Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action

The details
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
24 May 2019


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)

Module description

CS200 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 half 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. These 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. Then we look 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 CS200 will also be valuable in other employment settings, such as large firms, the public sector (especially health and education), and larger NGOs and charities.

Module aims

The aims of the 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 the student should have:

A good understanding of the topics and ideas that are covered in this module.
Confidence in using a number of specialised concepts and terms, and in their skills and capabilities.
The ability to discuss the material covered on the module and to demonstrate this competence through class discussion and assignments.
An understanding of how to translate ideas into small-scale, real-world projects and organisations.
Enhanced research, presentation, writing and employability skills.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This half-module combines 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. By the end of the module students should have: A good understanding of the topics and ideas covered in this module. Confidence in using a number of specialised terms and terminology, and their own capabilities and skills. The ability to discuss the material covered on the module and to demonstrate this competence through class discussion and assignments. An understanding of how to translate ideas into small-scale, real-world projects and organisations. Enhanced their research, presentation, and writing skills.


  • Provide | About Us, https://www.provide.org.uk/about-provide/
  • New Economics Foundation. (no date) Beyond Beveridge: A New Economics Vision of a New Social Settlement, NEF Briefing Paper 2012.
  • (2017) Social entrepreneurship: a skills approach, Bristol, UK: Policy Press.
  • Denny, Simon; Seddon, Frederick A. (2014) Social enterprise: accountability and evaluation around the world, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • (no date) WWF Living Planet Report 2018.
  • Jane Hindley. (2015) 'Bristol Green Doors. Promoting Home Energy Retrofitting, Combating Climate', in Ecocultures: blueprints for sustainable communities, Abingdon: Routledge. vol. Earthscan from Routledge

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Assignment 2 : Individual Case Study Report (1000-1500 words) 12/11/2019 10%
Coursework Assignment 3 - Reflections on Case Study Research (700-1000 words) 19/11/2019 10%
Coursework Assignment 4 - Job Application (1 page) and CV (2 page) 03/12/2019 15%
Coursework Assignment 6: Final Written Proposal (2000-2500 words and revised CV) 24/01/2020 40%
Practical Assignment 1 - Joint Student Case Study Presentation 10%
Practical Assignment 5 - Oral Presentation of Draft Project Proposal 15%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jane Hindley
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre General Office - 6.130; Email: istudies@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Dr Ross Wilson
University of Nottingham
Director of Liberal Arts
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).


Further information

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