Managing Risk

Subject AGRI90016 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 02-Feb-2015
Teaching Period 16-Feb-2015 to 20-Feb-2015
Assessment Period End 01-May-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 04-Feb-2015
Census Date 06-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 27-Mar-2015

  • This subject has a pre-teaching period commencing on the 2nd February. Students will be required to undertake some reading material and do some preparation for a class presentation.
  • The 2015 Intensive dates for this subject are: 16th - 20th February
  • Please refer to the Intensive schedule located at the following address for any further information:

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 analysis and business case studies. There is a 5 day intensive for this subject (in February) followed by learning tasks and discussion facilitated using the LMS.
Total Time Commitment:

144 Hours.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
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: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable 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. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they
must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who
feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter
with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison
students email:


Mr Peter Mcsweeney


Subject Overview:

Farmers, merchants, and end-users in deregulated food/fibre supply chains are increasingly exposed to risk, particularly delivery risk and price variability-volatility. Consequently, risk management needs to be an integral part of good business practice. However, there can be risk inter-change and trade-offs in risk management, which makes managing risk difficult to achieve. But without risk, there are no opportunities for business profit. Risk needs to be balanced between the risk of losses and the rewards through profit. In some agricultural industries, a sound understanding of the theory and practice of future market operations, and associated price risk management instruments, is fundamental to business management and decision-making.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject focuses on agribusiness risk with an emphasis on risk identification, measurement, analysis, and management. Risk analysis will include risk in relation to returns and cost, and why some risk taking is important to business. The success and failures of risk management will be examined. The objective of this subject is to extend the participant's ability:

  • to measure and analyse risk
  • to identify and manage risk through strategic alliances and internal controls
  • to manage price risk through forward contracting, futures, options, and over-the-counter bank products
  • to analyse problems with risk management

  • Individual Report (500 words) due during the intensive, 10%;
  • Individual Report (500 words) due three weeks after the intensive, 10%;
  • Group Presentation (3 people) for 30 minutes in total, including power point due during the intensive, 20%;
  • Case Study Report (2,000 words) due at the end of assessment period, 40%;
  • On-line Discussion participation throughout the semester, (20%).

*Online discussion is an integral component of this subject. It is a hurdle requirement that a minimum grade of 50% is achieved in this component.

Prescribed Texts:

Williams, John, 2013, Agricultural Supply Chains and the Challenge of Price Risk, Earthscan-Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

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
Master of Agribusiness (Coursework)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
150 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
Agribusiness Specialisation

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