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ACE3024 : Farm Business Consultancy

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jeremy Robert Franks
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide knowledge and understanding of the management control systems used in crop and livestock enterprises and at the whole farm level. The module deals with strategic planning of the business, the compilation of feasibility studies and development of business plans. The module covers the principles and practice of farm enterprise management through recording, monitoring and controlling crop and livestock enterprises, with the principal aim of identifying and implementing improvements in performance.

Outline Of Syllabus

Arable and livestock management on NUFarms. This involves planning rotations, assessing crop and livestock enterprise profitability, staff planning and machinery inventories, depreciation and replacement schedules.
Whole-farm planning includes use of SWOT analysis to inform strategic planning decisions, and cost-benefit analysis (partial-budgets) to inform feasibility studies
The module will also cover benchmarking performance and construction of cash flow and profit and loss budgets.
Additional subjects covered include: personnel management and land and farming agreements.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture202:0040:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00A compulsory assessment based on developing a farm business. (S2)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Assessment based on NUFarms (S1)
Guided Independent StudySkills practice202:3050:00Formative assessments: students work through these exercises in their own time
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork112:0012:00This includes preparation for the farm visit and travel to the farm.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:00Farm visits - one in each semester
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In class lectures are used to introduce concepts of business planning at both enterprise and whole-business levels. Student led workshops within these classes allow students to practise presenting the application of the concepts. These workshops will assist students in completing the module assessments. Field work (farm) visits will assist students to integrate the theoretical principals taught in the classroom with practical considerations faced by farm managers and be used to under-pin the module assessments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M20A report and presentation of either an arable or livestock enterprise. Individual or team work - Max 1,250 words.
Report2M80Whole farm business assessment involving major changes and developments to a farm business. Team work, max 1,750 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MThese weekly (non-assessed) tasks will lead the students towards, and help them complete the NUFams exercise.
Prof skill assessmnt2MThese weekly (non-assessed) tasks will lead the students through the whole farm assessment exercise.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The lecture material and weekly (non-assessed) exercises help to reinforce students' knowledge and to help them to integrate farm enterprise knowledge with analytical and business planning techniques to produce a range of management reports covering both individual farm enterprises and whole-farm developments.

Reading Lists