Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Course overview
(MSc) Master of Science
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Full-time or part-time

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr Ping Zheng

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 BE250-7-SP Theories and Practice of Entrepreneurship Core 15 Optional Optional
02 BE273-7-SP Innovation Management Compulsory 15 Optional Optional
03 BE253-7-SP Creating and Managing the New and Entrepreneurial Organisation Compulsory 15 Optional Optional
04 Option from list Optional 15 Optional Optional
05 Options from list Optional 45 Optional Optional
06 BE955-7-AU Research Methods Compulsory 15 Optional Optional
07 BE984-7-FY or BE956-7-FY Core with Options 60 Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The main aims and objectives of the programme are:

To help participants in developing critical analytical, problem-solving, creative and learning skills, and a critical awareness of the constituent elements of the study and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation;

To help students develop a critical awareness of economic, social and technological context of entrepreneurship, small business development, social and community enterprise and self-employment;

To equip students with a thorough understanding of the value of entrepreneurship research and appropriate skills in research techniques for effective problem solving, in-depth investigation of key issues.

To prepare students for careers as entrepreneurs, as owner-managers, policy makers in support services, entrepreneurial management in different types of organisations;

To help students to manage their own learning and personal development in the future;

To enable students to start developing business and personal plans with a view to starting their own business or social enterprise, and/or projects in existing organisations;

To help students become part of a learning, innovative and entrepreneurial community.

To help students to identify underpinning epistemological issues, and acquire critical knowledge of research design, techniques and methods as they apply to the whole subject of entrepreneurship and its component parts;

To help students to apply their knowledge of research to the writing of either a traditional dissertation or a comprehensive business plan, both of which will demand critical insights into the topic and the application of research methods.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Ideas, theory and practice of new venture creation and entrepreneurship processes and their application in various organisational scenarios (key focus on small and medium sized enterprises)

A2: The value of entrepreneurship research and application in different private, public and community contexts

A3: In-depth and critical understanding of key issues, including, the economics of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and economic development, the context of entrepreneurship; typologies of entrepreneurs, and enterprise management functions, including new venture finance and financial management, organisational learning and training, and innovation and technology management for new ventures

A4: Epistemological and social scientific underpinnings, influences and interpretations of entrepreneurship and innovation in the global arena

A5: Critical understanding of application of theories of entrepreneurship and innovation in different economic contexts and in different organisatonal settings

A6: In-depth understanding of research methods, processes and techniques and their application for the investigation of new venture creation and growth

A7: Critical understanding of the application of theoretical concepts of research in writing either a Masters level dissertation addressing key topics/issues or a comprehensive business plan underpinned by theoretical concepts, as appropriate.

Learning methods

Directed pre-reading and writing tasks on different aspects of entrepreneurship; lectures; Discussions with tutors and supervisors on the values, principles and applications of entrepreneurship theory and practice.

Discussions with practitioner-based advisory panels; reference to private and public fora on entrepreneurship and innovation, such as the Thames Gateway, EEDA.I.10 and others.

Directed self-study, observation and reflection of practice; comparative case work in workshops and the classroom; consultation with library materials, projects with small and medium sized enterprises and public agencies; presentations of findings related to models, strategies and good practice; examination of critical topics.

Informal assessment will be made through group work and oral presentations
Related feedback, coupled with peer group interaction, should enable students to explore and augment their understanding of the topics, and develop their presentation skills.

Assessment methods

Learning outcomes (1) - (6) are assessed by course work assignments (individual assignments and group work, including oral presentations and class tests) and written examinations.

No. (2) is also assessed by the dissertation or the business plan.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Identify, design, develop, create, codify, synthesise, and critically review/analyse theoretical and practical arguments on entrepreneurial opportunities, strategies, and tools for new ventures and public policy for new venture creation, in particular contexts and for different purposes.

B2: Assimilation and acquisition of particular learning skills for developing a practical business plan for new venture creation; in-depth research-based skills.

B3: Construction and use of appropriate methodologies and applied action/experiential learning methods in the new venture contexts.

B4: Identification ,evaluation and use of critical theories of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and methodologies for the development of business plans concerned with growth of new ventures

B5: Carrying out independent research and formulating coherent and cogent arguments

Learning methods

Lectures; workshop exercises, preparation of individual and team-based assignments, presentations of assignments to academic and practitioner panels; peer group work; final examination.

Project-based work with small and medium enterprises, social enterprises and government agencies concerned with enterprise and innovation.

Recommended direct reading, networking with external communities of practice, peer groups, practitioners; reference to public and private fora.

Development of learning logs from the beginning of the course.

Lectures and directed self-study for the identification of different research paradigms, techniques and methods used in traditional dissertation, and those which can be used to inform and support practical business planning scenarios.

These methods and strategies will be built into each module and reinforced separately in the Creative Ideas Platform modules.

Informal assessment will consist of group work and oral presentations Related feedback, coupled with peer group interaction, should enable students to explore and augment their understanding of the topics, and develop their presentation skills.

Learning Outcome B5 Self directed study with dedicated supervision.

Assessment methods

Formal assessment of outcomes (1) and (3) will take the form of course work assignments and written examinations, with the dissertation or the comprehensive business plan providing a further opportunity to assess the range of skills highlighted in (2) and (4).

The presentation will conform with the University's policy on oral assessment. 20% of the marks for the dissertation/ comprehensive business plan will be awarded for a presentation on the dissertation thesis/business plan.

This will be presented to the MSc group and the panel of external advisers.

The assessment of the traditional dissertation will encompass examination and evaluation of the student's knowledge of research philosophy and methods in exploring a specific topic.

The comprehensive business plan will seek to examine a similar range of research skills as they apply to the development of a business proposition (e.g. the development of a new product, or a case study of a the creation of new organisation).

C: Practical skills

C1: Compare and contrast different theoretical and practical approaches to entrepreneurship and enterprise development in different types of organisations; the development of a business plan

C2: Working through a 'Creative Ideas Platform', (which runs through the programme) to develop a business plan for use and application in a 'real world' context

C3: Working through the second stage of a 'Creative Ideas Platform', (which runs through the programme) to develop a business plan for use and application in a 'real world' context

C4: Development of practical plans and skills for independent research in the form of a dissertation or a comprehensive business plan

Learning methods

Direct reading, lectures; review with practitioner advisory group; networking with peers; reference to public and private fora, the International Entrepreneurship Forum; on-line discussions; formation of teams linked to small and medium sized enterprises and other organisations; international visits and activities; workshops; discussions with tutors and supervisors; projects; maintenance of learning logs; international visits.

Routine classwork, management of self-learning, group work and interactions with experts will provide an informal means for assessment of the practical skills acquired by the students

Assessment methods

Learning Outcomes (1), (2) and (3) will be formally assessed by written assignments; the presentations of individual and group work, and written examinations.

Learning outcome (4) is assessed by the completion of a dissertation or a comprehensive business plan.

D: Key skills

D1: Oral and written communication to different audiences in a coherent, cogent and effective manner.

D2: Use of information technologies including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, statistical and web-based packages to read, download, analyse and evaluate different types of data and information

D3: Use and manipulate different types of numerical data, solve operations and finance based problems, apply and interpret statistical and visual data, formulate and solve complex managerial problems.

D4: Use and application of analytical, morphological and other creative problem skills

D5: Understanding and appreciation of different communities of interest, good spoken and written communication skills, empathy and resolution of conflict.

D6: Work as project management, including time management, critical task prioritisation, meeting deadlines, evaluating self- learning.

Learning methods

New venture creation in different scenarios, including product and service development; the preparation of comprehensive business plans; team work and leadership on projects; critical understanding of people, organisations and the wider environment; application in international contexts; the teaching of enterprise development and entrepreneurship.

Assessment methods

Learning outcomes (1), (5) and (6) will be assessed by presentations of individual and group work.

A variety of written coursework assignments will assess (2), (3), (4) and (6).

Written examinations will assess (3) and (4)


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.