You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Exploring innovation and entrepreneurship

This module provides you with a wide-ranging introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship. You’ll examine different forms of innovative and entrepreneurial practice around the world and at different scales, including: technological and social innovation; commercial and social enterprise; independent and corporate entrepreneurship. You’ll also have many opportunities to develop subject-related skills by creating your own ‘visual essay’, taking part in an online negotiation activity, researching and presenting a case study based on your own chosen example, and working with a small team of students to develop your own proposal for an innovative entrepreneurial venture.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
B205
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses

Request your copy now

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 this block 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.

Vocational relevance

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.

Outside the UK

The module includes two learning events, which take place in Blocks 1 and 5. The face-to-face versions of the Day Schools are likely to run in the UK only but all registered students will have access to an online alternative.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to The Open University, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. To support your study there will be a series of learning events which you are encouraged to attend. These events will either be delivered face to face or via an online meeting room which is a synchronous online platform used to deliver tuition. They provide an opportunity for you to engage with members of the module tutoring team and fellow students on a series of activities that will help you to consolidate your learning and prepare for module assessments. The cost of these learning events excluding travel and subsistence, is included in the module fee.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Exploring innovation and entrepreneurship starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    Examination
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    This is a core module on the BA (Hons) Business Management (Innovation and Enterprise) and is suitable for anyone who has successfully completed Stage 1 of any business and management qualification. The module is also well worth considering if you’re completing OU level 1 on another qualification, including the BA/BSc (Hons) Open degree, and have a particular interest in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. However, if you’ve got limited experience of business and management subjects, we strongly recommend that you complete some preparatory work before commencing on this module.

    Preparatory work

    We recommend that anyone considering this module views the free OpenLearn sample materials for B205, First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship. It would also be worth reviewing other OU learning materials on innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the short audio series Entrepreneurial Lives, and any introductory textbooks covering this area. 

    If you have little or no prior experience of business and management subjects, we strongly recommend that you complete the free OpenLearn course, The Business of Football (9 hours’ study).  Don’t worry if you’re not particularly interested in sport as the main aim is to help you gain some insights into topical business and management issues. We also recommend that you take time to read at least one introductory textbook on business and management before commencing this module.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2928.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 19/06/2018.

    What's included

    Access to online study materials via the module website including a Study Guide, an online study calendar, video, audio and multimedia material, Open Studio, assessment resources and library resources including e-journal articles and referencing guides. The B205 Reader, an edited collection of longer readings, is provided in electronic and print formats.

    You will need

    You will need access to a computer to use the Open Design studio software.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B205 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.