Sport scientists and analysts deal with a variety of large and complex datasets on a daily basis. These datasets may include, for example, athlete tracking data, daily wellness questionnaire responses, race performance data and skilled performance during team-sport matches or training sessions.

In this unit students will learn a programming language (the R environment) to solve complex sport performance questions. The R environment allows for the analysis, modelling, visualisation and communication of sport performance data, in a reproducible and time-efficient manner. This unit will give students exposure to how programming languages can be used to analyse, visualise and communicate sport performance data.

Students will learn how to write code in R, to analyse common sports performance datasets and communicate results by creating interactive visualisations and reports. Students will develop R programming skills that will enable them to work with different data types, to help answer specific sport performance questions and communicate results in a visual, reproducible and time-efficient manner. Students will understand how other programming languages, including Python and SQL, may be advantageous for different sport data situations and complement programming in R.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Compose R code to probe and assess different sports performance data types;  
  2. Compute statistical analysis to interrogate sport performance questions;  
  3. Interpret results and translate into recommendations for coaches, athletes and performance staff;  
  4. Devise interactive visualisations and generate reproducible reports; and,  
  5. Reflect on what programming language is appropriate for different sport performance situations.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Project Students will be given different datasets and asked to import, analyse summary statistics along with code. 30%
Report Students will be given a dataset and asked to produce results and visualisations, along with a written report 35%
Case Study Students will be given an unseen dataset and specific sport performance problem, then asked to import, analyse, visualise and communicate findings 35%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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