Master-class March 2019: Moderating Focus Groups

A course for those of you already familiar with qualitative research who want to futher your understanding around the mechanics of setting up a focus group based research project, and the skills and practicalities of moderating focus groups. Held in ACSPRI's Melbourne office.



Thursday, March 28, 2019 - Friday, March 29, 2019
Early bird cutoff date: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Course details:

This course is for those already familiar with qualitative research, and looking to further their understanding around the mechanics of setting up a focus group based research project, and the skills and practicalities of moderating focus groups.

Master Class - runs over 2 days

Bianca Plunkett is an experienced qualitative researcher, and with over 15 years in the industry, has spent well over a thousand hours facilitating focus group discussions. In this time Bianca has worked across several different industries in both commercial and government sectors. Her passion is qualitative research and understanding consumer behaviour and motivations.

Bianca has extensive experience across a range of different research areas including customer satisfaction research, branding research & strategy, advertising & concept testing studies, consumer usage and attitude studies, segmentation studies, retail assessment & disruption research, new product development research and motivational research. Her varied experience and hands on approach has gained Bianca a reputation for tackling complicated and intricate business issues with her clients entrusting her to design the best research approach to meet their needs.

Bianca has developed this course to impart on participants the practical skills she has honed as a qualitative research moderator.

Course dates: Thursday 28 March 2019 - Friday 29 March 2019
Course status: Course completed (no new applicants)
Week 1
About this course: 

This two-day hands on course will give participants an understanding of how to set-up and implement a focus group based research methodology. It aims to equip participants with the skills and techniques necessary to both construct and facilitate a focus group based project to a high standard. These skills are also transferrable to those who may be responsible for commissioning and overseeing qualitative research. 


Focus groups are an ideal forum for gathering information, however understanding when and how to use them is only half of the challenge! A well set-up and facilitated focus group enables participants to discuss issues of relevance to the researcher in a free and easy manner and yields information with both depth and breadth. The ability of the researcher to set-up the appropriate line of questioning and their skills in implementing the questions plays a big role in the success of any group discussion


Course syllabus: 

Over the two day course, the following will be covered...


  • Understanding the benefits of a group based methodology
  • Sample design and group set-up
  • Questioning techniques and understanding different types of questions
  • Moderation skills and group dynamics 
  • Understanding and using non verbal cues
  • Projective techniques - what are they and when should they be used
  • Specific examples of some projective techniques and how to use them
  • Writing and moderating with your discussion guide
  • Project logistics and etiquette - the practicalities
  • Practical experience moderating or participating in a mini focus group
Course format: 

This two day master-class will be held in the ACSPRI Office in Melbourne.

Recommended Texts: 

There is no pre-reading for this course, however course notes will be provided. 

Course fees
Non Member: 
Full time student Member: 
Participant feedback: 

Bianca’s business experience & examples shined though very clearly. The course was fantastic because she emphasized practical application and provided lots of ”how too” (2017)


Provides a formal structure in which to conduct a focus group in addition to tips, techniques best practice from real world experience research (2017)


Bianca was a great teacher - very dear, helpful, resourceful and friendly (2017)


The ACSPRI Head Office was previously located at 763 Heidelberg Road, Alphington