Core & Elective Courses

Structure

You can complete the AGSM MBA (Executive) in anywhere between 2 to 6 years. Typically, it's completed in 3 ½ years. It includes a starter course, four core courses, three electives, and four Executive courses. These Executive courses include three five-day intensive residential cohort experiences that are unique to the AGSM.

Starter Course

Leadership is a mandatory commencing starter course that sets the platform for a transformational learning experience. We advise that you commence your MBA (Executive) with this course, as it has been designed to help you embark on a path to success in your MBA. It is intended to enable you to:

  • Acquire a range of practical strategies and skills for enhancing your executive effectiveness
  • Begin to engage productively with the MBA (Executive) course concepts and your colleagues throughout your program,
  • Reflect on your personal managerial and leadership experiences and expand your capacity to think and act as a leader.
  • Start the transformation journey from ‘knowing about leadership’ to ‘doing leadership’ and ‘being a leader’.

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the topic of leadership. It aims to help students to build the confidence, knowledge and skills to engage in effective leadership in a broad range of contexts. It also provides guidance on self-leadership and actively managing the process of growing as a leader.

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Core & Elective Courses

Complete your seven core and elective courses in any order, include a compulsory core course, at least three additional core courses and up to three electives:

Compulsory Core Course

Strategic Management will help you to apply knowledge in understanding how the managers of modern, technology-rich, sustainable organisations look to generate, communicate and fulfil a strategic vision and deliver outcomes that fulfil the purpose for which the organisations were created.

The course is designed to help you reflect on the role of strategic management and draw on concepts, issues and principles highlighted in your earlier courses in this degree program. As a result, you will understand how integrating and effectively managing the diverse range of technology, specialised and business management disciplines empowers you to be more effective in achieving your organisation's strategic goals in a rapidly changing technological organisational environment.

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At least three core courses that address the key disciplines of business:

This course explains accounting techniques and terminology, providing you with sufficient conceptual and practical skills to give you the knowledge and confidence to understand complex financial strategies and make better financial decisions. The course assumes that you have limited prior knowledge of accounting and financial management.

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This course focuses on the process of creating, communicating and delivering value to customers with a view to create exchanges that build customer relationships and satisfy individual and organisational goals. 

The course objectives are to develop an awareness of major marketing problems faced by a variety of organisations, with an emphasis on sound approaches to addressing these problems.

At the end of the course, equipped with a broad understanding of topics such as consumer behaviour, marketing research and marketing strategy, students should be able to create marketing plans, articulate aspects of the marketing mix and develop sound customer-oriented and competitive marketing strategies.

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This course explores the issues you face in managing people, groups and organisations.

We ask such questions as:

  • What is my role as a manager and a leader?
  • What motivates people at work?
  • How does my group function, and how can it be more effective?
  • What impact does the structure and culture of my organisation have on our performance?

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The underlying theme of this course is that a business must add value. Those that do not will either be forced to change or cease to exist. The course addresses the questions: 

  • What is value, how is it measured and how does a well-run business create or add value?

In examining value, you will be introduced to the three basic ideas in finance: 

  • The time value of money, diversification and arbitrage.

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This is a core course in Business Analytics, which enables organizations to make quicker, better, and more intelligent decisions to create business value in the broadest sense. This course addresses the context of business analytics and the management actions required for organizations to manage business analytics such that they can create value from their data and make progress on the transformational journey to becoming data-driven. Emphasis will be placed on the managing and sourcing data, the analytic process and the role of leadership in supporting the organizational and cultural change associated with the transformation to becoming a data-driven organization.

As part of the business analytics process you will build predictive models. This requires a basic understanding of statistics and you will therefore be required to study the material on basic statistics provided by Harvard online training. IBM’s Watson Analytics will be used to build predictive models and communicate analytic insights.

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Up to three elective courses drawn from AGSM’s portfolio of MBA programs including:

This course examines the accelerating economic relationship between government, business and the third sector to deliver social (including environmental) value in communities and the way in which this drives social innovation.

The course first examines the social economy through the emerging spectrum of organisational forms that generate both social and economic value: from traditional charities, to social enterprises, through to socially responsible business and traditional corporations. Second, the course examines trends and drivers re-shaping the dynamics of social impact.

The course examines the ways in which these changes drive social innovation and it concludes with a review of global trends and organisations that effect social change and impact.

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Major changes are reshaping the role of philanthropy both internationally and in the Australian context:

  • Global economic realignments, the privatisation of community services
  • New patterns of wealth distribution and of inter-generational wealth transfer
  • Greater expectations of the role of corporate citizenship and of corporate philanthropy

These forces are also extending the meaning of philanthropy by encouraging the growth of new forms of social investment, in which commercial enterprise is being shaped by social as well as financial goals, to create innovative, and sometimes hybrid, models of sustainable community services, environmental protection and social development, as well as new business opportunities.

This course will introduce the history, core concepts and current issues in the fields of philanthropy, fundraising and social investment. It will also examine patterns of fundraising and giving, ethical and philosophical perspectives and the management and legal aspects of social investment programs.

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Demonstrating Social Impact is an elective subject for the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact and M Com, MBT or AGSM MBA programs. It provides an overview and introduction to evaluation and social impact assessment, the underpinning principles of evaluation and social impact assessment and examines some of the key social impact measurement approaches increasingly used by leading Third sector organisations in Australia and internationally, including Logic Models such as LogFrame; Social Return on Investment (SROI); and Social Accounting and Audit (SAA). Other frameworks used to measure the impact of corporate social initiatives will also be discussed.

The course will provide the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and apply social impact frameworks and methodologies at a project and organisational level.

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Social innovation, the outcome of the work of social entrepreneurs and others can be developed in almost any context. It is often a response to an identified problem, issue or opportunity. Design thinking and methods take a whole systems, rather than a silo, approach to offer different perspectives to the traditional business tools.

Design for Social Innovation offers participants the opportunity to learn and apply design tools and methods to real projects with a focus on social outcomes.

This course is an elective subject for the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact, and an elective available for all postgraduate students. It provides an overview and introduction to the role and application of design concepts in social innovation and social enterprise.

The course will provide the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and apply design principles at a project or organisational level.

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Corporate Responsibility and Accountability is a specialist course for the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact and an elective for those undertaking the Master of Commerce or MBA or MBT Programs. It examines how business manages its social, environmental and economic impact on society.

The course first reviews the historical evolution and development of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship and why it is now a key part of managing the business enterprise.

Second, the course examines what acting responsibly means for corporations in terms of the market, community, environment, workplace and government. Issues covered include business and human rights, business-community partnerships, corporate philanthropy, the human resource management implications of CSR, business and the environment and businesses’ relationship with government.

Third, the course examines how business accounts for its behaviour and impact in society through sustainability reporting and the role of external assurance and outlines debates on the appropriate role of government policy in either regulating and/or enabling responsible corporate behaviour.

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In this course you will learn some of the major frameworks that help you to understand and manage change. Starting with the change agent, you explore the skills needed and the types of analysis change agents use to decide appropriate courses of action.

You will develop your skills and learn a range of different strategies for influencing individuals, groups and the organisation. Change is also considered from an organisational perspective and you will explore how organisations respond to, resist, initiate and drive change.

Your role in understanding and managing the organisation is examined. By the end of the course you will be able to: Understand the main frameworks that describe personal and organisational change Identify the role you play in initiating and facilitating change Analyse effective and ineffective change interventions Choose appropriate strategies to facilitate personal and organisational change.

This course is a prerequisite for MBAX6274 Systems for Change.

Students who have completed MNGT6371 Managing Change are not permitted to undertake this course.

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This course examines how you can sustain change in yourself and your organisation and teaches you the skills to support both processes. You will learn the four-step action research method:

  • Implement change, Study and reflect on outcomes, Design new interventions, Continually assess the effectiveness of your actions. The aim is to become competent in using an open-systems model to understand how organisations function.
  • You will learn to analyse the extent to which systems enable and motivate sustainable change.
  • About one-third of the course is devoted to applying skills to a current, action research project at your workplace.

Prerequisites: MBAX6271 / MNGT6271 Approaches to Change.

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Project management involves the overall planning, control and coordination of a project. It is the process by which the responsibility for all phases is combined within one multidisciplinary function. This course introduces you to the project management skills needed during the lifetime of a project. It explores some key concepts of project management, including project risk management.

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An understanding of economics is essential for the long-term viability of business. The economic environment in which business operates will have a vital bearing on day-to-day decisions. Economics in Management Practice lays the foundations for such knowledge. It provides a basic introduction to those economic principles that are important for business, as well as providing general economic literacy to enable participants to read and understand economic reports and to be able to communicate with and understand business people, economists and policy makers.

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This course focuses on advanced financial decisions of corporate managers. First, the course expands on the traditional project evaluation criteria by introducing real options and valuation techniques in the presence of uncertainty. Second, it discusses the use of debt and equity as financing instruments and how to assess leases. Third, it explains how to hedge a company’s cash flows and balance sheet from both domestic and international exposures. The course uses case studies to illustrate the application of theoretical concepts to real-life.

Course outline available soon

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In this course, financial-statement information is discussed as a tool in a wide range of business decisions. We will discuss financial statements from a user’s perspective, and use a variety of tools to break apart financial reports into meaningful units for analysis, forecast financial statements, and value a firm’s shares. We will also look at the role of managerial incentives and accounting rules in assessing the quality of financial statements.

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The course will provide information and analysis on the latest development in the world of finance and its implications for business strategies. Live financial data and other information from various financial institutions are provided to teach a number of issues that influence global finance and the way multinational companies build their global business networks, their activities and strategies. The Course also brings a fresh perspective from eminent scholars from various leading business schools and financial organizations.

Course outline available soon

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The objective of this course is to introduce students to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and the requisite knowledge for the development and execution of corporate transactions particularly within equity capital markets. The course will address transactions such as Takeovers, Acquisitions, Divestments, Initial Public Offerings and Secondary Raisings. Students will utilise common corporate finance tools and knowledge as applied within the context of considering, developing and executing M&A transactions. There will be an emphasis on practical applications of corporate finance skills and knowledge and negotiation within the context of M&A through a mixture of case studies, group exercises and class discussion.

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In this course, students will first learn the fundamentals of innovation and technology, including the impact of technology on organisational strategy, internal and external factors influence a firm’s technology strategy, diffusion of technology and technology disruption. Students are next introduced to the stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle, categories of entrepreneurial opportunities and processes for generating new business ideas. After translating opportunities into a well-crafted plan and pitch, students will learn various financial strategies to support new business and how to design experiments using minimum viable products to test market-driven hypotheses and refine multiple aspects of the business model. Next, students will explore essential factors influencing customers to adopt new products in the current business environment and approaches to scaling businesses built on new products and services. Finally, the course concludes by analysing how startups can embed globalisation into the foundations of their ventures and looking at strategies of established firms in creating breakthrough innovations.

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Corporations and the individuals who work in them need to ensure that they operate lawfully and in a manner that meets stakeholder expectations and broader community standards of acceptable behaviour. This is true across business entities, not-for-profits and in the business of government. It requires managers to understand and be accountable for compliance with a complex array of legal and non-legal rules and expectations, derived from different sources. The reputational risk which flows from decisions influenced by personal, professional and institutional ethics can be amplified enormously by social media. This course is designed to equip students with the analytical tools to identify and manage the governance, compliance and risk management issues that arise from law, regulation and ethics in the context of businesses’ relationship with society.

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The course is divided into two key themes. Weeks 1-5 focus primarily on the strategic role and organisational value of digital technologies. Weeks 6-10 focus on the strategic management of digital technologies to realise this value potential. Every week there will be a mix of readings and/or case studies that form the foundation of discussions and activities. Some written preparation in the form of a blog post is required every week to ensure students have done the pre-work necessary to engage in these class discussions, which are facilitated face-to-face or via the course forum.

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Managing Digital Technology increases technical literacy of managers and leaders. The main objective of this course is to give managers a high-level overview of the fundamental concepts, main topics and problems in computer science and information technology and how they relate to business settings, and thus equip them to make better decisions regarding applications of technology, even if they are not technologists themselves. This course takes a top-down approach and emphasises high level mastery of important concepts in computer science and information technology. Students who successfully complete this course will feel confident in any technology organisation and will have an appreciation for the problems in the field, how they affect or constrain business decisions and how it all works.

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Course available in T3, 2021

This course builds on MNGT5202, providing a hands-on internship experience, allowing for immersion in a real-world startup environment. Students undertake an internship in a local startup, experiencing first-hand the thrill of growing an entrepreneurial business. The challenge in the course is to provide the startup with expertise that they may not have, while at the same time living and breathing the startup world from the inside.

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The exact type and structure of a 'financial analysis' depends largely on the specific decision making context in which the analyst is placed - is it equity investment, credit extension, analysis of supplier/customer health, competitor analysis, regulatory overview or intervention, or valuation for take-over or restructuring purposes? However, many of the techniques of financial analysis are common to each. This course devotes considerable attention to these 'techniques' and the difficulties associated with their application; primarily in the context of equity investment/valuation and credit extension decisions. The emphasis is on sharpening analytical abilities in financial statement analysis from a managerial standpoint. Particular attention is placed on developing an ability to 'pierce the accounting veil' to get at the underlying bottom line - cash flow and the inherent volatility thereof. The Core Finance and Core Accounting courses are prerequisites for this elective.

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Through the use of case studies, this course applies the basic concepts introduced in core Finance (MNGT5220) course to the firm’s financial decisions.

We focus on the determinants of the firm's capital structure and dividend policy, estimation of the cost of capital, the valuation of strategic investment opportunities and the application of valuation techniques to the acquisition of other firms.

This course was previously known as ‘Corporate Finance’.

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The venture capital and private equity industry has expanded by at least 3000% over the past fifteen years and is playing a critical role in shaping our economy and supporting innovation. Yet venture capital firms often operate in mysterious ways, with little real public visibility. This course seeks to understand what venture capital is, what venture capitalists do and the way venture capital organisations work. This course is primarily geared towards students interested in working in venture capital, or other private-equity organizations. It is also intended for students who expect to work alongside venture capitalists or other private equity investors, whether as managers of firms financed by such investors, as investment bankers taking their firms public, or as money managers investing in these funds. Finally, it is designed for students interested in exploring how aspects of private equity investing can be transferred to the management of projects in established organizations.

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The aim of this course is to improve decision-making skills and to provide strategies for further improvement in the future. We cover how individuals and groups make decisions and solve problems, individually and in organizations. By the end of the course, students will understand their own decision styles and personal dispositions, make decisions more deliberately and systematically will be able to use decision analysis techniques and group processes, integrate their values into their decisions, and, generally, have increased confidence in their decision-making.

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Negotiation is a central element in managerial life. Negotiations are required not only with external parties but also within the firm. The course will consider both co-operative and competitive dimensions of negotiation and examine the ethical issues which arise.

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The aim of this course is to provide students with the skills required to model and analyse business problems that have financial (revenue and cost) implications and to enable them to effectively present data for effective communication to a business audience.

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International Exchange Options

You can select subjects from within a single stream or from across a range of streams depending on your personal and professional interest and needs*.

* Please note. There are different costs for different subjects. See relevant course outlines for more details.

Executive Year

You can enrol in the Executive Courses once you have completed the starter course and four core courses. The Executive Year is an immersive eleven-month program that adopts an integrated learning framework of ‘knowing, doing, being’ that provides you with a transformational learning experience.

The year focuses on themes of personal and organisational growth, innovation, disruption and transformation, and helps you to develop the capacity to deal with the cognitive and emotional complexity that Executives face in today’s dynamic and interconnected world. 

Students participate in three intensive residential learning experiences, bringing together Australia's best and brightest for an experience that has an extraordinary impact on leadership careers. AGSM organises catering and accommodation and it is mandatory that students attend all sessions and stay on-site for the duration.

*Students must have completed the starter course and four core courses to enrol in MBAE7501 Executive Skills
The capstone year of the MBA (Executive) focuses on themes of growth, innovation, disruption and transformation. As part of the capstone year, this course will help you understand innovation, growth and transformation on a personal and interpersonal level. It does so in two ways.

First, the course will help you develop an understanding of the human developmental processes, how that influences a leader's capacity to deal with the cognitive and emotional complexities of organisational life, and how that has and will continue to shape some of your own experiences.

Second, the course will develop or deepen some critical and practical executive skills. We focus on a relatively narrow set of executive skills to allow for significant time for practice and reflection. It also requires seeking feedback from others as well as courageous and critical reflection on what drives our own unskilful reactive behaviours versus productive, creative responses as a human being and as a leader. This process will include amongst others an exploration of different mindfulness practices, feedback from colleagues and fellow students, and peer coaching/mentoring.

This course will run across three terms to provide the time needed to move beyond ‘knowing’ about these skills and integrating them into your daily leadership practice ('doing'), and even weave them into who you are as a leader ('being'). You will have to enrol in this course each term that you enrol in the other MBA (Executive) capstone courses, and different Executive Skills will be the focus in each term.

 

*MBAE7501 Executive Skills is a Co-requisite for MBAE7502 Growth and Innovation 

This course will help you develop strategic thinking and analysis skills that you will apply in formulating effective growth strategies for your organisation. You will do this by applying tools and frameworks from the field of strategic management and using aspects of customer centred innovation, including empathy, ideation and prototyping to identify, evaluate and plan the implementation of value-creating growth options available to managers.

Primary paths for organisational growth include expansion into new products/services, and expansion into new markets (i.e. geographic locations and customer segments). For each of these two expansion paths there are several alternative vehicles for growth, including organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships or alliances. Many organisations employ all of these vehicles in their growth strategies. In the course, we will discuss each of these paths and vehicles for growing organisations and identify and evaluate growth options in a variety of sectors and contexts. We will also consider a resource perspective as well as the role of strategic innovation in helping to identify new strategic growth options.

However, identifying attractive growth options does not automatically translate into success. Managers also need to be able to successfully implement their growth strategy. An integrated growth strategy therefore includes a plan for obtaining the capabilities needed to succeed in each growth option, and the timing and phasing of each step of expanding the organisation. An integrated growth strategy also requires identifying and analysing the risks that may prevent the capture of expected economic benefits. We will discuss how to limit risk by identifying growth options that leverage the existing strengths of the organisation, evaluating whether an organisation is the natural or best owner of a given business, and avoiding paying too much for an acquisition. 

 

Students must have completed MBAE7502 Growth and Innovation to commence MBAE7503 Disruption and Transformation 
This course will focus on disruption and transformation of industries and organisations.

In this course, students learn to accept and embrace uncertainty. Industry disruption is challenging many incumbent businesses while simultaneously creating opportunities. In disruptive environments, many organisations find they need to transform their business model and their organisation. Transformation means dealing with the challenges of change and uncertainty, sensing the situation, seizing the opportunities, and transforming the organisation. This requires critical thinking to deal with the frequent paradoxical choices in today’s business environment where transformation is increasingly an ongoing activity rather than a once-in-a-career event.

You will build important skills and mindsets to understand disruption, lead organisational business model shifts, and direct organisational transformation projects with confidence. This course is designed to build upon and extend your learning in MBAE7502, as the strategies and tools of growth and innovation also apply in developing new business models. Business model shifts and organisational transformations are complex, and this course explores many distinct types of business models as well as approaches to increase the success probability of organisational transformations.  

In a world besotted with disruption, exponential technology change, globalisation, and the digitalisation of the economy, the concepts addressed in this course are of paramount importance to any leader looking to run a successful organisation into the future. 

 

Students must have completed MBAE7503 Disruption and Innovation to commence MBAE7504 Leadership Immersion
This course constitutes the final course of the capstone year for the MBA (Executive). The course provides the opportunity to consolidate learnings from the MBA (Executive) journey and particularly the courses that constitute the capstone.

It will do so by reflecting on your own (growth, innovation and transformational) development journey and how that has shaped your identity as a capable leader of self, of other individuals and of organisations. You will also use that understanding of your own developmental journey to shape a personal vision of 'where to from here' as the successful completion of the MBAE is merely one milestone, albeit a memorable one, on your ongoing journey. 

The residential component of this final course will be an immersive experience and offers a final challenge to explore your perception of your identity as a leader in a challenging and unfamiliar context. The details and setting of the immersive experience may vary between classes.