Managing Risk

Subject AGRI90016 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

April, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

The 2011 commencement date is 11th April, 2011. The subject will be open on LMS approximately two weeks prior to the subject commencement date.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject is taught using multimedia teaching techniques and is based around business case studies. There is no face-to-face contact for this subject.
Total Time Commitment: This subject is run over an 8-week period as opposed to a standard 12 week semester subject. It is recommended that students devote 14 hours per week to this subject over 8 weeks.
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this subject.
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this subject.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Students must be able to perform word processing, use Excel spreadsheets, and have a reasonable understanding of the Internet and the University's Learning Management System.
Non Allowed Subjects: There are no non-allowed subjects.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel they have a disability that will impact on meeting the requirements in this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison Unit.


Mr Peter Mcsweeney


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

In modern market economies, producers, processors and marketers of primary products increasingly have to manage their businesses in the face of exposure to variability of, and uncertainty about, commodity prices. Consequently an imperative of business life is improving business management by using methods for managing the various forms of risk associated with primary commodities. Nowadays a sound understanding of the theory and practice of futures market operations, and associated price risk management instruments, is fundamental to sound business management and decision-making.


This subject concerns the theory and practice of risk management using risk management instruments of futures, options and other derivative instruments. The emphasis is on applying these instruments to applied business situations and on developing, implementing and refining trading strategies designed to meet the precise needs of a specialised user.

In this subject, students will learn:

  • Futures market operations in practice
  • The use of derivative - price risk management instruments, options, trading, forward contracting
  • Risk shifting and strategic marketing alliances.

Individual assignments, 3000 words (40%), Group assignments, 2000 words (20%), Case studies, 2000 words (20%), On-line discussion participation (20%).

*Online discussion is an integral component of this subject - a minimum grade of 50% is required in this component.

Prescribed Texts:

Software required will be provided through the Master of Agribusiness Office at Parkville, contact details above.

Recommended Texts: Further reading material will be available online.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

It is expected students will develop:

  • Awareness of and ability to utilise appropriate communication technology and methods for the storage, management and analysis of data
  • Highly developed computer-based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and communication
  • Ability to collaborate, exchange ideas and debate across on-line platforms
  • Ability to plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects
Related Course(s): Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)

Download PDF version.