Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
07 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L903 Global Studies,
BA L904 Global Studies (including year abroad),
BA L905 Global Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L908 Global Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA LR04 Global Studies and Modern Languages (Including Year Abroad),
BA L910 Global Studies with Politics,
BA L911 Global Studies with Politics (Including year abroad),
BA L912 Global Studies with Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L913 Global Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L914 Global Studies with Human Rights,
BA L916 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA L917 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L918 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA L400 Social Change,
BA L400PT Social Change,
BA L401 Social Change (Including Foundation Year),
BA L402 Social Change (including Placement Year),
BA L403 Social Change (including Year Abroad),
BA L933 Global Studies with Business Management,
BA L934 Global Studies with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA L935 Global Studies with Business Management (Including Placement Year),
BA L936 Global Studies with Business Management (Including Year Abroad),
BA R104 Global Studies and Language Studies,
BA R105 Global Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L994 Global Studies with Latin American Studies,
BA L995 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L996 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (including Placement Year),
BA L997 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA L990 Global Studies and Latin American Studies,
BA L991 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L992 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (including Placement Year),
BA L993 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA C900 Global Studies with Sustainability,
BA C901 Global Studies with Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BA C902 Global Studies with Sustainability (including Placement Year),
BA C903 Global Studies with Sustainability (including Year Abroad),
BA V5L5 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability,
BA V5L6 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BA V5L7 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Placement Year),
BA V5L8 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module has an interdisciplinary basis and is suitable for students from any discipline. It is designed to help students gain confidence in their own knowledge and creative capabilities and how you could use these to create meaningful projects, jobs and small-scale, not-for-profit enterprises that enhance well-being.

This module combines theory and practice. It is organised around the challenges facing contemporary societies, and requires students to generate small-scale projects or organisations that relate to the real-world needs of local communities, people and the environment.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To give students an understanding of the concept of social entrepreneurs, their different roles and potentials in relation to the needs of local people, communities and the environment.

  • To stimulate thinking around the theory and practice of sustainability and how it relates to everyday practices and local community needs.

  • To introduce students to the diverse types of small-scale, not-for-profit organisations and some of their strengths and limitations.

  • To help students develop and gain confidence in their creative capabilities and ways they might use these in the labour market and to enhance well-being.

  • To provide students with skills and experience of working collaboratively, and in project and organisational design.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Have a good understanding of the topics and ideas that are covered in this module.

  2. Have confidence in using a number of specialised concepts and terms, and in their skills and capabilities.

  3. Be able to discuss the material covered on the module and to demonstrate this competence through class discussion and assignments.

  4. Understand of how to translate ideas into small-scale, real-world projects and organisations.

  5. Develop enhanced research, presentation, writing and employability skills.

Module information

The small-scale projects or organisations can have a wide-range of aims and forms. Some might involve, for example, using the arts or sport for health, therapeutic, educational or other purposes linked to enhancing the well-being of people of different ages and backgrounds. Others might focus on community-based conservation, food, transport or energy projects.

The module starts by situating recent policy emphases on social enterprise within the wider historical context of the neoliberal project, and the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation. The module then looks at case studies of social enterprises, citizens' initiatives and company policies oriented to sustainability: local food, conserving biodiversity, sustainable transport and energy.

Next, we discuss the concept, history and practice of social entrepreneurship, as well as ethical debates around different organisational models, and discuss case studies of not-for-profits oriented to social needs. In the later part of the module, we look at how to design, fund, and set up a small-scale project or community interest company. Then you will identify and research a particular niche according to your their interests and design a feasible project proposal or an organisational business plan for a small not-for-profit company.

The knowledge, skills and experience you acquire in this module will also be valuable in other employment settings, such as large firms, the public sector (especially health and education), and larger NGOs and charities.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • A range of teaching and learning methods.

Most of the sessions in the first half of the module will be taught on a lecture/class basis, whereas later sessions are organised on a workshop basis.

There will be at least one guest speaker experienced in working in this field. Students are expected to take an active role in class discussion, class exercises and presentations.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Assignment 2 : Reflective Essay (1500 words)     20% 
Coursework   Assignment 3 - Job Application (1 page) and CV (2 page)     20% 
Coursework   Assignment 5: Final Written Proposal (2000-2500 words and revised CV)     40% 
Practical   Assignment 1 - Joint Student Case Study Presentation    10% 
Practical   Assignment 4 - Oral Presentation of Draft Project Proposal    10% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jane Hindley, email: janeh@essex.ac.uk.
PHAIS General Office - 6.130; isugadmin@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Prof Raphael Hallett
Higher Education Consultant - Senior Advisor
Available via Moodle
Of 34 hours, 34 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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