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

Table of postgraduate units of study: Master of Business Administration and Graduate Diploma in 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      Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6002
Strategies for Growth
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive June
MBA Session 1
SMBA6003
Data Analytics and Modelling
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive April
Semester 2
SMBA6004
Financial Management
6    C SMBA6001
MBA Session 1
MBA Session 2
SMBA6005
Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive May
MBA Session 2
SMBA6006
Innovation in Strategic Marketing
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive May
MBA Session 1
SMBA6007
Managing People and Organisations
6    C SMBA6001
N MMGT6004


MBA primer
MBA Session 1
MBA Session 2

Elective units of study

Students complete 24 credit points in elective units.
SMBA6101
International Business Project
12    P SMBA6001 and SMBA6002
Intensive July
SMBA6102
Individual Company Project
12    P SMBA6001 and 12 credit points of other SMBA units with a distinction average or above.
C SMBA6001
MBA Session 1
MBA Session 2
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6104
Expert Topic B
6    A MBA Primers
C SMBA6001
MBA Session 2
SMBA6106
Innovation and Corporate Venturing
6    C SMBA6001
MBA Session 1
SMBA6107
Financial Strategy
6    P SMBA6004
C SMBA6001
MBA Session 2
SMBA6109
Managing with Technology
6    C SMBA6001
MBA Session 1
SMBA6115
Creativity, Innovation and Business
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 2
SMBA6118
International Social Enterprise Project
12    P SMBA6001 and SMBA6002
Intensive October

Capstone unit of study

SMBA6201
Business Capstone - Lean Design
6   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Students must complete this unit in their final semester of study.
Intensive February
Intensive July

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: Classes: Intensive 8 x full day participatory seminars and workshops over semester. Assessment: class participation (15%), team project (30%), written assessment (40%), interactive skills assessment (15%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This course is about the development of leadership through practice. Ultimately, leadership is about what you do, not what you know. Your effectiveness as a leader is assessed by the behaviours you consistently manifest across time, not by the theoretical concepts in your head. For this reason, our orientation is behavioural: what does best practice leadership look like and how can you get better at doing it? Our face-to-face time will, to the largest extent possible, be focused on building your effectiveness at constituent leadership behaviours. We¿ll do this by creating an environment where you¿ll repeatedly practice these behaviours, receiving specific feedback from peers, coaches and faculty to accelerate your development. These behaviours originate from empirically based theories of leadership. Our intention with this course is for you to gain a solid grasp of these theories before class starts so that we can spend the maximum time possible building your effectiveness at these behaviours during class.
SMBA6002 Strategies for Growth

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Marc Jones Session: Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester. Assessment: case study 1 (35%), case study 2 (35%), group project (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Growth remains central to the concerns of CEOs and investors alike. Yet the increasing incidence of disruptive change has created a new world in which competitive advantage is much more transient than in past decades, making consistent growth harder to achieve. In this new world strategic agility has become the cornerstone of business sustainability. This unit examines how organisations can reshape their business models in response to changes in technology and market structure, and explores the circumstances in which opportunities exist to actively shape the environment through proactive business model innovation. The unit provides practical experience at applying relevant concepts, techniques, and frameworks to real world situations in order to generate innovative strategic responses to dynamic market conditions.
SMBA6003 Data Analytics and Modelling

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Tony Webber Session: Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full day participatory lectures/workshops. Assessment: group assignment (30%), individual assignment (30%), and final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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: Classes: 4 hr lectures/workshops and/or full day participatory lectures/workshops. Assessment: individual assignment (30%), group assignment (30%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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.
Textbooks
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
SMBA6005 Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Jane Counsel Session: Classes: 4 hr lectures/workshops and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops Assessment: philosophy exam (35%), opinion piece (35%), video (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
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 and Professor Donnel Briley Session: Classes: 4 hr lectures/workshops and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops Assessment: individual assignment (40%), group assignment (40%), individual reflection (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
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: Jane Counsel Session: Classes: 4 hr lectures/workshops and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops Assessment: individual project pitch (20%), group assignment (40%), reflective essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: MBA primer
This unit draws a parallel between modern organisations and the broader social environment in which they operate. This unit demonstrates how global, technological and demographic trends are re-shaping modern workplaces and highlight the importance of inclusive leadership in managing people. In this unit, students also build experience in leading change in organisations, and develop a better understanding of the dynamics of organisational culture, power and influence and the role of diversity. Students develop this understanding by critically reflecting on own organisations, and through real-world case studies focus on the implementation of a change management program addressing significant workforce and leadership diversity challenges. By the end of this unit of study, students are better equipped to drive organisational performance, and get the most from the people they manage.
SMBA6101 International Business Project

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Hans Hendrischke and Wei Li Session: Classes: 9 day block intensive Assessment: blog (10%), business plan (10%), client report (30%), reflective essay (40%), group presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Field experience
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 Teacher/Coordinator: Guy Ford Session: Classes: Supervised project with ongoing, regular consultation throughout semester. Assessment: industry presentation (20%), project report (80%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
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.
SMBA6104 Expert Topic B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Stefan Meisiek Session: Classes: Weekly or block intensive subject to the academic expert's availability Assessment: group assignments (50%), individual assignments (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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 Teacher/Coordinator: Richard Seymour Session: Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Assessment: group market opportunity pitch (10%), individual critical input to business plan (30%), group business pitch (10%), group business plan (30%), individual critical review (20%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
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 and 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: Classes: full-day participatory lectures/workshops Assessment: group assignment (30%), assignment (40%), final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
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.
SMBA6109 Managing with Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Kai Riemer Session: Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops Assessment: group presentation (20%), assignment (40%), report (40%) 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), this unit critically examines current managerial thought about technology from multiple perspectives. This unit equips students with a balanced understanding of the nature and role of technology in organisations, and enables them to manage with technology more effectively. Learning involves hands-on in-class activities, case study analysis, and classroom discussions.
SMBA6115 Creativity, Innovation and Business

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Michael Anderson Session: Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full day participatory lectures/workshops over semester. Assessment: essay (20%); place making design presentation (40%); reflective portfolio (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit provides students with strategies, experiences and approaches to build creativity and innovation in their business practice. Drawing on the creative leadership and business transformation research, the unit provides students with immersive creative experiences inspired by artistic practice and theory in business, science education and the arts. The unit follows a process of building praxis-based knowledge (through experiential hands on workshops) so that students build understanding and then put it into practice through the development and delivery of a creativity project in collaboration with their peers.
SMBA6118 International Social Enterprise Project

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Clary Castrission Session: Classes: 30 hours of lectures and 50 hours of group and field work Assessment: charity versus social business analysis (10%); business problem presentation (50%); reflection (40%) Mode of delivery: Field experience
This unit takes students to India for an intensive 2-week immersion into the themes of social entrepreneurship and innovation by restriction. The traditional lines between private, public and non-profit sectors are being blurred by the emergence of social enterprise and shared value. That is, social entrepreneurs are finding ways to build impact models that either break even financially, or even make profit. They have done so by engaging innovative business models to solve social and environmental problems on local and global levels. Students study these themes within the context of working in teams on a real social enterprise business problem regarding strategy and scale. At the end of the unit students have developed a working knowledge of the ideas of innovation by restriction, how to overcome issues of scaling a social enterprise in an emerging market, and cultural intelligence about working overseas. Students are expected to reflect on how the key themes and lessons can be applied to their own professional environments back in Australia.
SMBA6201 Business Capstone - Lean Design

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Eric Knight Session: Classes: 4 hr workshop and/or full-day workshops over semester Assessment: group presentation (20%), group product review (30%), program essay (25%), lean design essay (25%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Intensive February,Intensive July
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.