Master of Agribusiness
What will I study?
The course focuses on enhancing the specific skills required to make effective business decisions within the context of this unique and complex system.
Gain skill in understanding trends and underlying influences impacting the agribusiness value chain and the global environment. Use methods relevant to business decision making across the core areas of economics, finance and management in the agrifood and fibre context.
Take on subjects such as leadership, financial management for agribusiness through to business strategy, managing risk and project management.
The placement is supplemented by pre- and post-placement classes designed to introduce skills for developing, identifying and articulating employability skills and attributes and linking them to employer requirements. The placement should draw on specific discipline skills associated with the course of enrolment.
Minor research project
This subject enables students to conduct an original research topic under supervision, as approved by an academic project supervisor. The work commitment over the two semesters will be equivalent to lecture and practical based subjects worth 25 points.
The agribusiness specialisation is also offered through the Master and Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Sciences.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Managing Markets12.5
The objectives of this subject are to develop and extend the students understanding of marketing with particular reference to the agribusiness sector. Students will be introduced to the concept of marketing and the importance of building and managing strong customer relationships.
Students will gain an understanding of how to achieve a competitive advantage in the market by targeting the customers they can serve best and ensuring that product consistently meets the needs of the target market.
Agri-organisations rely on organisational leadership as the basis for meeting the challenges of the industry sector and managing a dynamic workplace. Managers require an understanding of the leadership implications of the trends, issues and constraints relevant to their sector.
This subject focuses on the leadership role of managers in small, medium or large organisations involved in the agricultural value chain (e.g. on-farm, in food and fibre processing, professional services, government, or R&D organisations). This includes the traditional role of management, and consideration of different leadership models and current theories of leadership and leadership development for the modern organisation. The subject examines the leaders role related to:
- Organisational culture and values
- Social responsibilities and ethics
- Managing change, creativity and innovation
Students are encouraged to explore their own perceptions and experiences of leadership, and apply these to real-life work examples in agri-organisation contexts.
This subject will cover:
- Management versus leadership, the study of management and leadership, theories of leadership, leadership styles
- Trends, constraints and factors influencing management practice in agribusiness organisations. Organisational values, culture and environment. The global environment
- Followership, place-based leadership, gender and power in leadership, leading teams
- Organisational social responsibility and ethical behaviour
- Leadership and change, transformational leadership qualities, change management
- Models of leadership development in organisations and in agriculture
- Case studies of leadership in agri-organisations
- Financial Management for Agribusiness12.5
Financial Management for Agribusiness
Sound business decision-making in circumstances of incomplete information, risk and uncertainty, requires sound knowledge of the underlying financial situation of a firm. This subject is about understanding the key concepts of financial management enabling the manager to more effectively analyse the current state of a business using key financial statements and to evaluate alternative new investment decisions. Analysing and interpreting financial information, budgeting, investment and finance decisions, valuation and cost analysis under conditions of incomplete knowledge, risk and uncertainty are central emphases of the subject.
- Agribusiness Management Economics12.5
Agribusiness Management Economics
An understanding of the applications of managerial economic theory to solving real world problems is integral to sound business decision-making. Through this subject students will gain an understanding of and ability to apply, key management economic concepts and principles. They will also experience the application of management economics to Australian agribusiness problems through case studies. Students will become familiar with concepts of market equilibrium, demand, supply, theory of the firm, market structure, trade and the impact of government regulation.
- Business Strategy12.5
Students will be exposed to the theory and practice of strategy and will examine the environment within which senior management execute strategic decisions. The subject explores strategy as a mechanism for identifying and realising opportunities for growth. It emphasises the need to bring about the best fit between the firm’s internal capabilities and the business environment in which it operates.
- Managing Risk12.5
Managing risk is fundamental to agribusiness management. The art of managing risk is balancing the consequences of loss and the rewards of profit.
In practical business management - farmers, merchants, and end-users in a food/fibre supply chains are exposed to volatility, particularly supply and price risk. In this subject, the focus is on business decision-making under risk and uncertainty and techniques to manage volatile commodity prices, currency and interest rates.
- Industry Internship12.5
This subject involves completion of a minimum 80 hours work placement integrating academic learning, employability skills and attributes, and an improved knowledge of organisations, workplace culture and career pathways. The placement is supplemented by pre- and post-placement classes designed to introduce skills for developing, identifying and articulating employability skills and attributes and linking them to employer requirements. The placement should draw on specific discipline skills associated with the course of enrolment. Pre-placement seminars will also include consideration of career planning and professional skills. The placement is designed to be a standalone internship not integrated into any other subject.
Students are responsible for identifying a suitable work placement prior to the start of semester, and will be assisted by the Subject Coordinator and Faculty Enrichment Officer. In the semester prior to the placement students should attend Melbourne Careers Centre (MCC) employment preparation seminars and workshops, and access other MCC and Faculty resources to help identify potential host organisations. Students will need to commence their approaches to organisations at least four weeks before the placement. Further information is available on the Faculty website. Placements must be approved by the Subject Coordinator or Faculty Enrichment Officer prior to commencement If students have problems finding a placement they should approach the Subject Coordinator or Faculty Enrichment Officer well in advance of the teaching period.
On completion of the subject, students will have completed and reported on a course-related project in a workplace. They will also have enhanced employability skills including communication, interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving skills, organisation and time-management, and an understanding of career planning and professional development.
- Human Resource Management12.5
Human Resource Management
Managers in both small-medium enterprises and larger organisations require an understanding of the strategic and operational role of human resource management (HRM). It has long been recognised that the effective deployment and development of human resources constitutes one of the key areas of competitive advantage for modern organisations.
The subject introduces principles of strategic HRM for organisations and evaluates models and approaches for the performance of key HRM functions applicable to a large range of agri-food and agri-business organisations across value chains (e.g. farms, processors, professional services, government, R&D organisations). Topics include: human resources planning; job analysis and design; recruitment and selection; managing diversity and work-life balance; performance management; remuneration and reward; training and skills development; industrial relations and workplace health and safety; human resources leadership.
The subject builds on the Leadership subject (NRMT90017) in identifying the contribution of HRM to organisational development and organisational effectiveness.
- Climate Change:Agric.Impacts&Adaptation12.5
Global food production is facing many challenges to meet current and future demand. Impacts of climate change on agriculture will add stress to our ability to produce enough food for a growing population with fewer resources. Adapting agriculture to climate change to meet these needs is a critical challenge for current and future generations.
This subject will examine the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production and explore adaptation options within various sectors of agriculture and food production. This exploration of adaptation options will include consideration of barriers that may hinder effective adaptation..
- Managing Innovation and Change12.5
Managing Innovation and Change
Students will review theories and case studies of innovation and change in agriculture, food and environmental contexts in order to analyse and consider the design, delivery and evaluation of innovation systems. The subject will provide students with an understanding of how and why innovation is generated, as well as the roles of different agents in innovation systems. Students will examine the roles and skills involved in innovation management and analyse case studies of innovation management for improved economic, social and environmental outcomes.
- Project Management12.5
The subject will provide an overview of the management issues associated with initiating, implementing and terminating projects. Particular emphasis will be given to the planning dimension in areas such as project or problem selection, defining project scope, identification of project stakeholders, project scheduling and resource allocation. A range of suitable action research methods will be introduced to complement project management approaches. Project management approaches will be applied to student work related issues or problems, or a range of research related projects.
- Value Chain Analysis12.5
Value Chain Analysis
Food, beverage and fibre value chains are analysed in terms of firm and whole-of-chain performance.
In this subject supply chain and value chain concepts are explained, techniques of mapping and analysing value chains are introduced, and ways of measuring performance are explored. The concepts of chain externalities and chain goods are explained. The subject aims to build capacity to solve problems and make strategic decisions and assess options in logistics, inventory management, location, distribution networks, channel relationships and governance.
- Agricultural and Resource Economics12.5
Agricultural and Resource Economics
This subject covers the economic analysis of agricultural and natural resource use, and social benefit cost analysis of using and conserving natural resources.
- Minor Research Project25
Minor Research Project
This subject enables students to conduct an original research topic under supervision, as approved by an academic project supervisor. The work commitment over one semester will be equivalent to lecture and practical based subjects worth 25 points. The content and extent of the project will be determined by a project supervisor in consultation with the student and subject coordinator. Students are strongly encouraged to initiate project ideas within existing networks or to identify a project topic of keen interest, through discussion with Faculty staff, prior to subject commencement. The project represents a capstone subject and comprises a review of a body of relevant literature, together with a critical evaluation of research or experimental protocols, a modest original experiment, or limited exploration of a scientific problem, or an investigation into a problem using an approved methodology. Following an initial workshop to establish subject expectations, deliverables and skill base requirements, projects will generally involve regular meetings with their supervisor where students report on progress, difficulties and research plans. Other workshops will deliver skill development in oral and written report presentation.
- Minor Research Project Part 112.5
Minor Research Project Part 1
The work will include a project proposal, researching an area of importance to an Agricultural industry. This will include a brief review of the body of scientific literature to provide context and rationale, together with an approach or protocol for a modest original experiment, or a limited exploration of a scientific problem. The proposal is a hurdle requirement and a pass (30% or more) is required to continue with this subject. Final reports and oral presentations will occur at the end of semester and orals will involve a mini-symposium where findings will be presented to project stakeholders and the student cohort.
Projects may involve regular 1-hour discussion groups where students report on progress, any problems and ongoing plans.
- Minor Research Project Part 212.5