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Essentials Plus

Essentials Plus 2018 will offer a broad range of courses for market and social researchers.

The courses cover key aspects of our profession – spanning both qualitative and quantitative research, and with a focus on subjects and content that are directly applicable. Essentials Plus will deliver valuable new knowledge and skills so that delegates can keep pace with a rapidly changing marketplace.

Each course will be 4 hours long with a focus on delivering practical skills with a short-burst duration. Courses will be delivered face-to-face in one central location to maximise the quality of learning and to facilitate interaction between class members. This concentrated learning experience will deliver maximum knowledge in the minimum time in recognition of the time demands on today’s research professional.

To encourage members located outside NSW to participate, discounts are offered to help offset the cost of interstate travel.


Both qualitative and quantitative topics covered.

You can mix and match to meet your learning needs.

You can choose a topic from each half day’s offerings to meet your individual requirements. Attend 1 or more sessions.



Who should be attending?

Research practitioners who are seeking to gain maximum input on acquiring up-to-date knowledge and skills with a minimal time commitment. The course structure enables tailoring of course selection to meet individual needs.


Key benefits

Upon completion, participants in this program will have gained:

  • An increased understanding and knowledge in an important research domain
  • knowledge of both the foundation and new approaches for undertaking market and social research;
  • an enhanced perspective on the emerging and ever-changing role of the researcher in today’s marketplace;
  • an expanded peer network through participation in group exercises; and
  • improved ability to deliver results through an extended skill set and broader understanding of the various techniques used in their chosen study area.


QPMR – 25 points per half-day course

The program provides delegates with an opportunity to extend their knowledge, interact with their peers and at the same time meet the QPMR scheme’s requirements for ongoing professional development.



Course details

Foundation statistics for research
with Stephen Prendergast 

This foundation course covers the core statistical applications that are used regularly by quantitative market and social researchers.

It starts with important concepts such as data types, distributions, means, medians, and sampling error. This provides a foundation for understanding and performing the following important analysis; confidence intervals, tests of significance, survey sample size required, the impact of weighting and small populations. Survey sampling using online panels would be discussed.

The course utilises the AMSRS Statistics Toolbox to illustrate key techniques. Past course attendees have commented how useful this workbook is in their day-to-day work.

Who should attend: all those who require and basic understanding of statistics and its various applications in market and social research. This could include qualitative researchers, quantitative market researchers that do not have a background in statistics or anyone who would like a refresher on the basics.


Introduction to Multivariate Statistics for research
with Stephen Prendergast

This course would focus on three of the most common multivariate methods to provide a base understanding of the purpose and use of multivariate statistics. It would cover:

  • Regression analysis – to explain what drives key outcomes of interest
  • Factor analysis – to explain how survey measures ladder up to higher concepts
  • Correspondence analysis – to show how perceptions or measures relate to each other in a “map form” to simplify understanding.

The course will focus on typical market and social research examples and cases, allowing participants to learn the principles in a practical way, and importantly, to learn when to apply these methods.

Attendees are expected to already have an understanding of basic statistics such as means, correlation and statistical testing.


Qualitative data collection
with Tim Biddlecombe

This course will examine the broad spectrum of qualitative research skills and tools that are used in the many ‘channels’ of target audience engagement. These will cover both the traditional and digital/online domains.

The different approaches of data collection, e.g. real time, over time, in-depths, groups, diaries, ethnography, will be examined in terms of the ‘how to’s’ (e.g. when to apply, key skills and moderation techniques) as well as the ‘what with’s’ (e.g. examples of platforms, technologies, etc).

Content will also include the value of multi-media, the building of research communities and insights and examples of online data analytics in relation to qualitative research. The session will be engaging and practical.

Qualitative Data Analysis
with Tim Biddlecombe

The objective of this course is to assist qualitative researchers to sharpen and develop their skills in analysing qualitative information. It draws on the course facilitator’s experience of producing and analysing qualitative data over many years as well as on current thinking on qualitative analysis techniques from both here and overseas.


Participants will gain exposure to processes, models and frameworks for analysis and interpretation of qualitative data and access to a range of tools designed to ensure qualitative research goes beyond ‘what people said’ to delivering strategic guidance to our clients.

There are no “magic bullets” to analysis, but there are disciplined ways to go about thinking and this is a key outcome from this course



Stephen Prendergast

Stephen has 30 years’ experience in market research and management consulting. In 2004 he founded Prescience Research, a Melbourne based quantitative research and modelling consultancy. He consults to some of Australia’s largest organisations. Prior to that he worked with Open Mind, Wallis Consulting Group, DBM, Millward Brown, and Sutherland Smith.  Earlier on he was a management consultant with KPMG and a paint development scientist with Dulux Australia.

Stephen is well known for his thoughtful use of mathematical and statistical models as a bridge to better and confident decision making. He has applied these methods in a variety of fields including customer service and loyalty studies, advertising response, brand health tracking and time series analysis, customer segmentation, data mining and demand estimation methods such as choice modelling, conjoint analysis and simulated test markets.

Stephen has also lectured at Monash University on Marketing Models and Market Research at, and written articles on statistics and Marketing support software for MacNews.

Stephen has an honours degree in Applied Science from University of Melbourne, a marketing degree from Monash University, and is a Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR). He has received post-graduate training in choice modelling, marketing models, general linear models and structural equation modelling.


Tim Biddlecombe

Tim Biddlecombe (B.Sc., QPMR) has over 25 years’ experience in market research. London born, he trained at MIL, then onto Harris, MaS and Plastow Research in the UK before joining Frank Small & Associates, in Sydney, in 1989. He co-founded the Leading Edge in 1990. Together with Derek Leddie, they built TLE from just 2 to 90 employees by the time Tim exited in late 2000. He then founded Arnold & Bolingbroke (Asia) and, working with key partners, built another very successful research company in Sydney, servicing the APAC region. 

Tim is now Principal and Director of TJB Strategies. Tim is very much a hand–on researcher with a passion for qualitative research. He conducts numerous studies in Australia and key global markets each year.


Course Costs

Not a member? Save on your Essentials Plus costs by joining the AMSRS before you register. Apply online at

Travel & Accommodation

Visit, or to arrange your flights to Sydney.

For more information on Sydney and nearby accommodation visit


For further information about Essentials Plus 2018 email:


Registration Details: Essentials Plus 2018 is a half -day intensive learning program for research professionals of all levels. It will be conducted at the Grace Hotel Sydney NSW. Registration fees include GST, tuition, program materials and catering during courses.


Closing Dates: The closing date for registrations is 25 May 2018

Early Bird Booking deadline: 11 May 2018

Late registrations will be considered, depending on the availability of places as numbers are limited to 25 participants per workshop.

Cancellation Policy: Due to the considerable administration and course material costs associated with this program, a fee equivalent to 10% of the registration fee will be incurred should confirmed bookings be cancelled prior to 25 May 2018.

Cancellations after 25 May 2018 will not be granted a refund. A substitute participant is welcome and in this instance a cancellation fee will not apply. All requests for cancellations or substitutions MUST be made in writing to the Society PRIOR TO THE EVENT and accompanied by written acknowledgement from AMSRS.

Privacy Notification: AMSRS acknowledges and respects the privacy of individuals. We advise that the information you provide during registration is ‘personal information’ as defined by the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (the ‘Act’). This information is being collected for the purpose of processing your registration. The intended recipient of the information is the AMSRS only and will be used to inform you of Society activities unless you specify that you do not want to receive this information. The information in this brochure was correct at the time of printing [March 2018]. However, it may be subject to change in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Please check our website - - for current details.

3% surcharge applies for AMEX and Diners cards