Program Structure and Courses

Structure

The AGSM MBA (Social Impact) is a part-time program and can be completed in anywhere between 2 - 6 years.

Social Impact courses are delivered by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), a collaboration between UNSW, Swinburne University of Technology, and The University of Western Australia. CSI is supported by a combination of corporate, philanthropic, and governmental organisations, with the objective of taking a systemic approach to Australia’s social change challenges. These courses are available to students undertaking the MBAX (Social Impact).

Mandatory Commencing Course

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 Courses – Choose Five

Marketing Management is a course designed to introduce fundamental marketing concepts, theories and analytical tools to managers working in today's highly competitive and complex business environment. The course places particular emphasis on the management of profitable exchange processes in the context of modern organisations and covers a diverse range of marketing topics including marketing strategy and planning, the marketing environment and how to monitor it, consumer and organisational behaviour, marketing research, market segmentation and development of target markets, new product development, pricing, distribution, promotion and international marketing. Participants are required to tackle real life marketing problems and demonstrate their ability to apply classroom knowledge to their own work situations.

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Accounting - A User Perspective is designed for those who use accounting information, rather than those whose task it is to prepare it. The focus is on the understanding and use of accounting information as well as the composition and meaning of the financial statements. The course covers accounting reports prepared for external users as well as accounting reports used by managers to plan, control and make decisions.

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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 stresses the fundamentals of corporate financial decision making with special reference to investment, financing and dividend distribution. The course develops distinct conceptual frameworks and specialised tools for solving real-world financial problems at both the personal and corporate level. Examples include funds management, mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings, portfolio selection of financial securities, public floats and the pricing of assets in the stock market. Illustrations from real-life corporate practices are used to highlight the importance and relevance of financial management to the realisation of personal and corporate financial objectives.

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Fundamentals of People Management examines the different ways in which organisations approach the management of their employees. We explore the behaviour of people at work, and the impact this has on others and on the organisation itself. We consider the relationship between people management and the organisation's strategy and locate the management of 'people at work' within various theoretical, philosophical, historical and regulatory contexts.

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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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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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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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Social Impact Specialisation Courses

Core Course

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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Electives

Choose four courses from the following:

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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This course is an individual student driven project bringing together learning from the core COMM5708 along with 2 Elective courses. It applies the cumulative learning of students' three previous courses so it cannot be studied until the student has completed three GCSI courses.

This course places students, through negotiation, with an agreed suitable host, in a practical working environment with a social impact focus. Students may choose to work individually, or in a team of two.

Students will work at least one day a fortnight at a host organisation’s premises on a project with a social impact focus agreed between the organisation, the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact Program Director and the student(s).

Suitable projects should come from any of the areas studied in the other Graduate Certificate courses: social enterprises, the measurement of social value creation, social finance, leadership for social impact, corporate responsibility and accountability. The course has no formal classes; all sessions are arranged between the supervisor and the student. The course requires a written interim and final report.

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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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Creating Shared Value (CSV) is a business strategy aimed at enhancing a company’s competitiveness through finding business opportunities through addressing social problems. As an organisation and business ethos, CSV seeks greater integration of organisational economic imperatives with the identification of social needs that can be addressed via the expansion of economic markets and business innovation. Complementing existing strategies of corporate philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, CSV is aimed at creating shared value by reconceiving products and markets, increasing productivity in the value chain, and enabling development of clusters of stakeholders. This course will examine the fundamentals of CSV and how businesses might co-create sustainable financial and social value.

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This course examines key concepts and frameworks of sector collaboration and develops your capacities to undertake highly effective collaboration with existing and emerging partners. Primary topic areas include: cross-sectoral leadership, building and sustaining strategic partnerships, creative collaborative management, collaboration dilemmas and tensions and effective collaboration design and implementation. In completing this course, you will gain a deeper understanding of the knowledge and frameworks required to develop and sustain cross sectoral collaborations to achieve social impact and outcomes. You will also have the opportunity to develop a range of skills and competencies that can be applied to build collaborative partnerships with government, business and the third sector within your workplace.

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Leadership for Social Impact is designed for a new generation of leaders

  • Those who seek a leadership career in social enterprises, and those already in the sector who wish to enhance their professional capacity to create social and environmental value through leadership of third sector/not-for-profit organisations
  • Those who aspire to hold executive positions in companies which are committed to maximising social benefit and meeting corporate responsibilities through their products and practices
  • Those who wish to become senior public administrators working with community groups, or public service executives with a responsibility for developing the public policy framework
  • Those individuals and foundations that seek to ensure that their social investment is applied to greatest social impact

The course provides students with an introduction to the challenges and opportunities of leading organisations with the purpose of improving social outcomes.

The course will examine the following areas:

  • Current challenges in achieving social benefit
  • Leadership in the social economy
  • Challenges and opportunities of leadership during a time of inflexion
  • A model of leadership centred on identifying adaptive challenges for leaders
  • Intervention of leaders and practices for more effective and positive social outcomes
  • New forms of organising designed to address breakdowns in the social economy
  • Governance systems and demands
  • Diagnosis of leadership challenges

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Capstone (Required)

This course is the compulsory capstone course in the Business Administration (Specialised) – 8625: Social Impact - MNGTKS8625 Stream.

This course must be taken at the end of your program. You must complete at least 48 units of credit (48 UoC) – eight courses – before you will be permitted to enroll in this capstone course.

The main aim of the capstone course is to enable graduates to synthesize all their learning from across the MBAX Social Impact program and, to achieve a common understanding of the degree qualification.

The capstone course will add significant value to your Master's degree by building on your knowledge and skills from across the core business discipline courses within the MBAX Social Impact program financial, legal, marketing, etc.) in addition to the specialist knowledge and skills in Social Impact that you have developed throughout your study and professional experience.

As a graduate of MBAX (Social Impact) program it is expected that you will be able to perform effectively at a high level across social impact field within either the corporate, social purpose, or government sectors. You should now be able to demonstrate effective leadership and management in the field of Social Impact by combining strong generic strategic management skills with specialist social impact expertise.

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^Leadership for Social Impact is only available to students who have not selected Leadership in a Complex Environment as a core course