Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI44J15: Social Entrepreneurship (ONLINE)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI44J15: Social Entrepreneurship (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Social Entrepreneurship (Taught)


  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the role social entrepreneurs play in society and the challenges they face
  • To develop an understanding of, and ability to critically examine, the major analytical frameworks employed in evaluating a social enterprise and its socio-economic impact
  • To equip students with an advanced conceptual and practical knowledge of the skills needed to successfully develop, launch and manage a social enterprise


  • What is a “social enterprise”?
  • Characteristics of the “social entrepreneur”
  • Charity and philanthropy versus social entrepreneurship
  • The role of innovation
  • Social Return on Investment (SROI) models
  • Social investment and social capital
  • The nature, form and structure of social enterprises
  • New venture creation
  • Social entrepreneurship in developing economies

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical understanding of the nature, form and structure of the social enterprise sector;
  • have a grounded understanding of key perspectives on social enterprise and the social entrepreneur;
  • have a critical appreciation of the importance of the impact of social entrepreneurial activities on society.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to examine and critically evaluate social enterprise performance;
  • be able to develop an appropriate social investment strategy;
  • be able to critically evaluate the value of an enterprise to society.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype). 
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report, based on the development of a social enterprise plan 4,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University