The University of Sydney Business School


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MBA Units of Study

A hallmark of our management education program is our strong emphasis on experiential learning.

The University of Sydney Business School MBA will give you opportunities to confront complex real world problems and apply your theory and skills to these. This active learning approach is designed to maximise the contribution of students to each other's learning; all facilitated by experienced faculty and industry practitioners.

Commencing Unit Core Units Elective Unit MBA Business Capstone Unit – Lean Design

Commencing Unit

Leadership Practice and Development

Sound leadership is more important than ever for today's organisations and is a major component of this MBA. This unit teaches leadership in a fundamentally different way — training and developing your specific leadership skills, in small groups.

The emphasis is on learning by doing, so that you receive regular and ongoing feedback on your leadership competencies such as motivating, listening, delivering and receiving feedback, teamwork, delegating and confronting. By the end of the course, you are equipped with a breadth and depth of fundamental leadership skills that you can apply on a daily basis in your workplace.

Core Units of Study

Critical Analysis and Thought Leadership

Critical analysis of arguments and the ability to persuasively communicate sound arguments are vital to effective leadership and management. In this unit you learn about the principles of logical reasoning and rhetoric, and different methods of argument.

You also develop your thought-leadership skills in order to craft clear and vibrant communication approaches. All this is supported by practical workshops, focussed case studies and the drafting of pieces for publication and to camera. You also have the opportunity to work on critical questions and topics posed by Australian business and thought leaders.

Data Analytics and Modelling

One of the most significant developments associated with the digital revolution is the increased availability of data. For leaders in contemporary organisations, the ability to effectively analyse and draw useful inferences from data is critical.

It is also important that you can communicate complex interrelationships found in the data to senior management, so that it can lead to productive and sustainable change. This unit of study delivers this competitive advantage for you. You're also given the opportunity to work with real-world data sets and case studies, and to apply those skills to your own and other organisations.

Financial Management

This unit of study provides you 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, you learn key financial management tools and techniques that can be used to drive and support change, and apply these financial management tools to real-world case studies. You also have the opportunity to gain practical insights from leading industry practitioners, including CFOs, into the financial management practices they use in their organisations.

Innovation in Strategic Marketing

Marketing is at a crossroads in its evolution. Marketing strategy today 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 unit provides an innovative approach to strategic marketing, incorporating many practical frameworks with examples drawn from a wide variety of managerially relevant contexts. You gain a clear perspective of how marketing relates to other functional areas of the business with a good working knowledge of some practical tools and frameworks to assist you as a manager.

Managing People and Organisations

Superior organisational performance depends on the commitment, drive and passion of the people who constitute the organisation. Drawing on research from organisational behaviour and human resource management, this unit of study provides you with insights into what you as a manager and leader can do to create an environment where people thrive and deliver outstanding organisational performance.

A distinctive feature of this unit of study is its focus on the effective management of virtual teams and project teams, two increasingly important dimensions of work in contemporary organisations.

Strategies for Growth

With disruptive change on the increase in the business world, you need to be strategically agile in order to identify and master these changes. In this unit, you examine how organisations can reshape and rethink their business models in response to changes in technology and market structure.

You also look at 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 input from leading industry figures, this unit of study gives you hands-on and practical experience of applying theory to real-world situations and of identifying innovative strategic responses to shifts in market conditions.

Elective Units of Study

As part of your enrolment in our MBA, you have the opportunity to select from a range of electives specifically designed to be consistent with the core themes of the degree and the program level learning outcomes.

Amongst the range of topics that will be included as electives are:

  • An International Business Project unit that focuses on international dimensions of business strategy
  • An Individual Company Project where you'll have the opportunity to focus on a change related project for your organisation

Other electives will be drawn from the following subject areas: operations management, financial strategy, managing with technology, managing value networks, performance management and coaching, social technology, business sustainability and project management.

MBA Business Capstone Unit – Lean Design

A key goal from your Sydney MBA is to prepare you for real-world business situations. In your final unit, you will confront the ultimate challenge that faces truly pioneering companies: excellence in new product development. You will learn and apply the art of design thinking and lean start up methodologies to build a new prototype product of service that has been rigorously tested with real customers. You will work in a team, integrating the skills, knowledge and experience you have acquired throughout the MBA. At the end of this project, your team will deliver the prototype to a committee of senior stakeholders.

This unit has been developed based on extensive consultation with industry, faculty at the University of Sydney, and academics and teaching faculty at leading international institutions.