - Critical information summary (PDF, 245KB)

    Collect, manage and interpret observational and experimental data relevant to agricultural and environmental applications

    Formulate testable hypotheses and use appropriate statistics to test them

    Use R/RStudio to prepare professional high quality reports that integrate data analysis, graphics, and general reporting;

    Analyse survey data to obtain willingness-to-pay estimates for environmental assets, and evaluate the quality of estimates

    Design survey instruments that can be used to obtain non-market values

    Notebook and a workspace 

    Why study this course?

    • Gain a deep understanding of the major methods of classical statistics, with agriculture and environment applications
    • Become equipped with the the knowledge and skills to undertake a wide range of non-market valuation studies
    • Gain the skills and confidence to undertake independent statistical analysis

    Who should study this course?

    This micro-credential is relevant to anyone working in agriculture or environmental economics, or environmental management.

    Recommended prior knowledge:
    This micro-credential assumes no prior knowledge.

    How does it work?

    This course is online. Each week students are provided with a set of recorded lecture and a set of worked exercises that map to the content covered in the lectures. There is then a set of practice questions directly related to the content covered in the worked examples. There is a discussion board to post questions, and a weekly live online drop-in session that is open to anyone that has any questions on the content question. The course has a dedicated website with example code.

    What's next after this course?

    Students will be provided with 12 points credit that can be used toward two specific 6 point units in the following programs:  Master Agricultural Science; Master Environmental Science; Master Environmental Economics; and Master of Agribusiness.

    For other postgraduate courses at students will be able to apply for unspecified credit, where the 12 point micro-credential will substitute for two 6 point electives, or depending on the specific program, core statistics units.


    Registrations are open.

    Please click here to register for this micro-credential.