AP3A54-Business Management (Case Studies)

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: AP2A64 Farm Business Management
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: AP3A82 Business Planning and Control
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Dorward

Email: p.t.dorward@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how to work with real client businesses to develop management proposals and solve real issues. Apply the techniques and management tools you have developed in other modules. An important part of this module is the development of a business proposal for a local client business, presenting it to Barclays Bank and receiving their feedback.

The module has the following broad aims: •To develop understanding of the management of farming and related businesses •To develop transferable skills that students will need in management situations

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module you will have developed the following management and core skills:
•Business analysis and evaluation – understand how to appraise businesses and evaluate problems. This may include demonstrating understanding of resource use, comparative analysis and benchmarking (financial and other)
•Business planning – demonstration of the ability to apply management tools to decision making and business development e.g. identification of opportunities, threats etc. in th e wider environment, labour and machinery management, financial planning including enterprise and partial budgets, sensitivity analysis
•Business strategy – demonstration of the ability to develop alternative strategies for a business. This will include understanding how to develop appropriate plans for the introduction of new enterprises / major changes to a rural business and presenting a coherent proposal for investment to a potential lender (i.e. a bank)
•People management sk ills – demonstration of appropriate skills in meeting and advising businessmen including clear and tactful written and verbal presentation of findings and criticisms of a third-party business
•Report writing – demonstration of ability to produce clearly written reports that meet specific criteria set and address briefs set
•Presentation skills – demonstration of the ability to deliver clear and informative presentations that that meet specific criteria set and address briefs set

Additional outcomes:
Additional outcomes:
- Improve techniques of purposive questioning, data collection and analysis
- Analytical thinking - developing problem-solving, numeracy, literacy, reasoning and appraisal skills
- Develop team working skills

Outline content:
The module consists of a series of management exercises, based on farms and other rural enterprises, which students undertake individually or in groups. Written and verbal reports will be presented and discussed, usually in the presence of the manager of the business studied.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students will visit approximately three farms / businesses during each term. Each visit or meeting will be followed by a seminar to discuss what was learned. Students will be expected to present their thoughts on selected aspects of the visits through discussions, presentations, short written reports and other methods.
•Guided tours of farms and businesses
•Directed learning - reflecting on your experience and assignments
•Presentations - discussion and pres entations to tutors and other students of the visits
•Report writing - students must produce a written report on a number of elements of the visit programme

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 6
Seminars 8 12
External visits 8 8
Guided independent study: 74 74
Total hours by term 100 100
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 40
Oral assessment and presentation 40
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module is assessed by coursework assignments alone. Each assignment (commonly a management case study) will be accompanied by the statement of specific learning objectives to which it will be directed, in the light of the overall aims of the module. The detailed work for case studies is generally undertaken and reported on by small teams of students (usually consisting of 4/5 members). The team work will contain an element of peer-assessment. Case studies 1 and 2 include individual reports by each student. 

The main assessment for the module involves the preparation of a business proposal for the introduction of a new enterprise / major change to a rural business for submission to a potential lender (i.e. bank)

% of marks for each assessment:

Case study 1 (individual report 20%) +group presentation (5%)

Case study 2 (individual report 30%) + group presentation (5%)

Barclays bank exercise 40%

Formative assessment methods:
In-class exercises provided in the co-requisite module AP3A82 applying theories taught will be undertaken with immediate verbal feedback given, followed by written feedback/answer documents provided via Blackboard as appropriate.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Preparation of written report on a management issue.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 27 July 2020


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