The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is offering the services industry a tailored qualification with the launch of its new Master of Business and Commerce (Applied Services Management) (ASM). The post-graduate degree has been designed with the services industry to provide industry-specific knowledge and relevant professional business skills for managers in the services sector.
The new course, which will commence in 2008, was recently launched by Sydney Airport Corporation chairman, Max Moore-Wilton whose organisation provided input in the design of the course.
“A key factor of the Australian economy is it is dominated by the services industry with over 85 per cent of the Australian work force employed in these industries. From my experience, it seems logical there be a university qualification specifically developed to meet the needs of the largest sector of the economy,” says Moore-Wilton.
Throughout the course design industry comment was sought from a number of leaders in retail, hospitality, sports and aviation. The industries involved in the development of the ASM include Accor, Sydney Park Hyatt, Restaurant & Catering Association, Westfield, David Jones, NSW Sports Federation, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Sydney Airports Corporation and Penrith Panthers, Qantas and Star City Casino.
UWS College of Business executive dean, Associate Professor Robyn McGuiggan says having input from industry bodies has given the degree a unique advantage.
“Since World War II, business education in most institutions has focused on production and manufacturing using the familiar term ‘widget’ to describe business processes. The ASM approaches business studies solely from the perspective of the services industries – essentially we have killed the widget.
“The ASM degree caters for employees trained in one sector but experiencing limitations in career progression when wanting to transfer their skill set to another services sector. We have designed this degree to provide opportunities for such employees to leverage their skills and ability to move across services industries,” says McGuiggan.
With similarities present in business management practice across the services industry, the ASM is structured around five common core units designed to equip graduates with sophisticated and expert levels of knowledge and skills in services.
Students will then be able to choose to specialise in one of four services areas including retail management, hotel and restaurant management, sports management and airline and airport management.
McGuiggan says UWS understands flexibility is a necessity for ASM students and will deliver the course through blended learning strategies such as face-to-face classes, in-class tutorials and e-learning tools.

UWS and its industry partners realised that work experience has been a more prominent tool for career progression in this industry. It was important in the development of the course to make sure managers who do not have previous university qualifications but significant work experience can gain access to the ASM.

To be accepted into ASM courses applicants need only have two years management experience in the services industry. UWS will help these applicants by offering entry pathway programs designed to assist these students with entry into University for the first time.

Direct entry is available to applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in a business-related discipline and have two years supervisory or management experience in any of the services industries.