Course Overview

UK Fees £11,500 *
International Fees £13,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Whether empowering employees, giving back to the community or adopting a more sustainable business approach, the social enterprise culture is gathering pace. Endorsed by the internationally recognised Social Enterprise Mark CIC, our course will equip you with a practical toolset combining the theory, knowledge and skills to make a positive difference that goes beyond wealth generation.

Business is changing: the traditional focus on profit for shareholders is being replaced by a modern inclusive approach that achieves both income and impact and is driven by complementary business and social goals. 

Our dynamic industry-backed course is designed for aspiring or existing social entrepreneurs, people working within social enterprise or stakeholders such as those working within support organisations. You’ll gain a formal qualification studying alongside a range of people with differing experiences in various sectors, both here in the UK and abroad. This provides a unique opportunity to share and learn from each other, together with regular course input from established social enterprises and their advocates.

Drawing on theory and practice, you’ll explore the environment in which social enterprises operate, the strategic alliances they can build and the ways in which leadership and management competencies can be channelled to maximise social impact. To better prepare you for successful strategy planning and decision-making, you’ll develop essential skills in finance, leadership, people management and more. 

Top reasons to study with us

  • Our course will build your breadth and depth of knowledge enabling you to progress your enterprise and career
  • The first course to be endorsed by the Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the only social enterprise accreditation authority
  • Accelerate your enterprise or develop project ideas and enhance your entrepreneurial skill set through a year-long social enterprise project supported by a project advisor and access to other academics within our School with relevant specialist expertise
  • Study here and see social enterprise in action – Westminster was the first university in London to be awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark accreditation
  • Hear direct from guest speakers about their experiences of setting up, running and working in social enterprises and community interest companies (CICs)
  • Opportunity to attain project management skills and the PRINCE2® certification, as an additional option at no extra cost, subject to availability
  • Strong student community and chance to join the award-winning Westminster Entrepreneurship Society, one of the University’s most proactive societies
  • Access to our extensive network of entrepreneurs: current and past students, successful alumni, The Entrepreneurial Society (TES), Westminster Business Consultants (WBC), The Big Innovation Centre (BIC), Building Global Innovators (BGI) and more

Course structure

This course aims to develop skills and knowledge in the context of organisations for social purpose. As well as five core modules, two option modules can be selected from the Business School or wider University (subject to the Course Leader’s approval).

The course begins in September with a residential weekend, where you'll have the opportunity to engage with an expert course team, explore the course and its core concepts, and identify your learning needs for the year.

Semester 1

You consider the nature of organisations that seek to achieve social impact, and critically examine key themes surrounding social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. You will explore what social impact means and how this can be measured, using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), social enterprise key performance indicators, ethics, social responsibility and sustainability. You’ll develop the skills and methods to convert ‘impact versus income’ into ‘impact and income’, learning how synergies between competing interests can be harnessed in ways to produce shared good.

Semester 2

You examine social finance and the different funding models available, while developing crucial organisational leadership skills and the people management approaches required to motivate and engage employees, supporters, investors or business partners. The final component to the MSc is the year-long social enterprise development project, which can take the form of working within your own enterprise or acting as a consultant in a different organisation.

Modules

You’ll study five core modules and two option modules. Subject to the Course Leader’s approval, one of the option modules can be a free choice across the University.

The following modules are indicative of what you’ll study on this course.

Core modules

This module will examine core themes relating to social enterprise locally, regionally, and globally. Students will examine the role, purpose, and scope of social enterprise and how social enterprises seek to achieve social change, including an assessment of different organisational structures such as cooperatives, NGOs, public private partnerships, and other not-for-profit structures, including charities and foundations. Students will evaluate the drivers and motivations for social enterprise alongside differentiating the mindset of people who develop social enterprises from for-private profit entrepreneurs. The ability to collaborate with others, understand the social enterprise and social entrepreneurship context and construct a convincing narrative are intended to be at the centre of this experiential module.

This module will enable students to critically analyse the notion of ‘social impact’; evaluate criteria that have been developed to measure the impact of social enterprises / social enterprise projects and then to develop impact models for their social enterprises / projects. The module will align social impact with sustainable development goals and social enterprise key performance indicators, ethics, social responsibility and sustainability. It will provide an interdisciplinary body of knowledge about the social enterprise context in developed and developing country contexts - social start-ups, community-based organisations, cooperatives, non-government organisations and charities. Working individually and collaboratively, in culturally, socially and geographically diverse environments, students will determine which impact models work best for their social enterprises or projects. They will develop their analytical skills, social initiatives and creative capabilities to promote sustainable and impactful social enterprise performance.

This module will enable students to examine different leadership styles and models, including responsible and ethical leadership and develop their personal leading style, which matches the context of the Social Enterprise. The module promotes self-awareness and stimulates leadership development applied in Social Enterprise as a hybrid form of organisation. Students will consider what attributes, skills and knowledge are necessary for a leader to have or develop within an organization seeking to create social impact and value. There will be opportunity for students to appraise and develop their own leadership style, with an emphasis on the interpersonal skills. The module will also introduce people management functions relevant for a leader in a Social Enterprise.

A thriving social enterprise sector demands access to suitable forms of capital. This module will explore different types and sources of social finance and funding, including the role of philanthropic, co-operative and private capital in diverse markets. The module will examine the emergence of social investment as an industry, exploring social investment theory and practice from both investor and investee perspectives, and evaluate current and emerging policy including the role of subsidy in the market. Students will gain practical knowledge in how to use social investment to drive sustainable impact as well as other sources of funding for social enterprises.

This module involves the development and practical application of essential research, analysis and advisory skills through the provision of business development or consultancy support to social enterprise organisations. This culminates in a written project and the provision of clear and evidence-based recommendations drawn from the research that has been undertaken. Innovative thinking, creative problem solving and the ability to construct a convincing narrative are intended to be at the centre of this experiential module. The module offers two areas of focus that the student can opt for (although there will clearly be overlaps between them). Students will undertake either a consultancy project with an established social enterprise (or within their own organisation) or a strategic intervention allowing them to develop a social enterprise concept and robust business strategy to help an organisation achieve its identified goals.

Option modules

This module provides business managers with a comprehensive, practical approach to using financial and accounting techniques and analysis in their business lives. It also looks at the concepts behind the techniques, recent developments in conceptual thinking and academic critiques. It will give you the confidence and expertise to use financial techniques and concepts in business-decision-making.

This module will cover key sustainability marketing concepts such as green marketing and green brands, how to create value for the customer and designing products and services using different sustainability tools such as product life cycle analysis. Sustainable marketing strategy development will be studied in the context of the triple bottom line that places equal weight on economic, environmental and social stewardship.

This module provides both the practical skills and conceptual knowledge to enable students to evaluate the design and management of a range of development interventions framed in terms of projects, programmes, policy initiatives or other forms of development assistance. In line with emerging development policy initiatives and imperatives, the module looks at both donor-funded interventions and those that are market or private sector driven. Within the module students are encouraged to develop their own areas of interest and to explore the implications of policy and practice for particular agencies or constituencies and within specific countries or sectors.

Sustainability is one of businesses most pressing concerns: it is the key question of our time. Sustainability is a broad concept that goes beyond considering the environmental impact of business to include economic and social issues. The focus of sustainability is the creation of a good quality of life for current and future generations by achieving a balance between economic prosperity, ecosystem viability and social justice. This module explores the challenges and opportunities that societal and environmental issues create for organisations. Students will explore sustainable management in all its dimensions, learning from real life examples, focussing on examining key problems and developing solutions in order to lead their organisations towards sustainable change that aligns businesses long-term goals with the broader expectations of society in a globalised, connected world. To help students understand the systematic and organisational role of sustainability in any organisation the module will give an overview of major sustainability issues, practices according to the following 3 dimensions; environmental, social and financial.

Course recognition

The University of Westminster is the first London university to be awarded the internationally recognised Social Enterprise Gold Mark by Social Enterprise Mark CIC, which officially endorses the Social Enterprise MSc.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

This course will help you develop your abilities as a social entrepreneur and take your enterprise to the next level, having gained new skills, connections and the ability to develop ideas through the social enterprise development project. For those working within the social enterprise sector you’ll have gained sector-specific skills such as measuring social impact or expertise in social finance.

You’ll graduate with a range of enterprising competencies, such as leadership and management, financial literacy, impact assessment, risk-taking, teamwork, perseverance and resilience. Placing you in a strong position to take on more senior or leadership roles, these skills will enable you to deliver high social value, build and maintain stakeholder support, secure investment, measure and communicate success.

You will be prepared for a wide range of employment roles in social enterprise, including establishing and developing your own enterprise. Future employers may include existing social enterprises, NGOs, social impact consultancy, charities or businesses. You may also wish to continue your academic journey by pursuing a doctorate degree.

The University's Careers and Employability Service has built up a network of over 3,000 employers around the world, helping all our students explore and connect with exciting opportunities and careers.

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Build your business network

Build connections with peers and future business leaders.

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Learn the art of self-improvement

Learn the art of self-improvement and how to treat inevitable failure as an opportunity for reflection and betterment.

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Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Industry links

Course content has been designed with involvement from a wide range of key stakeholders in the social enterprise sector, including the Social Enterprise Mark CIC. They helped us identify the key knowledge requirements, competencies and attributes needed to embark on or progress a career in this area, for example, in finance and leadership, and will continue to shape the curriculum and its delivery.

You’ll be taught by a course team with a passion and commitment to the concept that social enterprises make a positive difference to the world. Some have set up their own social enterprises and have set up NGOs supporting social enterprise development, while others bring an academic perspective from published and funded research. They have interests and connections with social enterprises local to the University as well as globally.

Planning by the University is also underway to create a Social Enterprise Hub to act as a catalyst for teaching, research and knowledge exchange engagement with social organisations in London and beyond.

Job roles

Graduates of this course may go on to such roles such as:

  • Fundraising manager
  • Grant manager
  • Impact manager
  • Investment manager
  • Management consultant
  • Programme manager
  • Social enterprise consultant
  • Social enterprise founder
  • Social entrepreneur

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to develop the capabilities needed by the graduate labour market, integrating practice-based learning and projects alongside academic learning and business theory.

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Lectures are recorded using specialist software and similar tools to make sure you can really listen to what is said in class and don’t miss a thing.

How you’ll be taught

You'll be taught through a variety of teaching methods – all innovative and coaching-based. Our distinctive teaching methods are based on team teaching and learning.

Being able to engage and build relationships with people is key to the success of any social enterprise, which is why we focus on your ability to communicate and present ideas, problems and solutions clearly and effectively in ways that promote stakeholder involvement in co-production, decision-making and governance.

Group work is similarly a core component of the programme, which allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, get a more thorough understanding of subjects by interacting with people from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, and gain real-life skills you can put into practice in the workplace.

During the initial residential weekend, we will identify a project advisor to support your social enterprise development project. If you are already running a social enterprise, this may involve pulling together a rigorous business plan or developing business strategy. Alternatively, you could act as consultants, working for one of our business partners as a ‘live client’, offering advice on a business challenge or project.

How you’ll be assessed

On the programme we have one online test and use a wide range of engaging assessment methods, including simulations, business challenges, investigating briefs, portfolios of evidence, group pitches and video presentations.

Presentations and essays are also included in the course content, but it is the focus on practical resolution to real problems and the encouragement of analytical skills and creativity that make this an attractive course. For example, we encourage a reflective learning journey report following the consultancy or work project undertaken as part of the social enterprise project.

Why study this course?

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Develop practical skills

Develop practical skills in communications, finance and leadership.

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Build a global network

Build a global network of like-minded individuals and supporters.

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Learn how to promote your business

Learn how best to promote your business case and communicate a cause.
 

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a relevant degree discipline. Exceptionally, practitioners with significant work experience (3 years) in any sector or industry will be considered for admissions.

The University encourages applications from experienced social entrepreneurs and practitioners with significant experience working in the social enterprise sector, such applications will be considered for admissions on a case by case basis. Please contact the course leader if you are an experienced social entrepreneur or practitioner and would like to discuss your suitability for the course.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing. 

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a relevant degree discipline. Exceptionally, practitioners with significant work experience (3 years) in any sector or industry will be considered for admissions.

The University encourages applications from experienced social entrepreneurs and practitioners with significant experience working in the social enterprise sector, such applications will be considered for admissions on a case by case basis. Please contact the course leader if you are an experienced social entrepreneur or practitioner and would like to discuss your suitability for the course.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing. 

More information

Student work

Our involvement with the Social Enterprise Mark CIC means that we are part of a network of other Social Enterprise Mark holders. It is the only social enterprise accreditation authority, which ensures the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation. We will be drawing on this and other networks for possible project opportunities.

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Learn new skills

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Become a responsible leader

Understand the importance of ethics, shared value, sustainability and collaboration as a responsible business leader.

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Learn to communicate and work effectively

Learn to communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard.

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Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving and business diagnostic skills to better understand and tackle business issues.

Fees and Funding

UK tuition fee: £11,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £13,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

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Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Facilities

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

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Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Based in the heart of London's political, media and financial services, Westminster Business School has excellent industry links and a strong commitment to social enterprise.

Our courses are accredited by professional bodies including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

Our practical teaching relates learning to the real world, and we develop graduates who are ready to respond to contemporary business challenges. 

Find out more

Westminster Business School Marylebone Campus

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