Operations and Decision-making

Subject AGRI90017 (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:

September, 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

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
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 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)
Email: 13MELB@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

Agribusiness management is becoming more complex, with global supply chains that need new systems and technologies to operate smoothly. Topics include design, planning, scheduling, control, maintenance and replacement, as well as the management of inventories and quality of goods and services delivered to customer. Students develop skills in categorising, describing and analysing operating systems and will be able to show the link between an effective choice of systems and the business strategy of the organisation.


The objective of this subject is to extend the participant's ability to:

  • Understand issues in operations and supply chain management with particular emphasis on agribusiness operations
  • Apply quantitative techniques to operations problem
  • Consider different aspects of quality including costs and different quality management systems
  • Understand supply chain concepts, approaches and challenges
  • Understand basic forecasting and inventory models and when to use them

The subject will consist of:

  • Operations strategy for agribusiness firms
  • Managing new technologies and innovation
  • Managing supply chain projects
  • Forecasting demand
  • Managing quality - concepts, systems and techniques
  • Managing agribusiness supply chains and inventories
  • Understanding processes and lean production systems


Major Case Project (group), 3000 words (40%), Individual assignments, 3,000 words (40%), Group Discussion Participation (20%).

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

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Text: Heizer, J. and B. Render 2011 Operations Management 10th Edition, Pearson - It is recommended that texts be ordered through MSLE Student Centre EMAIL: SC-MSLE@unimelb.edu.au

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
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across related management disciplines to solve problems in applied situations
  • Highly developed computer-based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and communication
  • Ability to collaborate, exchange ideas and debate across on-line learning platforms
  • Ability to plan, use time effectively and manage small projects.
Related Course(s): Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Master of Food Science
Postgraduate Certificate in Food Science
Postgraduate Diploma in Food Science

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