The MSc in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Practice incorporates a carefully chosen mix of different teaching and learning styles.
Lectures are normally delivered by professors, visiting researchers and, in some modules, by the Entrepreneurs in Residence. Formal lecture input is interspersed with discussion, group exercises, examples and case studies which allow you to engage with theories and concepts and prepare to apply such theory in practice. You will have opportunities to work on a variety of group tasks, both assessed and non-assessed. That same variety of approaches is reflected in the assessment process.
The programme puts a special emphasis on proactive participation and engagement within and outside the classroom. You therefore need to be prepared to be an active member of the class, exchanging and debating ideas with others, while at the same time engaging with external professionals and organizations in order to benefit from the exposure to practice.
You will normally be in a class of around 25 students. In some modules, particularly in the first term, you will be able to mix with students from other Masters programmes within the School that focus on strategy, innovation and corporate development.
Interaction with practice
All modules include workshops aimed at applying theory to practice. The Practice element of the programme includes both individual and group activities and include guest speakers, case study discussions, business plan presentations, field trips and master classes, only to mention some.
In the MSc EIP programme, you will actively engage in the practical aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation through a number of curricular and extra-curricular activities, including:
- Innovation consultancy challenge – Work as a consultant to address an innovation challenge within a small-to-medium business. During the Innovation in Practice 2 Module, you will visit a company and meet the owner-manager who will present a business challenge to be addressed with your team. Examples from previous years include: (2015/16) helping a farmhouse company, leader in the national market, develop a plan and address challenges moving to international markets; and (2016/17) helping a company with leading position in the packaging solutions industry identify and exploit new market/product opportunities that would utilise the spare capacity in the factory.
- Entrepreneurial challenge - The Entrepreneurship Challenge requires you to work in groups of four and given a start-up capital, create an entrepreneurial activity which itself creates financial value. During the Entrepreneurship in Practice Module, each group will come up with a business idea that can be researched, launched and traded over a three month period. You and your group will run this business with a view to making a profit. This challenging activity will give you a real life experience of establishing a business and give you first-hand experience of the challenges faced by nascent entrepreneurs during the start-up phase.
- Case study lab – During the Family Enterprise Management Module,you will work in groups of 4-5 students to address real family business challenges such as growth, professionalization, succession and innovation. You will analyse the case study, and prepare and present your recommendations to a jury panel of expert family business leaders and other professionals. The best students will be selected to travel to the US and represent Lancaster University at a global case study competition.
- Master classes – You will have access to our Masterclasses, which include inspirational speakers who all have a passion for business and want to share their knowledge and expertise. Masterclasses draw audiences in the hundreds from across the North West's SME networks and beyond, offering an ideal opportunity to expand your professional network nationally and internationally.
- Entrepreneurs in Residence - EiRs are an important dimension of the entrepreneurship eco-system here at Lancaster and will be available to support you in the development of your vicarious learning and business ideas. They are individuals who are running their own businesses and give some of their time to work with you across all of your studies. You will attend meetings prepared with questions and take responsibility for seeking support from EiRs.
Individual study and research
Outside the taught sessions, you will be expected to manage your own learning – reading widely, using the internet and making extensive use of the University library resources, both print-based and online. You are also expected to work in groups of students in module-specific activities such as entrepreneurial challenges, innovation consultancy challenges and case study presentations.
Campus rooms have high-speed network connections (LAN and wi-fi) and you have access to a Student Base as well as the School’s IT labs until 10.00pm each evening – giving you flexibility to devise your own work schedules.
During the Summer Term, you will work autonomously on your research / business plan project, assisted by an academic supervisor who will guide your choice of topics and methodological approaches. If you will chose the business plan option, you will also be able to obtain feedback and guidance from Entrepreneurs in Residence and other business professionals, as relevant, including access to the Lancaster University Enterprise Centre and the LUMS Centre for Family Business.
To help students optimise their performance in the academic modules, academic study skills support courses are offered within the programme. These courses are voluntary but are recommended as an excellent way of refining your study skills.
Life is not all work on the programme. Despite the hectic schedule, social events play a very important part, too, in the life of the class. Our students are offered a budget to be used autonomously – coordinated by the Student Representatives and the Programme Co-Ordinator – to organise various events, ranging from corporate visits, trips out to the Lake District, Manchester or other local venues.