Units of study for the MBA and Graduate Diploma in Business Administration

Table of postgraduate units of study: Master of Business Administration

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Core units of study

SMBA6001
Leadership Practice and Development
6      Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6002
Strategies for Growth
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6003
Data Analytics and Modelling
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6004
Financial Management
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6005
Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Intensive November
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6006
Innovation in Strategic Marketing
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6007
Managing People and Organisations
6    C SMBA6001
N MMGT6004


MBA primer
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2

Elective units of study

Students complete 24 credit points in elective units.
SMBA6101
International Business Project
12    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6102
Individual Company Project
12    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6103
Expert Topic A
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6104
Expert Topic B
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6106
Innovation and Corporate Venturing
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6107
Financial Strategy
6    A MBA Primers
P Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6108
Leading Project Management
6    A MBA Primers
P Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6109
Managing with Technology
6    P Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2

Capstone unit of study

SMBA6201
Business Capstone: Lean Start-up
6    A MBA Primers
P Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers

Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Students must complete this unit in their final semester of study.
Intensive July
Semester 1
Semester 2

Unit of study descriptions for the MBA and the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration

SMBA6001 Leadership Practice and Development

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Mike Jenner Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Intensive - 8 x full-day participatory seminars and workshops over semester Assessment: Peer feedback and bonuses (30%), action plan (10%), reflective best self (5%), ideal job summary (5%), attendance, participation and contribution to knowledge base (15%), coaching programming (35%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Sound leadership is more important than ever for today's organisations and is therefore a major component of this MBA programme. To date, leadership has not been particularly well-taught because of the over-emphasis of the descriptive characteristics of certain celebrity leaders and the under-emphasis of training and practicing as leaders. This unit of study teaches leadership in a fundamentally different way through training and developing students on specific leadership skills in small groups. The emphasis is on learning by doing so that students receive regular and ongoing feedback on their leadership competencies such as motivating, listening, receiving feedback, team work, delegating and confronting. By the end of the course, students will be equipped with a breadth and depth of fundamental leadership skills which they will be able to apply on a daily basis in their workplace. There will also have a sound grasp of how these leadership skills relate to a body of knowledge from classical and contemporary theories of leadership.
SMBA6002 Strategies for Growth

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Marc Jones Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 4 hr lecture/workshop per week Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Individual strategic analysis (60%), group strategy execution presentation and evaluation (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
The increasing incidence of disruptive change has created a new world of strategy. To compete effectively, managers need to be adept at identifying shifts in market needs, be able to develop innovative solutions to these needs and to rapidly execute, and if necessary abandon, new strategies. In other words they need to be strategically agile. In this unit of study you will examine how organisations can reshape and rethink their business models in response to changes in technology and market structure, key factors associated with successful rapid implementation of strategic responses to changes in market conditions and how the effective use of information can help enhance strategic agility. With significant input from leading industry figures, this unit of study will give you hands on and practical experience at applying theory to real world situations and at identifying innovative strategic responses to shifts in market conditions.
SMBA6003 Data Analytics and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Tony Webber Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 4hr evening lecture/workshop per week Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Group assignment (30%), individual assignment (30%), and final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
One of the most significant developments associated with the digital revolution is the increased availability of data. For managers and leaders in contemporary organisations, the ability to effectively analyse and draw useful inferences from data is critical. It is also important that managers can communicate complex interrelationships found in the data to senior management in a way that maximises the possibility that it can lead to favourable and sustainable change. Access to and use of data is critical to organisations in their need to effectively respond to a more volatile economic and financial environment, and Government intervention and regulation.
Superior data analytic and modelling capabilities are increasingly seen as a source of competitive advantage, both for business and for employees working within business. This unit of study can deliver this competitive advantage in at least six distinct ways - (1) it will reveal the type of "internal" data that an organisation must compile for effective decision making; (2) it will identify the "external" data that must be used in combination with the internal data, and where that external data is sourced; (3) it will analyse the tools and modelling techniques that can be used to draw timely and relevant insights from a range of different forms of data; (5) it will examine how these tools and modelling techniques can be practically applied across a range of organisational settings; and (6) it will demonstrate how any findings should be communicated to time poor senior management. As part of this unit of study students will be given the opportunity to work with real world data sets and case studies, and to apply those data sets to their own and other organisations.
SMBA6004 Financial Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Guy Ford Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 4hr lecture/workshop per week Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: individual assignment (50%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study will provide students with insight and understanding of the role that financial management can play in developing and executing effective strategies for change. Drawing on research in finance and management accounting, this unit of study will give students an understanding of key financial management tools and techniques that can be used to drive and support change and give them the opportunity to apply these financial management tools to real world case studies. In addition, students enrolled in this unit of study will have the opportunity to gain practical insights from leading industry practitioners, including CFOs, into the financial management practices they use in their organisations.
SMBA6005 Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Richard Hall Session: Intensive July,Intensive November,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Combination 4hr and full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Exam (30%), individual Op Ed thought leadership essay (35%), group video (20%), and individual video reflective report (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
A hallmark of great management is the ability to analyse a situation, make a solid case for a decision and then communicate it persuasively. Those three skills are crucial for effective thought leadership and management. In this unit of study, you will improve your understanding of logical reasoning and rhetoric by developing a better understanding of the use of evidence, by identifying the common fallacies that appear in public and private discussions and debate, and how to argue by analogy. You will also develop your critical communication skills, by learning how to craft vibrant and clear communications that will resonate with your target audiences.
SMBA6006 Innovation in Strategic Marketing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Pennie Frow Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Combination 4hr and full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Reflective summary of online simulation (20%), Developing a personal brand (40%), Identifying existing opportunities for value co-creation (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Marketing is at a cross roads in its evolution. Today, marketing strategy is less about focusing on the competition and more about innovating and collaborating within a broad network of relationships. These changes mean a fresh approach to every aspect of marketing - using customer insights, creating value, designing market offerings and implementing marketing strategies. This foundational unit provides a novel approach to strategic marketing, incorporating many practical frameworks with exemplars drawn from a wide variety of managerially relevant contexts.
By the end of this foundational unit, students will have a clear perspective of how marketing relates to other functional areas of the business and they will have a good working knowledge of some practical tools and frameworks to assist them as managers. They will also understand the implications of how marketing is changing, especially in terms of a new generation of technologies that is enabling fresh approaches to strategic marketing.
SMBA6007 Managing People and Organisations

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Rae Cooper, Dr Maurizio Floris Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Combination 4hr and full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Prohibitions: MMGT6004 Assessment: Individual reflective essay (40%), group proposal for Organisational Intervention (60%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: MBA primer
This unit draws a parallel between modern business organisations and other complex social environments, enabling you to understand how factors such as interests, backgrounds, preferences, experiences and perspectives of the people you manage creates a working environment. You will develop this understanding by critically reflecting on your own organisation, and through real-world case studies, focusing on the implementation of change in an organisation with significant workforce and leadership diversity. By the end of this unit of study, you will be better equipped to drive organizational performance, and get the most from the people you manage.
SMBA6101 International Business Project

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Hans Hendrischke Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 9 day block intensive Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Individual blog (10%), group business plan (10%), group client report (40%), individual reflective essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This 12 credit point unit of study is a two week intensive international module in which you will have the opportunity to study and work in a different country. While the focus of the modules will vary according to location, some of the key themes that are likely to be addressed in the international module include the leadership and management challenges of entering new markets, managing across cultures and regulatory environments, identifying and realising new opportunities and management and coordination challenges in multinational firms. As part of the module you will be working in a small team to provide strategic advice to an organisation. At the end of the module you will be asked to present detailed analysis and recommendations to this client. To support your project work you will work with leading academics and industry experts on the ground in the country in which the module takes place.
SMBA6102 Individual Company Project

Credit points: 12 Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Supervised project with consultation throughout semester Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: project (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This 12 credit point unit of study provides students enrolled in the MBA the opportunity to focus in depth on an issue of strategic importance for your organisation. Working with an academic advisor and an internal sponsor, you will identify a clearly defined issue of significance for your organisation, conduct original research and present your findings and recommendations to a panel of senior executives in your organisation. The unit of study will allow you to apply the skills and insights you have developed in other units of the MBA and to demonstrate your ability to apply these to practical issues facing your organisation.
SMBA6103 Expert Topic A

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly or block intensive subject to the academic expert¿s availability Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Group project (50%) and Individual assignment/s (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The University of Sydney Business School has close relationships with many of the world's leading universities and business schools and regularly hosts some of the world's leading academics and thinkers. This elective unit of study is designed to leverage this resource and to provide our MBA students access to cutting edge and state of the art contemporary international thinking on management and leadership. In many instances this unit of study will be delivered by international experts and thought leaders from leading universities around the world who are visiting the University of Sydney Business School. The topics covered in this unit of study will vary from year to year to reflect the expertise available.
SMBA6104 Expert Topic B

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Weekly or block intensive subject to the academic expert¿s availability Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Group project (50%) and Individual assignment/s (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
The University of Sydney Business School has close relationships with many of the world's leading universities and business schools and regularly hosts some of the world's leading academics and thinkers. This elective unit of study is designed to leverage this resource and to provide our MBA students access to cutting edge and state of the art contemporary international thinking on management and leadership. In many instances this unit of study will be delivered by international experts and thought leaders from leading universities around the world who are visiting the University of Sydney Business School. The topics covered in this unit of study will vary from year to year to reflect the expertise available.
SMBA6106 Innovation and Corporate Venturing

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x 1.5 hr seminar and 1.5 hr workshop per week Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Initial group presentation (15%), final group presentation (15%), group major project report (20%), individual reflective essay (20%), individual corporate advisory report (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Businesses are continually challenged to develop their existing operations and at the same time grow their presence in new markets, develop new offerings, or refine their business models. Corporate venturing is increasingly recognised as a critical firm-level capability, making entrepreneurial and creative leadership skills highly-regarded and valuable. This cross-disciplinary unit will explore new business development, including research & development, disruptive innovation, entering new markets, and corporate spin-offs. Topics will include opportunity recognition, structuring a new business proposal, funding sources, as frugal innovation and lessons from the developing economies. Your major project will require you to take the role of a corporate advisor engaging with an enterprise. This will require your considered and active participation in the unit.
SMBA6107 Financial Strategy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Maurice Peat Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 4hr lecture/workshop per week Prerequisites: Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assessment: Group case report (40%), individual strategy review essay (30%), and final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Managers meet a wide range of strategic financial problems in their organisations. This unit will interest those wanting to develop their knowledge of this area. It develops understanding of finance and related accounting problems that organisations face in setting strategy at the board level, and will enable students to feel at ease working with finance and accounting experts. Students will examine how finance and accounting interact, develop a grasp of the strategic implications of corporate financial theory, and learn how to tackle the main financial problems they are likely to encounter.
SMBA6108 Leading Project Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Bradley Rolfe Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 4hr lecture/workshop per week Prerequisites: Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assessment: Individual project portfolio plan (50%), group case analysis report (25%), and individual case analysis report (25%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
The Leading Project Management unit of study equips students with the knowledge and skills to affect successful organisational change by leading efforts to improve project management practice in their organisations. The unit provides an understanding of project management methodologies that are deployed by organisations (including PMBOK) ¿ their body of knowledge and their management. The effective leadership of projects and of the organisational change that ensues from their implementation is the focus of this unit. Through a number of key industry speakers, the unit develops an understanding of the complexities of managing projects and programs (groups of projects) ¿ with particular attention on why projects frequently fail. Successful project outcomes that are critical to the survival and growth of today¿s businesses depends on good project leadership.The Leading Project Management unit of study equips students with the knowledge and skills to affect successful organisational change by leading efforts to improve project management practice in their organisations. The unit provides an understanding of project management methodologies that are deployed by organisations (including PMBOK) ¿ their body of knowledge and their management. The effective leadership of projects and of the organisational change that ensues from their implementation is the focus of this unit. Through a number of key industry speakers, the unit develops an understanding of the complexities of managing projects and programs (groups of projects) ¿ with particular attention on why projects frequently fail. Successful project outcomes that are critical to the survival and growth of today¿s businesses depends on good project leadership.
SMBA6109 Managing with Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Kai Riemer, Dr Uri Gal Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x 4hr lecture per week Prerequisites: Assumed Knowledge: MBA Primers Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: Group presentation (20%), individual critical reflections on readings (30%), and synthesis report (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Technology is an integral part of every business organisation. Technology is both the subject of managerial activity as well as a necessary tool for managers in performing their work. Considering that technology is seen as a solution to as well as a source of various business problems, there is a need to evaluate the main assumptions that underlie how technology is understood and employed by managers.
With a strong emphasis on modern information and communication technologies (ICT), in this unit you will critically examine current managerial thought about technology from multiple perspectives. This unit will equip you with a balanced understanding of the nature and role of technology in organisations, and will enable you to manage (with) technology more effectively. Learning in this unit will be based on hands-on in-class activities, case study analysis, and classroom discussions.
SMBA6201 Business Capstone: Lean Start-up

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eric Knight Session: Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Combination 4hr and full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Prerequisites: Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assessment: Individual design workbook (20%), group presentation (20%), group final product review (30%), and individual reflective essay (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Students must complete this unit in their final semester of study.
In this final capstone, students confront the ultimate challenge facing truly pioneering companies: excellence in new product development. This course recreates the intense, team environment of a firm's innovation business unit. Students will integrate the skill s, knowledge and experience acquired throughout the MBA Program to deliver a real prototype product to market. They are also expected to rapidly learn and apply the art of lean start up methodologies. Students will work in teams and with tight milestones. They are set a strategic problem facing one of the country's most significant private or public sector organisations, and are expected to deliver a prototype product solution to a group of senior stakeholders at the end of the unit. To complete this unit successfully, students are expected to use their learning from across the MBA - including in strategy, marketing, financial management, people management, data analytics, critical analysis and leadership. They will also venture into the marketplace to do customer needs finding and product testing. Students will critically reflect on the implications and impact of their learning across the entire MBA Program.