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NES2002 : Farm Business Management

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jeremy Robert Franks
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of this module are

To incorporate financial information that builds on and complements Stage 1 modules which introduce agricultural production systems, examine how different farming systems use resources (land, labour, management and capital), and examine issues related to sustainability.

To introduce the main methods managers use to combine key resources to build profitable farm businesses.

To introduce farm business accounts (including, Profit and Loss Account, Balance Sheet, and Net Cash Flow).

To demonstrate techniques farm managers use to maintain financial control of a farm enterprise and business, including benchmarking performance, cash flow budgeting, financial appraisal, and the use of other management accounts.

Cover policy developments and the impact of the change in policies on farm business performance (e.g, the withdrawal of basic payment scheme payment and the introdution of new environmental schemes, and grant schemes.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will introduce basic farming budget techniques, including enterprise and farm gross and net margins, variable and fixed (overhead) costs. It will discuss issues related to surplus capacity, economies of scale and of scope, and the challenges balancing resources with needs brings to managers of farm businesses.

It will consider how farmers can maintain control of their business by benchmarking performance against industry standards.

The module will introduce recording and management of cash flow and how cash flow is reconciled with Profit and Loss accounts.

The module will cover the concepts and mechanisms used to calculate depreciation.

The module will also introduce balance sheets.

Students will be given the opportunity to construct cash flow budgets, profit and loss accounts, and balance sheets.

The basic farm support mechanisms will be introduced and assessed. This will cover the changes made during the seven-year Transition Period as UK Agricultural policy replaces the Common Agricultural Policy. This covers the withdrawal of Basic Payment Scheme payments, and the introduction of the new agri-environment scheme - Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) and grant support schemes.

It will discuss the impacts of these changes on farm businesses, and how managers can adjust their farming strategies to take advantage of these changes in support payments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00End of module examination and student preparation time
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities222:0044:00Weekly (non-assessed) exercises related to the lecture that week.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork14:004:00Farm visit for valuation exercise
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study16:006:00related to weekly lecture (student time includes their preparation time for the visit)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

All classes will be delivered person to person in lecture theatres or on farm. Lectures will include a wide range of activities, including group work and individual work. Lectures are designed to help students meet the challenges set by the valuation assessed exercise end of end of semester closed book examination.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A100Formal (summative) examination will be set at the end of the module.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MStudents are invited to submit specimen answers to questions available in previous exam papers. These will be marked and returned to students with appropriate feedback
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Rational for formative assessment

The formative assessment will provide students with feedback on the best way to structure exam answers and the on the information students need to provide to achieve a higher mark. This is particularly important to assist students in developing their exam technique.

Rational for summative assessment

This module will be examined by a single examination as I believe this is the best way to test student's knowledge of the full taught syllabus.

Reading Lists