AP3A82-Business Planning and Control

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Yiorgos Gadanakis

Email: g.gadanakis@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Learn how to manage effectively a farm business by increasing the efficient use of the four factors of production (human capital, financial capital, physical capital, entrepreneurship). Gain an in depth understanding of the use of financial tools for decision making, and learn how to use the production function to efficiently allocate resources in order to maximise revenue, by examining the relationship between factor-factor, factor-product, and product-product relationship.  In addition, through practical examples and in class exercises and tutorials, review a series of tools used for farm planning and control, investment appraisal and risk analysis. 

The module has the following broad aims:
- To develop understanding of the control function of farm management
- To develop understanding of the fundamental role that planning plays in managing a farm business
This encompasses the following objectives:
- To review and interpret farm business data, particularly for measuring and analysing the performance of a business in financial terms
- To apply planning methods and techniques to facilitate managerial decisions making and resource planning

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module you will have developed the following management and core skills:
- Familiarity with the control function of management and its role in the management process, concentrating on financial record keeping and management accounting, analysis and interpretation
- Experience in carrying out the appraisal of the use of capital investment funds using Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return
- Familiarity with various types of financial planning methods an d their actual use in business decision-making
- Whole farm and resource planning focused on land, labour and machinery use
- Knowledge of the basic methods available for structuring and analysing decisions under uncertainty
- Knowledge of the basic concepts that underpin managerial economics and the logic for taking decisions on what to produce, how to produce and how much to produce

Additional outcomes:
- Analytical thinking - developing problem-solving, numeracy, literacy, reasoning and appraisal skills
- Report writing - demonstration of ability to produce clearly written reports that meet specific criteria
- Spreadsheet skills - developing skills in the use of spreadsheets for business control (financial management) and planning (decision making)

Outline content:
1. Financial record keeping
2. Management accounting, analysis and interpretation
3. Financial planning, budgeting techniques
4. Whole farm and resource planning
5. Structuring decisions to deal with risk and uncertainty
6. Optimisation techniques for management decision making
7. Managerial economics, key concepts

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The delivery strategy for the module is a combination of introductory and follow-up lectures/tutorials based around exercises undertaken in class and also outside of timetabled hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Practicals classes and workshops 10 10
Guided independent study: 80 80
Total hours by term 100 100
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Practical skills assessment 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:
A one and a half hour exam answering two questions from a choice of four.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One financial management exercise. The emphasis will be on business appraisal, control and planning skills.

Formative assessment methods:
In-class exercises 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 Support Centres 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 (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:
By Re-Examination in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books:

The John Nix Farm Management Pocketbook for farm management – 20xx edition

Available in the university library:

Farm management / Ronald D. Kay, William M. Edwards, Patricia A. Duffy. 7th ed New York : McGraw-Hill, 2012.

Applied farm management / Jonathan Turner, Martin Taylor. 2nd ed. Oxford : Blackwell Science, 1998.

Financial management for farmers and rural managers / Martyn F. Warren. 4th ed. Oxford : Blackwell Science, 1997.

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: 12 March 2021


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