Elements of Data Science

Understand how to automate data gathering, analysis and reporting to gain insights, contribute to strategic discussions and make data-driven decisions.
man in front of computer

In this course, you will gain practical experience across the data science pipeline by learning the basics of the coding language R and the Tidyverse. You will work with tabular data and by the end of it, you will be able to create reports using R markdown where code and text smoothly coexist.

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Who is the target audience?

Elements of Data Science is for those who already work with structured data—spreadsheets and data tables—and who need to understand how to automate data workflows to gain insights, contribute to strategic discussions and make data-driven decisions.

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Why should you enroll?

More than 75% of companies are looking to adopt data-driven technologies in the next five years. Basic data literacy is becoming a requirement across functions and levels. This is not just for career advancement, but increasingly for job security.

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Join a free class

Join us for a complimentary online session where we will provide a high-level overview of how to automate data to gain insights and how to produce data-driven storytelling, including an overview of the online courses available to gain these sought-after skills.

  Interested in learning more about our programs? 

Course curriculum

The Elements of Data Science course gives you the essential knowledge, vocabulary and skills for data management and communication. With video trainings, written lessons and hands-on exercises, you’ll gain a broad understanding of the tools and techniques used to work with data.

What is Data: Learn about data types, structures and frameworks

Interacting with Data: Understanding how data is used and how to use data

Storing & Structuring Data: Importing, cleaning and exporting tabular datasets

Cleaning Data: Working with messy or incomplete data sets

Analyzing Data: Gaining insights on data using tables and visualisation

Visualizing Data: Best practices and tools for data visualization and presentation, with ggplot2 and R Markdown

What’s Next?
Learners who complete the Elements of Data Science course can choose to continue their upskilling journey with the Foundations of Data Science course by starting the course where they left off in Elements of Data Science.

Online Learning Experience

There’s never been a better time to learn online. Gain access to EPFL’s world-class continuing education programs tailored to your needs from anywhere in the world.

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Learn online, learn at your own pace

This course consists of approximately 35 hours of learning material, instructor-led coaching and hands-on project work.

There are no fixed start dates and you can learn at your own pace online (no onsite presence required).

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Job-ready skills with an EPFL certificate

The course equips learners with real-world applicable skills commonly sought by employers  looking to recruit tech-savvy candidates. Learners put their new skill-set to use as they create automated reports using R markdown for the final course project. All graduates will earn an EPFL certificate.

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Personalized support and coaching

Each subscription provides 24/7 access to our own learning platform and includes:

  • weekly one to one video coaching sessions with EPFL instructors
  • Q&A forum managed by EPFL instructors
  • personalized feedback on your assignments


This course is taught at a beginner level. We suggest you have the following tools, skills and abilities before registering for this course:

  • English at B1 level
  • A computer with a webcam, microphone and a stable internet connection

The monthly subscription fee is CHF 390.-

Please contact us if you would like to request a quote or to pay a flat fee for the duration of the course: [email protected]

The course is estimated at 35 hours. Your completion time will depend on how much time you can dedicate to your learning experience each day/week/month.

All of our programs consist of video trainings, written lessons and hands-on exercises. This course, like all the courses and programs at the Extension School, is based on hands-on project work. The course projects are based on the learning materials provided in the course and give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have acquired the skills taught in the program

Our course and programs are all self-paced; as such you can start learning immediately. Simply create your learner account using the link below to get the ball rolling:

Please note that we do reserve the right to limit the number of enrollments at any given time to ensure that our course instructors are in a position to provide the high-quality and personalized support that each of our learners deserve. If this is the case you will be informed about the next available start date.    

You’ll be taken to our secure enrollment site, where you will need to provide the following information:

  • Personal information including your name, current address and date of birth;
  • Valid credit card details;
  • Valid form of government-issued, photo ID that matches your registration name. In general, we accept passports and driver’s licenses.

Ready to start learning?


A dedicated team of lifelong learning specialists are ready to accompany you throughout your journey at EPFL! Don’t hesitate to contact us.

EPFL Extension School
EPFL Innovation Park
Building E
1015 Lausanne

[email protected]

+41 21 695 51 46

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