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NES3103 : Advanced Agri-Business Management

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Albert Boaitey
  • 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 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to stimulate students interest in advanced corporate business management concepts and their practical application. Thus the purpose of this module is twofold:
1) to enhance your business decision making and reporting skills, using a market simulation tool. This will be
covered in the Autumn Semester.
2) To introduce advanced corporate management strategy topics and current issues in agribusiness business
management, in the Spring Semester.
In the first part of the module students will be required to work in groups developing appropriate transferable skills by managing a virtual business in order to facilitate student career development in management. In the second they will have more theoretical foundations of corporate business management.

Outline Of Syllabus

In the first semester the students will work in groups and using TOPAZ (a business simulation plaform) and run a virtual business for 12 quarters making decisions on the following aspects of business strategy:
•       HRM, i.e. human resources management
•       Manufacturing
•       Marketing
•       Finance

Then, in the second semester, the following topics in business corporate strategy will be covered:
•       Introduction to Agribusiness corporate management
•       Competitive advantage and firm performance
•       Assessing the Market and the firm Environment
•       Business strategies 1: Cost leadership
•       Business strategies 2: Product differentiation
•       Case study TBA and essay assignment
•       Corporate Strategy 1: Vertical integration vs. diversification
•       Corporate Strategy 2: Strategic alliance vs Mergers and acquisitions
Current issues in Agribusiness management, for example:
•       Agribusiness ethics
•       Innovation and technology
•       Sustainability and the triple bottom line

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Working on Portfolio
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Present in person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching261:0026:00Present in person small group teaching
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion161:0016:00Present in person discussion
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity711:0071:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion161:0016:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will use lectures, case studies and small group teaching to illustrate approaches taken by managers to resolve complex issues/problems in actual business situations.

Examples of corporate decisions aid the development of the cognitive skills required to facilitate integrated decision making.

A competitive business simulation is used to develop business analytical skills, self awareness, and awareness of the benefits and limitations of team-working, as well as providing a virtual framework upon which, students practise and evaluate their integrated management capabilities. By working together in groups to compete with each other in the business simulation, the students learn the value of acquiring business intelligence, and the necessity to become very familiar with the factors affecting the performance of a business. The regular nature of the scheduled decisions with planned periods of feedback and reflection encourage an acute awareness of the limits of their own skills and those of others, and the methods available to optimise these resources to maximise the output and results of their endeavours.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A30N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M60Final Share Value, Group Presentation to Board (20 mins), 3 ann rpts (min 500 words)
Oral Examination2M10Individual Presentation (10 mins)
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
Essay2M1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen written examination is designed to test knowledge and application of advanced management concepts, and the essay is designed to test students comprehension of advanced management concepts and their written communication skills on advanced management topics and to provide feedback in advance of the examination.

The Individual oral presentation to their peer group, on a business topic of students choice, is designed to develop and test students' oral and presentation skills in a live environment with video capture, the use of negotiation of a final mark for the video of their own performance, between their self-mark, and that of the assessment panel, promotes deeper self awareness of presentation/communication and negotiation skills.

The Integrated Management Simulation (portfolio) is designed to develop the ability to take integrated managerial decisions(both strategic and operational, in a team based environment, encompassing marketing, production planning, logistics, HRM, finance, and effective team-working. The students will develop a deeper understanding of the limitations and advantages of working in a team towards a common business objective, and the intimate relationship between strategic and operational decision-making. They will experience the disappointments of making errors but will have the feedback and support to allow this to become a very positive learning experience.

Reading Lists