What you will study
Our world is constantly re-shaped by innovations of all kinds, ranging from exciting new technologies to life-saving social innovations. While some innovations are relatively modest in their scale and impact, others have transformed entire regions and industries. Entrepreneurial teams and individuals are a driving force of the innovation process. They fulfil a number of key roles such as identifying and evaluating opportunities, persuading people to support novel ideas, and assembling the necessary resources to bring them into wider use. Studying these closely-related subjects in tandem will give you a real insight into the way they are connected and what this means for policy and practice. You will also be much better positioned to develop your own innovative ventures, either independently or in an existing organisation.
Block 1 introduces core concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship, provides some working definitions and gives you an opportunity to consider ‘what it all means for me’. Activities in the early part of the block are designed to be undertaken individually, but you will soon be engaging in discussion with your fellow students via the tutor group forum. During Block 1 you will be producing your own ‘digital essay’, a short audio slideshow or video recording about a real innovation or entrepreneurial venture that you’ve selected to study. The visual essay will also provide the basis for your first assessment. Over the six week period, you’ll gain a good understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship, which will develop over the remainder of the module.
Block 2 focuses on the skills required to create teams, build networks and to secure the necessary resources for an innovative, entrepreneurial venture. You will also develop your knowledge and understanding in these key areas. The block is structured around an extended negotiation activity, which provides you with the opportunity to take on a role and in a realistic scenario involving innovation and entrepreneurship. During the block, you will build up a record of your experiences which will provide the basis for your second coursework assessment.
Block 3 explores the many and varied contexts in which entrepreneurship and innovation is practised around the world. You’ll be examining interesting case-based examples in a number of different geographic locations, industry sectors, technologies and organisation types. There will be opportunities to discuss the implications for policy and practice and to develop your own thinking in this area. During the block, you’ll gain experience in analysing case studies. For the third coursework assessment, your task is to research and draft your own case study, which will examine innovation and entrepreneurship in a particular context.
Block 4 provides an opportunity to develop your own detailed proposal for an innovative entrepreneurial venture. It’s designed to simulate the experience of being in an early stage social or commercial venture (e.g. generating ideas, evaluating opportunities, assembling resources and developing a business model), where the task is deliberately open-ended and subject to tight deadlines. You’ll need to be willing to collaborate with other students as part of a small venture team and to deal with time pressures and uncertainty. The assessment for this block is individual, but it’s closely tied to the new venture creation activity as you prepare a critical reflection that draws on relevant module concepts.
Block 5 draws together diverse themes from the four preceding blocks and encourages you to reflect on what you’ve learned about innovation and entrepreneurship. You will also have a chance to make some connections between the skills, knowledge and understanding that you’ve developed whilst studying this module. This block includes activities related to entrepreneurial learning, career planning and looking forward to future studies. The final sessions will be devoted to helping you prepare for the end-of-module examination.
This module is particularly relevant if you are considering an entrepreneurial career, either by setting up or becoming part of a commercial or social venture. It will also be useful if you are thinking about working with innovators and entrepreneurs (e.g. in fields such as finance, accounting or technical support), or if you would like to play an innovative and entrepreneurial role in a larger organisation.