SM9544 - Social Enterprise

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be exploring the field of social enterprise. While social cause action has existed for a long time, systematic study of the field of activity is recent. That makes exploring and understanding the field an exciting pursuit. You will study the rationale behind the rise of the social economy and the theoretical development in this new field of study. You will also explore the practice of social enterprise, i.e., how traditional social cause activity as well as new and innovative social ventures operate and the exciting area of social enterprise performance assessment. Specific topics will draw from the following:

- The nature of the social economy
- Social cause action: opportunity and need for change perspectives
- Definitional debates in the field
- Statutory recognition of the practice; social enterprise typology
- Social innovation and technology
- Social venture funding
- Poverty and UN sustainable development goals
- Social impact and assessment
- Designing a social enterprise

How will I learn on this module?

You will have one-hour weekly lecture where you will be exposed to the theories and concepts. You will then have two-hour weekly seminars which will be based on case discussions and learning activities driven by group work with a lot of formative feedback.
Your directed study will support the work you have undertaken in the contact sessions. Your Independent learning time is set aside and supported by workshops in class learning activities to help you gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject.
Apart from lectures, seminars/ workshops there will be a few highly relevant practitioner talks that will connect your learning to the real world of social economy today. The electronic learning platform Blackboard Ultra will make available digital content. All of this will be aimed at enhancing critical thinking and independent learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning will be supported in a variety of ways. Your class lectures are supported by two-hour weekly seminars with extensive formative feedback on specific tasks you will do. You will have access to a variety of learning materials available through Blackboard Ultra the e-learning platform. You will also be provided with reading lists for each of the themes to assist conceptual and applied understanding of the various facets of social enterprise in national and international contexts. These directed reading materials will include journal articles, reports and case studies, company reports, newspaper and magazine articles, videos and other web sources.
The module teaching and learning will include several distinct as well as inter-related tasks. This will help your active participation in the learning process. The eLearning portal will be used to host these tasks for your easy access at all times.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Develop and demonstrate critical understanding of the social venturing phenomenon
2. Understand and analyse the global connections of socio-political-economic life with regard to poverty and progress

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Development of social innovation capability

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Global cases from culturally diverse settings discussed will inculcate culturally mature, ethical and responsible approach to work beyond university life.
5.Develop an appreciation of coexistence and support to the less fortunate

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
This will occur in terms of tutor feedback throughout the semester on individual and group work in discussions and presentation tasks.

Summative assessment:
A 100% assignment based assessment on a 2500-word submission.

This will assess the ability to design a social enterprise plan connecting with learnt concepts of mission, resourcing, scaling and sustainability of impact. (MLOs 1-5)





Module abstract

This module introduces you to traditional social cause ventures, as well as the new social enterprise economy. You’ll gain an understanding
of the intellectual debates and research in the field, as well as the enormous range of social enterprise action globally today. You’ll also
develop an insight into the motivations of people behind social ventures and the practical challenges of social enterprise management,
performance measures and impact sustainability. Taking this module will increase your employability both in the third sector and in the media,
in third sector-related roles.

Course info

UCAS Code N150

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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