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
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6003
Data Analytics and Modelling
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6004
Financial Management
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6005
Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6006
Innovation in Strategic Marketing
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6007
Managing People and Organisations
6    C SMBA6001
N MMGT6004


MBA primer
Semester 1
Semester 2

Elective units of study

Students complete 24 credit points in elective units.
SMBA6101
International Business Project
12    A MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6102
Individual Company Project
12    P SMBA6001 and 12 credit points of other SMBA units with a distinction average or above.
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
SMBA6103
Expert Topic A
6    C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Intensive June
SMBA6104
Expert Topic B
6    A MBA Primers
C SMBA6001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 2
SMBA6105
Business Negotiations and Decision Making
6    C SMBA6001
N IBUS6018


MBA primer
Semester 2
SMBA6108
Leading Project Management
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 2
SMBA6110
Operations Management
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive June
SMBA6111
Coaching and Performance Management
6    C SMBA6001
Intensive December
Intensive July
SMBA6112
Strategic Use of Social Technology
6    C SMBA6001
Semester 1

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: Semester 1,Semester 2 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: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester. Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: case study 1 (35%), case study 2 (35%), group project (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester. Corequisites: SMBA6001 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: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester. Corequisites: SMBA6001 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 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Combination 4hr and full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 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: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: developing a personal brand (40%), identifying existing opportunities for value co?creation (40%), reflective diary and essay (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 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Prohibitions: MMGT6004 Assessment: group project report (20%), group presentation (40%), reflective essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 9 day block intensive Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assessment: blog (10%), business plan (10%), client report (30%), reflective essay (40%), group presentation (10%) 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: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Supervised project with ongoing, regular consultation throughout semester. Prerequisites: SMBA6001 and 12 credit points of other SMBA units with a distinction average or above. Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: industry presentation (20%), project report (80%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
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 June Classes: Weekly or block intensive subject to the academic expert's availability Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: presentation 1 (15%), group report (30%), presentation 2 (15%), reflective report (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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: Semester 2 Classes: Weekly or block intensive subject to the academic expert's availability Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assumed knowledge: MBA Primers Assessment: group assignments (50%), individual assignments (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
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.
SMBA6105 Business Negotiations and Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Prohibitions: IBUS6018 Assessment: assignment (10%), group assignment 1 (50%), group assignment 2 (10%), reflective report (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: MBA primer
Not every decision in business seems rational to an outside observer; and sometimes, a seemingly irrational decision makes sense when you consider it from a different perspective. This unit of study will equip you with the skills to make sense of business decisions, by understanding the decision-making process with a focus on negotiations. The unit of study is delivered using specific examples from international strategy, such as mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. You will develop skills through experience, and learn useful analytic frameworks to further your understanding of negotiation and decision-making.
SMBA6108 Leading Project Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Bradley Rolfe Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full?day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: individual assignment (50%), group report (30%), group presentation (20%) 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.
Textbooks
Project Management: The Managerial Process
SMBA6110 Operations Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive June Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: group assignment (20%), individual assignment (35%), class participation (15%), exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Any business or organisation is concerned with delivering value to its customers or clients, and the 'operations' of a company are the direct processes that a company uses to create value. Operations Management is the task of managing these processes. There is tremendous variety in operations, whether this is handling phone calls at a call centre, manufacturing cardboard from recycled paper, running room service in a hotel or dealing with passengers in an airline. This unit is about the fundamentals of operations management, covering both service industries and manufacturing. The aim is to provide a set of frameworks and concepts that can be applied in any company. All managers, even if they do not work in an operations function, will gain from understanding operations terminology, being able to contribute to key operations debates, and being able to see the operations of the company in a strategic context.
SMBA6111 Coaching and Performance Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Anthony Grant Session: Intensive December,Intensive July Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: coaching reflections (50%), performance management report (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Building on the foundations delivered in the core MBA unit Leadership Practice and Development, you will learn best-practice techniques in human performance optimization and talent management, through hands-on and problem-based learning. This unit will deliver a solid understanding of how to improve your skills in individual and team coaching, mentoring, performance metrics and performance feedback and development. The topics covered include the nature of the coaching conversation; ethical use of coaching; how to set coaching goals that align with both organisational and individual needs; how to structure effective coaching conversations, as well as the core coaching micro-skills needed to facilitate employee engagement and performance enhancement. You will also develop an understanding of concepts and practices associated with managing individual and team performance, including performance-linked values, perceptions and affects, performance metrics, goal-setting, behavioural assessment, performance evaluation, review meetings, effective provision of negative feedback, and individual-level performance planning and development. You will be assessed through the preparation of a reflective case study of 'real-life' performance coaching sessions in your workplace, and an audit report on the current performance management system in that workplace.
SMBA6112 Strategic Use of Social Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Donnel Briley Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4 hr lecture/workshop and/or full-day participatory lectures/workshops over semester Corequisites: SMBA6001 Assessment: group assignment 1 (30%), group assignment 2 (40%), individual assignment (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
When the tools of management change, strategic approaches must change too. Though managers have become keenly aware that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media technologies can be pivotal for gaining competitive advantage, few companies have comprehensive strategies that incorporate these capabilities. This course will offer frameworks for leveraging these technologies to stoke conversations, co-create experiences and stories, and build engaging relationships with consumers. This unit focuses on ways social technologies can be harnessed, and also on ensuring that these tactics are incorporated into the organization's overarching marketing strategy, emphasising the need to acknowledge ongoing technological change, and how to use effective management structures to ensure that your organisation is adaptable enough to adjust, and innovate, to stay ahead.
SMBA6201 Business Capstone ¿ Lean Design

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive February,Intensive July 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 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.