ACE3012 : Advanced Agri-Business Management

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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 theorectical 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Preparation for management simulation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation for oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation for essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:007:00Revision and cmpletion of Semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical71:007:00Students work in teams to submit decisions for entry into simulation and receive feedback
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching132:0026:00Students work in groups to prepare decisions about the management of a virtual company
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity320:0060:00Groupwork analysing feedback from previous decisions and preparing for the next set of decisions
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity129:0029:00Students work in groups preparing management accounts to aid decision making for business simulation
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 teamworking, 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 eachother 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 endevours.

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
Essay2M101000 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Individual oral presentation
Prob solv exercises2M50Students must work in groups across two semesters to manage a virtual business, integrative decisions are made for 12 iterations
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.
The Individual oral presentation to their peer group, on a business topic of students choice, is designed to develop and test students' oral and presentational skills in a live environment, the use of a negotiated mark amalgamating their self marking of the video of their own presentation, with the assessment panel mark, promotes deeper self awareness of presentation/communication skills.
The Integrated Management Simulation is designed to develop the ability to take integrated managerial decisions in a team based environment, encompassing marketing, production planning, logistics, HRM and 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. 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