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Northumbria launches UK’s first applied course for postgraduate entrepreneurs

10th August 2016

Want to run your own business, gain a Master’s degree and pay back your tuition fees in one year? Then look no further than Northumbria University’s Entrepreneurship MSc at Newcastle Business School.

This unique action-learning degree is the only applied entrepreneurship postgraduate course in the UK, based entirely on starting a business and provides the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship through practice.

The year-long course is based around launching a new business venture and is aimed at those who want a purely action-based approach to learning.

Learning support officer, Nina Jussila, is a key personality behind the launch of this new Master’s course. Entrepreneurial degree courses have been turning out successful entrepreneurs in Finland for around two decades now and Nina herself is a product.

With experience in entrepreneurial education and self-directed learning as well as starting a student business that turned over more than £1m, Nina is well placed to guide students from start up to success.

She believes so many people, like her, do not fit into the normal model of learning.

“People who are entrepreneurial are not often interested in sitting through lectures because they want to get on with work,” she said. “Also, people who have always sat through lectures are sometimes scared of starting their own companies because they don’t have the practical knowledge. Because there is nothing like this in the market at the moment, we need an opportunity to learn by doing, in a safe but real environment and that’s why we introduced this course.

“Often we forget what we have studied for exams and there is no real life implication, that’s why I believe applied learning is so much more powerful, as people won’t be learning anything they don’t need to know. So we will be reflecting all the time what knowledge the students will need to be able to run their business better and then support them on finding that knowledge.”

Nina will be joined in September by Cécile Vassaux; a 20-year old French development assistant with business experience in Spain, Finland and Russia, who has also set up her own company. Anneke Edmonds is the program leader born in Germany and educated in USA.  She has founded a software company as well as a marketing agency.

Working alongside these three entrepreneurial women will be Peter Pease, who has founded several businesses in the North East as well as helping set up Durham University’s business development projects, and Michael Fowle who has been founder, manager, director or investor in a dozen entrepreneurial start-ups.

The coaches are there to help students learn, not to teach them. They will introduce students to some of the region’s leading entrepreneurs and expect them to engage with a diverse group of mentors and the growing entrepreneurial community centred in the North East.

 “Being part of a team is important and dispels the unhelpful myth of the ‘lone wolf’ entrepreneur,” added Nina. “When any new entrepreneur starts their journey, it can be really beneficial to be able to share the learning and mistakes with others, so they can learn from each other’s experiences and hopefully support each other. They also say that effective teams can learn three to five times faster than individuals and that’s something we are aiming for.

“Northumbria is an innovative university. It is the first university to run a 100% applied entrepreneurship course in the UK and the University’s business school also won the Times Higher Education Business School of the Year, which goes to show the quality of business education on offer at Northumbria.”

For more information about the Entrepreneurship Master’s course that will be starting at Northumbria University in September 2016, visit 

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