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The University of Southampton

UOSM2022 Social Enterprise

Module Overview

This is an interactive and practical module aiming to inspire students to social enterprise and entrepreneurship by giving them an experiential introduction to human centred design processes. The emphasis in this module is on the translation of knowledge into action and the development of enterprising skills such as identifying user needs and addressing these needs through collaborative co-design and action, being resourceful and leadership. A secondary aim is to develop students’ confidence in developing a personal brand using blogging and social media. A third aim is to raise an awareness of the support available to students for social enterprise activities at the university (both financial and non-financial).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module takes you through the principles of systems thinking and design thinking to develop a solution to a social problem. Aims: To map a solutions landscape to solve a social challenge identified in the course. To think into the strategic planning necessary to tackle this social issue. To provide students with enterprising, leadership and collaborative skills. In the process of doing so you will evolve core graduate skills:, collaboration, problem-solving, critical analysis, innovation, resourcefulness, public speaking, visual thinking and visual presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work in teams and develop leadership skills to design a solution to a social challenge
  • Conduct qualitative problem-solving research
  • Use systems thinking to understand social problems
  • Use design thinking to create solutions to social problems
  • Brainstorm effectively
  • Prototype and iterate solutions to social challenges
  • Pitch ideas persuasively
  • To become self-aware of your skills development
  • Communicate effectively, in both oral and written form, using and justifying argument within presentations and short reports


This module is an experiential introduction to social enterprise and entrepreneurship through a human-centred design process. It takes students, stage-by-stage, through a process of conception, design and delivery of a idea for social change. Each stage is broken down into individual tasks which propels each team further towards the execution of a prototype social venture. The module is intended as a launchpad for further explorations of student enterprise activity, whether as an independent entrepreneur or as a contributor to on-going social ventures.

Special Features

• Opportunities for mentoring through University’s wider student enterprise support activity • Opportunities to work on social enterprise projects with Enactus • Field trips to social enterprise conferences at Said Business School • Integration of personal development processes into learning experience • Integration of Wordpress and video blogging into personal development process

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Workshops: Students will participate in a series of workshops which will help them to understand their skillsets (creating benchmarks and monitoring progress) and their own leadership styles. These workshops will take place in class. Writing individual reports: Students, as part of summative assessment, will submit individual reports where they will present problem landscape, solutions landscape and opportunities for intervention Reflective log: students will complete weekly blogs on the learning process to reflect on the skills and knowledge acquired during the course, and their understanding of themselves as social impact leaders. These blogposts will be thematised using specific skills and leadership concepts. Presentations: students will deliver presentations to a panel of external stakeholders, outlining their understanding of given social challenges, current solutions, and the scope for effective new interventions.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Guardian Social Enterprise Network.

Nicholls, Alex (2007). Social entrepreneurship: new models of sustainable social change. 

Yunus, Muhammad (2010). Building social business the new kind of capitalism that serves humanity's most pressing needs. 

Stokes, D. ,Wilson, N. and Mador, M. (2010). Entrepreneurship, CENGAGE Learning. 

Bornstein, David & Davis, Susan (2010). Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know. 

Harvard Business Review Blog.

Osterwalder, Alexander. Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. 

Novogratz, Jacqueline (2009). The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World. 

Polak, Paul (2008). Out of poverty: what works when traditional approaches fail. 

Prahalad, C. K (2010). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid : eradicating poverty through profits. 

Elkington, John & Hartigan Pamela (2008). The power of unreasonable people : how social entrepreneurs create markets that change the world. 

Sommerrock, Katharina (2011). Social entrepreneurship business models. 

Next Billion: Development Through Enterprise.



MethodPercentage contribution
Blog 15%
Individual report  ( words) 60%
Oral presentation  (8 minutes) 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual report  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

A trip to the Emerge Social Enterprise conference in early Oxford (approximately £30 registration + £30 train fare as of 2015 rates).

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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