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AGSM MBA (Operational Excellence)

The MBA (Operational Excellence) is offered as part of the MBAX program. MBAX offers the ability to specialise within your MBA, whilst studying online.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this degree?

  • Study online and face-to-face with Australia’s leading business school
  • Become Lean and Six Sigma certified while deepening your knowledge of the business acumen gained in a traditional MBA
  • Cover topics not addressed in conventional business programs
  • Choose from a range of core courses (see program structure tab) to tailor your MBA (Operational Excellence) to suit your career and passions
  • Be part of a cohort of talented managers and experienced professionals, and develop a valuable and influential global network

Who is this degree for?

  • Experienced managers and professionals working in a broad range of industries.
  • Those interested in expanding their career choices through in -depth business and operational excellence expertise through the Lean and Six Sigma methodology.
  • Those people who are already Lean Six Sigma Belt certified* through another provider who want to further deepen their general business knowledge.
  • *Non-AGSM Green and Black Belt qualified applicants will need to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through AGSM Short Courses

Jobs and Career Prospects

  • Senior management roles (GM,CEO, CIO, CxO and board level)
  • Senior government leader
  • Head of Productivity
  • Business development manager
  • Sustainability and environment manager
  • Not-for-profit manager
  • Executive roles in operational excellence
  • Own business principle

The AGSM (Operational Excellence) is a part-time program, consisting of face-to-face Lean and Six Sigma Certification* delivered via AGSM Short Courses, coupled with core and elective courses from the MBAX program. Please note, FEE HELP is not available for the AGSM Short Courses Lean & Six Sigma Certification, and is available only for the MBAX Core and Elective courses. To be awarded the MBA (Operational Excellence), students must complete:

An AGSM Certificate in Executive Management Development (Operational Excellence)*, consisting of:


An AGSM Master Black Belt**

*The CEMD (Operational Excellence) gives you 24 Units of Credit towards the MBA (Operational Excellence). **The Master Black Belt gives you 36 Units of Credit towards the MBA (Operational Excellence)

MBAX Core Courses – choose 4 - 6

Depending on Belt qualification:

  • Choose 6 if you are Executive Black Belt + CEMD qualified
  • Choose 4 if you are Master Black Belt qualified
MBAX9100 Introduction to Management

This course provides students with a broad introduction to the study of business and management, while at the same time developing important academic and study skills that are required of students engaged in postgraduate business education. This course examines the broad context of business and enterprises, by focussing on issues at the level of an organisation as well as the role of the individual in an organisation. Students who have been away from study for a period of time and/or are new to the area of ‘business studies’ may also benefit from the course.

Course outline
MBAX9114 Marketing Management

Marketing Management is a course designed to introduce fundamental marketing concepts, theories and analytical tools to managers working in today's highly competitive and complex business environment. The course places particular emphasis on the management of profitable exchange processes in the context of modern organisations and covers a diverse range of marketing topics including marketing strategy and planning, the marketing environment and how to monitor it, consumer and organisational behaviour, marketing research, market segmentation and development of target markets, new product development, pricing, distribution, promotion and international marketing. Participants are required to tackle real life marketing problems and demonstrate their ability to apply classroom knowledge to their own work situations.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

MBAX9120 Accounting: A User Perspective

Accounting - A User Perspective is designed for those who use accounting information, rather than those whose task it is to prepare it. The focus is on the understanding and use of accounting information as well as the composition and meaning of the financial statements. The course covers accounting reports prepared for external users as well as accounting reports used by managers to plan, control and make decisions.

Course outline
MBAX9122 Economics in Management Practice

An understanding of economics is essential for the long-term viability of business. The economic environment in which business operates will have a vital bearing on day-to-day decisions. Economics in Management Practice lays the foundations for such knowledge. It provides a basic introduction to those economic principles that are important for business, as well as providing general economic literacy to enable participants to read and understand economic reports and to be able to communicate with and understand business people, economists and policy makers.

Course outline
MBAX9123 Corporate Finance

This course stresses the fundamentals of corporate financial decision making with special reference to investment, financing and dividend distribution. The course develops distinct conceptual frameworks and specialised tools for solving real-world financial problems at both the personal and corporate level. Examples include funds management, mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings, portfolio selection of financial securities, public floats and the pricing of assets in the stock market. Illustrations from real-life corporate practices are used to highlight the importance and relevance of financial management to the realisation of personal and corporate financial objectives.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

MBAX9125 Fundamentals of People Management

Fundamentals of People Management examines the different ways in which organisations approach the management of their employees. We explore the behaviour of people at work, and the impact this has on others and on the organisation itself. We consider the relationship between people management and the organisation's strategy and locate the management of 'people at work' within various theoretical, philosophical, historical and regulatory contexts.

Course outline
MBAX9131 Leadership in a Complex Environment

Leadership In A Complex Environment addresses the need for, and value of, leadership in complex environments characterised by technology, sustainability and the need to operate across boundaries. It introduces students to contemporary models, concepts and theoretical frameworks of leadership and examines different forms of leaderships, including emergent, sustainability, cross-boundary and transformational. The course facilitates the development of personalised leadership plans for each student using theoretical knowledge. It also provides practical guidance to help students strengthen the leadership abilities they need to address business problems, exert influence and drive change across a wide range of organisations.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

MBAX9135 Business Analytics

This is a core course in Business Analytics, which enables organizations to make quicker, better, and more intelligent decisions to create business value in the broadest sense. This course addresses the context of business analytics and the management actions required for organizations to manage business analytics such that they can create value from their data and make progress on the transformational journey to becoming data-driven. Emphasis will be placed on the managing and sourcing data, the analytic process and the role of leadership in supporting the organizational and cultural change associated with the transformation to becoming a data-driven organization.

As part of the business analytics process you will build predictive models. This requires a basic understanding of statistics and you will therefore be required to study the material on basic statistics provided by Harvard online training. IBM’s Watson Analytics will be used to build predictive models and communicate analytic insights.

Course outline
MBAXxxxx Strategy**

More information coming soon.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

**Strategy course is pending approval.

MBAX Elective Courses – choose 1

MBAX9101 Project Management

Project management involves the overall planning, control and coordination of a project. It is the process by which the responsibility for all phases is combined within one multidisciplinary function. This course introduces you to the project management skills needed during the lifetime of a project. It explores some key concepts of project management, including project risk management.

Course outline
MBAX9119 Managing for Organisational Sustainability

The current global business environment continues to create challenges for organisations and their managers. Managers now face increasing pressure to balance short and long-term needs for economic, social and environmental sustainability. This course examines how organisations and their management can support sustainable organisational strategies. We see how holistic and integrated approaches to people management and stakeholder relations can increase an organisation’s capability for continuous renewal and long-term viability. Managing for Organisational Sustainability deals with topics such as organisational capabilities and sustainability, triple bottom line thinking, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder management, alternative performance management systems, organisational learning and change, and managerial competencies for sustainability.

Course outline
MBAX9121 Managing Agile Organisations

Behind managing agile organisations effectively is a myriad of applicable management theory. In Managing Agile Organisations (MAO), we will demystify that theory and invite students to unleash its value in analysis of their own organisation (or another that they know well). It is becoming increasingly important in the current business environment to be able to do this to good effect.

Beyond those skills of organisational analysis, we will further investigate the importance of achieving and managing agility of politics, power, cross-functional interaction, inter-organisational alliances, commitment, managing change, and critical aspects of leadership, leaders and leading. Students of MAO are sure to undergo a transformation of their present management perspective.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

MBAX9129 Managing Organisational Resources

The course aims to provide a performance management framework for managing major types of enterprise resources. A total enterprise perspective is employed, positioning the organisation in its value creation system. The nature of the resources to be managed and their relative importance is examined, as well as the management issues related to and appropriate performance measurement techniques available for assessing each type of resource. An enterprise governance framework is used to guide the process by linking resource management to the performance of strategy, risk management, corporate ethics and ethos, corporate governance structures and processes, and social and environmental responsibility.

Course outline
MBAX9130 Enterprise Risk Management

This course considers the range of risks facing organisations in the areas of finance, operations, IT, innovation and reputation. An organisation’s culture can impact on the effectiveness of its risk management, which needs to be incorporated into all business planning and decision making. The course covers the role of corporate governance and compliance, and suggests methods of developing and implementing appropriate risk management strategies. Some of the effective tools available for identifying, assessing and quantifying risk are presented, along with emerging issues in enterprise risk management.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

Capstone (required)

MBAX9133 Operational Excellence Strategy*

This course forms the capstone component of the MBA in Operational Excellence.

Today more than ever companies are looking for ways to create greater efficiencies, reduce costs and boost operational performance to build competitive advantage.

Operational Excellence Strategy examines approaches for optimizing value-chains. It addresses how to fully align operations with overall business strategy, and explores innovative ways of maximizing effectiveness in today’s global context. Students learn methods to implement new supply chain frameworks, lower costs without compromising quality and reduce working capital to generate liquidity.

Operational Excellence itself is a philosophy of organizational leadership that stresses continuous improvement, teamwork, and problem solving throughout the organization by focusing on the needs of the customer, empowering employees, and focusing management attention towards sustainable improvement of organizational performance. The course also addresses operational finance and people management as integral factors in achieving operational excellence, covering topics such as managing financials in global operations, cash-to-cash cycles, leadership and change management.

A minimum of 48 units of credit must be completed before enrolling into this course.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

*FEE HELP is not available for AGSM Short Courses Lean & Six Sigma certifications (The Executive Black Belt, CEMD or Master Black Belt).

If you have completed the CEMD (Operational Excellence), or the AGSM Master Black Belt, you must successfully meet the admissions criteria for MBAX to progress to the MBA (Operational Excellence) program.

Non-AGSM Black Belt certified applicants will need to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through AGSM Executive Education ($2,310 inc. GST). Successful RPL will qualify the applicant to enter via one of the above pathways for an MBA (Operational Excellence).

You must have certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt to complete the MBAX application process. Please contact enquiries@agsm.edu.au for application details.

The MBA (Operational Excellence) program is a part-time program, consisting of face-to-face Lean and Six Sigma Certification delivered via AGSM Short Courses, coupled with core and elective courses from the MBAX program. The core and elective courses are offered online, where AGSM @ UNSW Business School becomes your 'mobile campus' - take your course materials with you on business trips and continue to participate in on-line discussions. Students may also opt to take some classes in face-to-face class mode according to preferences and offerings.

Face-to-Face Lean & Six Sigma certification through AGSM Short Courses

Lean Six Sigma is about results and focusses on the practical application of the methodology, combined with a strategic approach that addresses the culture and leadership of an organisation. A participant-centred, Experiential Learning Model underpins AGSM’s Lean Six Sigma courses and is as relevant for new managers as it is for non-executive directors. Experiential learning is a collaborative process used to uncover needs and outcomes which inform learning designs and increased the likelihood of realising desired outcomes.

Online MBAX classes

The MBA (Operational Excellence) can be studied entirely via interactive online classes through the intuitive communication tool: Moodle. Whether your class is real or virtual, the emphasis will be on sharing knowledge and skills. Online classes do not require facilitators and participants to be online at the same time, it is asynchronous, enabling contributions to discussions at a time of personal choice. AGSM @ UNSW Business School becomes your 'mobile campus'; take your course materials with you on business trips and continue to participate online. Class facilitators manage the discussion and assess for participation.

Class size

For each MBAX course you undertake you will be allocated to a class with typically 25 to 28 co-participants and a class facilitator. Group discussion, either on-line or face-to-face, ensures a sharing of knowledge with fellow students of diverse backgrounds and experience and contact with program staff. Your class facilitator will lead and guide interaction and participation in the online classroom environment.

Interactive learning areas

You can log into your online class at any time during the week, day or night, to contribute to set learning activities. In an MBA (Operational Excellence) online class there are four main locations:

  • The announcements where facilitators post notices to the class
  • The forums where facilitators conduct the formal teaching and learning activities in a class
  • The coffee shop where informal discussions among members of the class take place
  • The student profile where each member of the class can introduce themselves and upload a photo

Face-to-face classes

In some cases, MBAX core and elective courses will be available in face-to-face mode at a UNSW campus with course selection alternating each session. Both class delivery options are based on the same course material content, and students who undertake face-to-face classes will access our online tool Moodle to download their course materials.

Course materials

The course materials are the starting point of your weekly studies. MBA (Operational Excellence) course materials are divided into 12 units, one per each teaching week, and include the core concepts, activities for reflection, set readings, reference lists of further readings and detailed information regarding assessment.

It is expected that all participants will have read the week's unit prior to attending class or participating in online class discussion. Course materials are available in three different formats:

  • A PDF via Moodle 4 weeks prior to the commencement of class (typically in the week enrolments close)
  • Approximately one week before classes commence, course materials are available in separate units and you should expect to receive an email from your facilitator in this period
  • For those who prefer a hardcopy, the printed course materials may be purchased from the UNSW Bookshop at cost price plus delivery

Other materials

Many courses also have prescribed textbooks which may be ordered online from the UNSW Bookshop. All participants have access to the vast online resources of the UNSW library, and borrowing rights at your local academic library can usually be arranged.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
MBA (Specialised)
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Study Mode
Face to face
2-6 years part-time
Commencing semesters
Session 3, 2016
Course fee*
Executive Black Belt is $13,948 and 2 day elective short course is $3,575*. MBAX core and elective fees are $4,350 per course.
Program fee (total)*
* Fees are indicative only

​​​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for postgraduate study


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest