MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
A formal qualification in Social Enterprise will help to further your career, your work and your organisation’s contribution to society.
The MSc focuses on things that matter to social enterprises: delivering excellent services and high social value, building and maintaining stakeholder support, securing investment, and measuring and communicating success. These are set in the wider context in which social enterprises operate, including political, market and community contexts.
The MSc in Social Enterprise is a new and exciting course aimed at professionals working within social enterprises, advisors, officials, development officers and sector representatives and those wishing to develop a career or an interest in social enterprise. The goal of the course is to support the vitality of the sector, provide advanced expertise and equip the sector to meet the challenges of innovation and sustainability.
The course offers opportunities to gain specialised expertise in key sectors such as health, social care, housing, education, sport, culture and the environment, or in key functional areas such as finance, HRM, marketing, public relations or operational management. The in-built flexibility of the course means that these aspects can be tailored to the needs of each individual student. Prior learning and experience will be fully assessed and accredited.
The course culminates with a supported project to conduct research and development within the social enterprise sector.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
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A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email email@example.com to discuss your course of study.
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information
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The Faculty of Social Sciences is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling. For further information relating to scholarships at the University of Stirling, please visit http://stir.ac.uk/7c. Course fees can be found at http://stir.ac.uk/aq.
At the heart of the course are four core modules, each taught over three full days. It provides content on important themes as social innovation, social value, social responsibility, social capital, social networks, legal identities, finance/investment, entrepreneurship, marketing, communications and social media, leadership, strategic management, governance and stakeholder participation. One day on each core module is a ‘Masterclass’ for the social enterprise sector in Scotland. Students work with detailed case studies and input from industry representatives to provide a high-quality learning experience. This is further enhanced with a range of web-based resources to support and reinforce learning on the course.
This MSc offers opportunities to gain specialised expertise in key sectors such as health, social care, housing, education, sport, culture and the environment, or in key functional areas such as finance, HRM, marketing, public relations or operational management. The in-built flexibility of the programme means that these aspects can be tailored to the needs of each individual student. Full recognition of prior experience and learning will be given, subject to application and approval.
A key feature of these Advanced courses will be the ‘Social Enterprise Project’, through which we will seek to improve the knowledge base for social enterprise in Scotland and beyond. The course will be part of a Social Enterprise Research Laboratory at the University of Stirling, in which research and development from both inside and outside the University will be presented and disseminated.
Delivery will be a mix of full day teaching and online resource support. Teaching days will be spread at regular intervals throughout each semester. One day per core module is a ‘Masterclass’ for the Social Enterprise Sector in Scotland. Students work with detailed case studies and input from industry representatives to provide a high-quality learning experience. This is further enhanced with a range of web-based resources to support and reinforce learning on the course.
Assessment will be through a mix of coursework, presentations, online participation and an important social enterprise research project. The project will contribute to the Social Enterprise Laboratory at Stirling.
SEPP001: Understanding Social Enterprise
|SCQF level 11, 20 credits|
This module aims to introduce students to key foundational aspects that underpin social scientific analysis of social enterprise. The module begins by examining the purpose, values and scope of social enterprise, before investigating the purported organisational comparative advantages (and disadvantages) of social enterprise. It then considers the ways in which social enterprises deliver on a ‘social’ agenda, build social capital and demonstrate social responsibility. Finally, it examines critically the connection between social enterprises through networks and partnerships, as well as relationships with other actors through contracts, tendering and the commissioning environment, campaigning and lobbying.
SEPP003: Delivering Excellence In Social Enterprise
|SCQF level 11, 20 credits|
This module introduces students to topics related to the leadership and effectiveness of social enterprises. It considers the role of effective planning and strategic management. It examines organizational development through entrepreneurship, innovation and finance. It examines the governance of social enterprises, and how this links to democratic involvement and participation, and/or the maintenance of excellent employee, volunteer and member relations. Finally, it considers the importance of effective marketing and communications in supporting effective performance.
SEPP004: Measuring Social Outcomes and Impacts
|SCQF level 11, 20 credits|
|The module is designed to enable students to build understanding of the elementary principles of evaluation; to learn about both the scope and the limitations of different evaluation techniques; to appreciate the value of different types of evaluation data; and to develop skills in presenting evaluation data for effective use both internally and externally. It aims to furnish students with a range of academic skills, especially analytical and critical skills and techniques associated with evaluation research. The module will foster self-management and personal organisation.|
SEPP005: Research And Development In Social Enterprise
|SCQF level 11, 20 credits|
The module will develop students’ ability to think conceptually and analytically. It will enable them to improve their oral and written skills. Students will develop a range of research skills and their ability to work independently and as a team member will be encouraged.
SEPP007: Social Enterprise Project
|SCQF level 11, 60 credits|
This module aims to provide students who have completed the Diploma in Social Enterprise programme the opportunity to carry out a major research project. With supervision, students are encouraged to use and develop their accumulated skills and their knowledge in conducting their own research project. This may be an academic dissertation, in which students will produce a coherent, well-argued dissertation based on an original piece of social science research. Alternatively, it may be an applied research and design project within their own social enterprise, in which applied research is undertaken to investigate a development opportunity, initiative or problem.
All optional modules are drawn from existing Level 11 Programmes within the University. A broad suite of options will allow students to tailor their programme to those aspects that are most interesting and productive for them.
More information will be available soon.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Three full days per module per semester, plus online participation
Flexible attendance: can attend for a single master class (one full day), a single module, or for up to two modules per semester part-time.
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
In the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework:
The School has attracted considerable sums of external research funding from Research Councils, Government, Independent and Charitable funders, and from the European Commission.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
Richard Simmons specialises in the study of social enterprise, consumer involvement and the governance and delivery of public services. He co-directs a research programme that has developed detailed frameworks for understanding public services, co-operatives and social enterprises. In particular, he has written and consulted widely on the implications of the devolution of public services to newly-formed social enterprises. Richard is convenor of the Social Enterprise Laboratory, an online and offline space for the presentation and dissemination of research and development evidence for the social enterprise sector. While Richard specialises in co-operatives, mutuals and multi-stakeholder social enterprises, he is able to draw on a wide network of other stakeholders in the fields of social enterprise, third sector and community organisation. He is keen to work with the Scottish Social Enterprise sector to support and promote its healthy future.
The University contributes to the development of a healthy system for social enterprise in Scotland and beyond, upskilling the workforce and providing a base for the presentation and dissemination of research evidence.
These courses provide an opportunity for talented professionals within the social enterprise sector to gain formal qualifications that reflect their contribution to social life. Social entrepreneurs often need to be able to compete for contracts and commissions with other agencies. A goal of this high quality course is to provide the ability for individual social enterprises to compete effectively and match the credentials of their private sector competitors.
The content of these courses is aimed at improving the functionality of social enterprises to deliver excellent services and high social value, build and maintain stakeholder support, secure investment, and measure and communicate their success. This MSc allows social entrepreneurs to understand more clearly how added value can be driven by integrating these tasks more effectively. This is particularly important where social entrepreneurs may have to fulfil more than one strategic role in their organisation.
For students setting out on the path to a career in social enterprise, this course provides an important grounding in the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in the sector. Linked to the practical understanding of cuting-edge new developments in the sector through participation in Masterclasses and the Social Enterprise Laboratory, they will be fully prepared for the road ahead.
The School and University maintain contacts and networks with social enterprise bodies (e.g. SENScot, Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, Social Firms Scotland, Supporters Direct, Co-operatives UK, SCVO, SAOS, Social Enterprise Academy). There has been contact with some of these organisations to discuss the needs of their members in relation to potential TPG provision. This has provided some useful market information and helped to plan for better integration of the University’s provision with the social enterprise community.