Part-time Core Subjects

 

Leadership

Develop the capability to lead individuals and teams through intrapersonal (self-awareness, self-management) and interpersonal (social awareness, social skill) development. This confidence-building subject includes theoretical and conceptual content alongside solo and group exercises, designed to prepare you for leadership experiences in the MBA program and your future careers.

Social Responsibility and Ethics

Learn about the societal context in which business operates and develop the skills for reasoning about the ethical problems it generates. This intensive subject examines the various stakeholders of business and discusses the obligations of corporations have to them. It considers strategies for achieving corporate social responsibility goals and also examines a range of alternative approaches to moral reasoning.

Data Analysis

This subject provides the fundamental quantitative skills necessary you need to extract information from data to make better managerial decisions. You will become familiar with the tools of quantitative analysis, develop the necessary skills for analytical thinking and gain a quantitative mindset to measure performance. The fundamental quantitative skills you gain from this subject will provide a foundation for advanced MBA subjects and give you an analytical framework for solving managerial problems throughout your career.

Financial Accounting

Understanding and using financial accounting information is essential to your success as a professional manager. This subject provides you with foundation knowledge about for-profit entities’ external financial reporting – knowledge that is not only the basis for correctly interpreting and applying accounting information, provided for internal managerial decision-making, but also for financial statements, used to make externally‐focused judgments and decisions (e.g., assessing a firm’s intrinsic value or its strengths and weaknesses, relative to competitors).

Financial Management

This introduction to valuation and financial management is based on the principle that firms should be managed to increase the wealth of their shareholders, subject to fulfilling their contractual and legal obligations to other stakeholders. To this end, it focuses on valuing financial assets and selecting investment projects. It provides a solid foundation if you want to specialise in finance or study other finance electives later in your MBA.

Managerial Economics

This subject provides the economic-reasoning tools to develop and evaluate strategic business options and make better choices. You will discuss and develop the fundamental economic concepts and analytical skills required in managerial and strategic decision‐making, especially in situations of bargaining, price setting and analysing different market environments or asymmetric information.

Managing People

The subject examines human behaviour at the individual, group and organisational levels. Theories, models and research are discussed and applied through case studies, syndicate team assignments, experiential exercises and reflection on work experience. Each topic is selected to help you better manage yourself, other people, groups and organisations.

Marketing

The focus of this subject is the challenges that organisations face in managing demand and how to address them with optimal demand‐side strategies. To be successful, organisations need to recognise, create, grow and protect market‐based assets that influence demand. You will learn how (and which) marketing investments help develop market‐based assets, how they translate into market outcomes, and how market outcomes help ensure an organisation’s long‐term survival and success.

Business Strategy

Formulating, or helping formulate, a firm’s business strategy is one of the key roles of a General Manager or Chief Executive. It involves not only integrating and coordinating the activities of different functional areas, such as marketing, operations management, accounting, human resource management and finance, but also consciously building and sustaining the firm’s competitive advantage(s) and making critical choices about which products, markets and segments to compete in. This subject introduces the frameworks and tools commonly used in developing and assessing business strategies and develops your decision‐making skills from a top-management perspective.

Global Business Economics

This subject examines the broad environment in which firms operate and explains factors that affect the output growth, inflation, unemployment, interest rates and exchange rates of a country in a globalised world. It presents a macroeconomic framework to illustrate the dynamic interconnections among markets (e.g., for financial assets, goods and services, labour and money) and government policies. With the aid of country case studies and current policy research, it seeks to demonstrate that economics is not primarily a set of answers but a method of reasoning.

Operations

In fiercely competitive global and dynamic environments, companies face increasing pressures to exceed customer expectations along multiple performance measures, such as cost, quality, flexibility and innovation. This subject deals with the design, management and continuous improvement of business processes, providing some of the core concepts that are essential for leveraging a firm’s operational capabilities to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. It takes a logical and rigorous approach to planning and controlling process structure and provides managerial levers for achieving the desired performance from a business process.

Business in Complex Environments

This capstone subject is intended to be ‘integrative’, so does not introduce substantial new material. Rather, it provides you with a vehicle for applying and integrating the knowledge and skills you have acquired in previous subjects. In particular, groups of students (or syndicates) are asked to undertake an integrative exercise that simulates the management of a firm in preparation for your transition back into the workplace.

Part-time electives

Elective subjects vary year to year but may include:

Brand Management

This elective prepares you for the challenges of building, protecting and strengthening a brand. It takes is a very applied approach and examines all the key areas of brand management, including brand research, brand building, brand strategy, brand positioning, brand extension and brand architecture. It is case based and uses examples from consumer goods, services, B2B, retail, luxury goods and other major areas of branding.

Business Analytics

The elective aims to teach you how to extract relevant information from data to make improved business decisions. Business Analytics is the science of extracting useful information from datasets, large and small. It is also about knowing which type of data to use for solving a business problem and how to influence an organisation to move from a ‘decision‐based, evidence-making’ mode to an ‘evidence‐based, decision-making’ mode.

Business Law

This elective introduces the core legal concepts and current legal issues that impact Australian business. It provides a basic understanding of the underlying legal basis of many commercial issues, faced in various facets of business life, ranging from how enterprises commence to how they end. It also draws on key legislation and court cases to illustrate the interaction between business and law, and provides a general outline of legal methodology and reasoning.

Consumer Behaviour

Current approaches to business emphasise the importance of adopting a consumer focus. At its essence, marketing—and business more broadly—is an attempt to influence consumer behaviour. This subject seeks to provide insights into consumer psychology as a basis for developing powerful consumer‐influence tactics and marketing strategies. You will learn about fundamental theories and concepts in consumer psychology and new research findings to enhance your understanding of how and why people choose, use and evaluate goods and services the way they do.

Corporate Finance

The subject provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the principles underlying most of the important financial and investment decisions that enterprises make. You will learn how to manage risk, liquidity and working capital, understand capital structure and gain the confidence to address the financial functions of management.

Corporate Strategy

One of the most significant changes to occur over the last century was the emergence of conglomerates—diversified corporations that grow through acquisition and are characterised by separate headquarters and relatively autonomous and discrete operating units. This economic form was subsequently challenged by new types of economic organisation, such as private equity and multi‐sided platforms. This subject addresses the challenges facing executives, running multi‐business firms, and the way they develop strategies to create value across the businesses that their corporation owns. 

Financial Analysis and Valuation

This subject examines the use of financial statements to analyse and value companies. It incorporates four key components: (1) an analysis of the company’s operating environment and the strategies it employs; (2) an assessment of the quality of the company’s financial reports, including making any necessary adjustments; (3) forecasting future performance and cash flows; and (4) estimating a value for the company. Several valuation approaches are covered, including the use of valuation multiples and present-value‐based techniques.

Financial Institutions

This subject prepares you for a manager role in the rapidly developing financial services industry, in particular banking. It addresses three main issues or challenges, related to financial services. First, the conceptual issues underlying the industry to help you develop a broad view of the management function. Second, the various kinds of risk that managers in the industry face, and here you are provided with a generic set of tools for managing return. Third, the regulatory changes that have occurred because of the recent financial crisis. A key component of the subject is an online bank simulation game that provides enhanced insights into all three issues.

Game Theory for Business Strategy

Managers make decisions, day in, day out, that affect other people within their firm, such as division members and subordinates, as well competitors, customers, regulators and even capital markets.  Moreover, the outcome of their decisions depends on the decisions of others. Therefore, anticipating how others could react is essential for making the best decision and achieving a successful outcome. This subject introduces you to the basic tools for analysing choices, notably, the main concepts around individual decision‐making and strategic interaction (game theory). The combination of these tools will allow you to approach managerial problems critically and analytically. As a result, you will be able to think strategically in complex, interactive environments.

Implementation of Strategy

The subject begins with a review of strategy to ensure that students have a shared understanding of the basic concepts and frameworks of strategy. From this foundation, the subject is organised around two general questions:

Is an organisation structured in a manner that allows the implementation of strategy?
Do the people in the organisation want to implement the strategy?
Structural issues are mainly driven by the way the various parts of the organisation relate to each other and interact, and the structure often yields results that are detrimental to the organisation and impede the execution of the strategy.

Industry Studies in Asia

This field study subject allows you to apply the skills developed in the core subjects of your MBA program. The main deliverable is a detailed research report, describing a study in one of the developing markets of Asia, typically China. The field study (or project) can focus on a specific organisation, new or existing products/services/ventures, or entire industries. You can also focus on a specific area of business, such as marketing, finance, or human resources management. The subject is divided into two parts, with the first part taking place in Melbourne in the semester immediately before the field trip. The second part consists of a 10‐day field trip in the selected Asian market, normally Shanghai. During the field trip, you conduct primary research in the form of interviews with business executives, company visits and other appropriate research techniques, such as surveys.

Innovation

During this intense, week‐long subject, you are introduced to a number of exciting techniques and concepts, including individual creativity and brainstorming, team creativity, innovation within small and large firms, and linking ideas, generated in this subject, to your other subjects, including strategy, marketing and operations.

It is not a "theory" subject. It is hands‐on and experiential, with a focus on a real project to help you acquire practical skills. We want you to learn how to think outside the box and be creative and inventive, whether you decide to become an entrepreneur or join and existing firm. Such skills are becoming more important to employers as industries face rapidly changing market conditions and innovative global competitors.

Investments

This subjects gives you the tools of modern finance for devising and evaluating financial portfolios and making better investment choices. You will discuss and develop techniques for valuing financial instruments and gain a working knowledge of portfolio management, pricing and hedging with options on individual stocks and indexes, forward and futures contracts, monetary policy and how its conduct affects investment performance, how to devise investment strategies that exploit market inefficiencies.

Leadership and Change

This subject explores the role of leaders and how leadership impacts and influences organisational performance. In today’s leaner and flatter organisations, leaders need much more than just the authority associated with their position to be effective. The subject examine the theory and practice of how leaders and leadership make a difference, with the explicit goal of getting you to reflect on your own leadership challenges and capabilities.

Managerial Judgement

This subject is based on state‐of‐the‐art neurobiological research that sheds light on the obstacles we face when making decisions and managing our emotions. By discovering the roots of many of these difficulties, we can also find solutions to the problems created by our biological history.

Marketing Communications

In this subject, you will explore what leading firms are doing in response to changes affecting the discipline of marketing communications. You this will consider the main concepts, tools and techniques of contemporary marketing communications and focus on the design and implementation of effective marketing communications campaigns. You will also consider the issues that arise in planning, implementing and controlling communications strategies across multiple media, such as print and broadcast advertising, PR, direct, online and other electronic channels.

Marketing Research

This subject examines how the qualitative and quantitative aspects of marketing research can help managers address substantive marketing problems, including market segmentation, targeting and positioning, estimating market potential, forecasting demand, developing advertising and pricing, and introducing new products. It provides hands‐on experience in a marketing research problem through a field project, which will require you to integrate everything you have learned about conducting a research project, from problem definition through to a final report and presentation.

Marketing Strategy

This subject demonstrates the benefits of undertaking marketing actions within a strategic framework and shows how that can be achieved. A good marketing strategy allows you to refine your vision, check its fit with your target markets’ needs, focus your efforts on the most worthwhile opportunities and see how best to realise them. This subject examine each of the three logical steps in this process: analysis; generating and calibrating strategic options; and planning to realise the chosen options.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Merger & acquisition activity is a mainstay of the growth characteristics of large firms and has been a feature of business life for well over a century. While there have been many merger ‘waves’ over the years, this pathway to growth has constantly maintained its importance. This subject begins with an examination of the history of, and reasons for, merger and acquisition activity, providing a rationale for the study of the whole process, which extends from the decision to acquire through to the means of achieving successful post‐merger integration.

Negotiations

Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties. The central issues of this subject deal with understanding the behaviour of individuals, groups and organisations in competitive situations. The purpose is to understand the theory and processes of negotiation, as practised in a variety of settings. The subject is designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of negotiation problems, faced by managers and professionals, often in a global context.

Performance Metrics

This subject addresses approaches for assessing individual and firm performance that are useful for achieving strategic objectives. It focuses on two key issues: common financial and non‐financial metrics, used to assess individual and firm performance; and frameworks for identifying appropriate performance metrics.

Product Management

Understand the issues involved in developing product strategies, including issues related to services marketing. This subject will give you the analytical skills necessary for market research and developing sound product-related decisions. You will gain a conceptual framework for organising your thinking about product-related problems and an understanding of the marketing or product manager's role in developing product strategies.

Supply Chain Management

Emerging trends in globalisation and renewed emphasis on operations as a source of competitive advantage have led to organisational changes that focus on inter‐functional coordination, often spanning several firms in the supply chain. This subject discusses recent developments in manufacturing‐marketing‐supply chain linkages and studies operational decisions that make such interfaces efficient and effective. It explores inter‐functional dependencies, sources of conflicts and an effective, managerial, decision-making paradigm. It is based on the premise that an organisation can become globally competitive when all elements that comprise its supply chain network are efficient and decision-making is coordinated across the chain. You will examine, in detail, issues related to market‐led operations, managing supply and distribution.

Thinking like an Entrepreneur

This subject provides real‐world, hands‐on learning about starting a company or carrying out an entrepreneurial project in an existing organisation. It is highly practical to give you the experience of working is a team to turn an idea into reality. You will talk to prospective customers to see if anyone is interested in the product or service you intend to develop. Based on this feedback, you will rapidly iterate your ideas to produce a scalable, repeatable business model. The intent is to equip you with a set of skills that will be useful throughout your career, whether you work in a start-up or existing organisation.