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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N1A560

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4Q330: Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice (Level 4)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N1A560


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to the theoretical literature on entrepreneurship, and to theories and methods that are prevalent in (empirical) research on entrepreneurship. In doing so, the module will allow students to develop their critical skills and to analyse the internal and external factors that impact on entrepreneurship and how they intertwine to create success.
  • To develop students’ understanding of how entrepreneurs use their social skills to acquire resources, and the characteristics of ventures which are ethically and socially oriented.
  • To ground students’ understanding of these theories and topics in the different methodological frames that influence entrepreneurship research (both positivist and interpretivist), and explore contemporary themes such as identity and temporality.


  • What Is Entrepreneurship: Theoretical Roots and Definitions
  • Psychological Theories of Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial opportunity and new ventures
  • Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions of Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Critical approaches to entrepreneurship

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have a critical understanding of the forefront of knowledge on entrepreneurship at individual and firm level, as well as the foundations for entrepreneurship literature and the role of context
  • Have a critical understanding of how to balance the perspectives and interests of those parties who might finance a new enterprise
  • Be able to identify the various environmental factors, external to the individual, which can influence the extent of entrepreneurship in society
  • Be able to describe and discuss the concept of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility
  • Have a critical appreciation of how entrepreneurship connects to innovation in large businesses
  • Have a critical understanding of the methodological frames that influence entrepreneurship research
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Have developed skills of critical awareness and synthesis and be able to apply these to problem solving
  • Be able to reflect on role of the entrepreneur in new venture creation
Key Skills:
  • Written communication.
  • Understanding of the extant literature and identifying research gaps.
  • Formulating and communicating research questions that are relevant and novel.
  • Developing, critically evaluating and implementing research designs.
  • Managing research projects and time.

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

  • The module will be delivered in a workshop format over four days, also including lecture-type delivery, but with a stronger focus work in small groups and individual work on the students’ planned research. Reading materials in preparation for the workshop are provided online.
  • The following learning and teaching methods will be used to inform the pedagogic structure of the module:
  • The lectures will be developed around the key concepts as mentioned in the indicative module content and will use a range of live examples and cases from business practice to demonstrate the application of theoretical concepts.
  • The Group work will focus extensively on business case studies and selected journal articles and is designed to help students to both develop and analyse case studies. Cases will be drawn from a variety of sources including key business newspapers, journal articles, and Harvard Business Cases to encourage students to analyse entrepreneurship in different contexts and develop strategic approaches in response to the case requirements.
  • The Individual work will include class exercises consisting of individual work based on self-assessment questions and on other set tasks to provide students with the opportunity to develop critical and practical problem skills.
  • The assessment of the module will require the students to produce an essay that reflects upon the key ideas that have resonated with them during the module. They will be asked to provide a critical review of these ideas and based on their insights – insights developed through introspective reflection – highlight how their knowledge of the ideas concerned has changed over the duration of the course. Practically, this will require that each student maintains a diary of their experiences during the module which will subsequently inform their analysis.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 1 Over 4 days 16 hrs 16
Tutor-supported Learning Groups via webinars and other e-learning tools. With follow-up support as necessary using videoconferencing software. As required 20
Individual Supervision 4
Reading of current published journal articles (available from library) and Independent Study, research design. 260
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual essay requiring critical review and reflection on key concepts in entrepreneurship 3,000 words max 100% same

Formative Assessment:

The formative assignment is designed to test students’ acquisition of subject specific knowledge and skills through their interrogation of a key concept in entrepreneurship. In the first instance, this will be tested via an individual assignment (1000 words) that deals with a key concept such as social entrepreneurship, or corporate entrepreneurship (for example). This will provide students with experience of researching about and then subjecting to review and critique a key concept in entrepreneurship theory.

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