Programmes

Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Executive
  • Department of Management
  • Application code N2UC
  • Starting 2018

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The Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship is LSE’s ground-breaking programme for business leaders and entrepreneurs across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

The programme offers a compelling alternative to an MBA for executives who not only wish to lead successful organisations, but are also committed to tackling the world’s most pressing social challenges.

We integrate social purpose and social impact with the highest level of business and management training, delivered in a flexible modular format enabling you to continue working full-time whilst studying.

Whether you wish to launch your own socially-focused entrepreneurial venture, or to deliver social impact alongside profit in an established company, we will give you the knowledge, skills and entrepreneurial mindset you need to become more effective and reflective in creating social impact.

Guided by expert LSE faculty and leading practitioners in the field, you will explore the political and economic context for socially-focused business models, and gain an understanding of social impact evaluation and intervention design, including the latest insights from behavioural economics. You will also develop core management and leadership skills, including marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship, and social finance.

Studying alongside an outstanding class of like-minded peers from across the world, you will graduate with the knowledge, skills and networks to take the next step in your career in social business.

This programme is offered jointly by the LSE Marshall Institute and the LSE Department of Management.

We are launching this new programme for the first intake of students in September 2018.

Programme details

Key facts

Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship
Start date September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions
Duration 12 months part-time (four intenstive classroom modules of 1-2 weeks, six weeks in total)
Applications 2016 New programme for 2018
Intake 2016 New programme for 2018
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee £32,000
Financial support Executive programmes are not eligible for LSE financial support
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 undergraduate degree or international equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement GMAT or GRE is recommended for applicants who do not meet the degree requirement
English language requirements Standard (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

Modular format for working professionals

The programme is designed for full-time working professionals, so our students don’t need to take a break from their career in order to study.

Teaching is conducted in four short intensive classroom modules taught at LSE campus in London, each module 1-2 weeks in duration. Students will require a maximum of six weeks out of the office to attend the teaching modules over the 12-month programme duration.

In between modules, students continue to work full-time in their home location, with access to an online learning platform which will complement the in-class sessions and maximise intersession communication. The modules are designed to be directly applicable to students’ work, meaning that learning from the classroom can be brought back to make valuable developments and innovations in the workplace from day one.

Curriculum overview

LSE is ranked as the #2 institution in the world for social science and management, and there is no better place to study social business.

In contrast to more traditional business programmes such as MBAs, we provide core business skills complemented by a global view of the social, political and economic context for business, as well as training in the practical delivery and evaluation of effective solutions to social problems.

An integrated series of courses will provide you with the knowledge, skills and entrepreneurial mindset to pursue a career in social business. You will take six courses:

  • The first two courses will introduce you to the political economy in which the social business operates, philosophical understandings of public benefits, and the definition and measurement of social impact.
  • The middle two courses will teach the basics of building a social business, introducing rigorous skills and concepts of marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour and resource mobilisation.
  • In the final two courses, you will be invited to learn and practice applied skills – first, to use behavioural economics to design interventions for social impact, and second, to develop your skills as an altruistic leader.

While the courses are conceptually distinct, the modular structure is designed to teach several courses simultaneously, reflecting how the social and the business flow together in the real world. Some seminars will be taught by academics and expert practitioners in partnership, so that you can see how research is applied effectively in the workplace.

An altruistic entrepreneurship project runs alongside the courses for the duration of the programme. You will work in a group with fellow students to develop an entrepreneurial business proposal for social impact. The project is an opportunity for real world application of your learning and projects are designed with the potential for real-world implementation.

Core courses

The Hybrid Economy

This course explores the economic and political context in which social businesses and social entrepreneurs work.  Its starting-point is historic and contemporary failures by the state, market and voluntary sector to resolve persistent social problems.  The course describes an emerging hybrid economy in which new organisational forms and new multi-actor collaborations blend outcomes, behaviours and structures from different sectors with the aim of achieving both social and financial returns.  It examines the competitive advantage and disadvantage of the hybrid social business as a remedy for state and market failure. The course focuses specifically on motivation and incentive theory, exploring how we can design robust organisations and institutions that respond both to altruistic and more self-directed motivations.  The course further explores the scope and nature of the political relationship between hybrid organisations and the state, and also ethical criticisms of the hybrid economy, focusing in particular on controversies about the introduction (or intrusion) of the market and business into the social or public realm.

Social Impact and Its Evaluation

What is the public benefit?  And how can I know that what I do makes any real impact on the public benefit?  This innovative course sets out to support students in coming to their own resolutions of these dilemmas.  Its first section challenges students to consider the nature of public benefit. It introduces different philosophical conceptions of the good, and discusses whose conception of the good is the more important: the actor or agent, the beneficiary, the government or the wider society.  The second section introduces the concepts and techniques of impact measurement from the perspective of - and through specific examples of interest to – organisational leaders and policymakers and those who intend to commission social business and social enterprise interventions. 

Foundations of Social Business 1

The social business, as any other organisation, has to understand its environment and undertake consequent activities to enable sustainability and effectiveness; this challenge is complicated by the requirement to achieve not only profit or financial viability, but also environmental sustainability and mission-driven social impact.  Foundations of Social Business I provides students with the core management skills of strategy and marketing to meet this complex challenge.  It explores how at the heart of social entrepreneurship is the identification of an unjust equilibrium, a market failure, or a social problem; and how the response is innovative, market-like solutions.  It introduces students to a rigorous process of opportunity evaluation, strategic analysis and market positioning, and relates these to the specific situation of social businesses.  It examines strategy development where the imperative is not market capture but the reversal of market failure; it considers where corporate parallels apply and where they break down.  The course will use real examples and relate the classroom discussion to students’ own experiences and projects.

Foundations of Social Business 2

This course focuses on three critical aspects of social business: entrepreneurship, resource mobilisation, and accounting for social return. It includes within its coverage both existing organisations and start-ups as vehicles for social change, and ‘intrapreneurs’ as well as entrepreneurs.  Students will be introduced to the main elements of entrepreneurial planning including the lean start-up, rapid prototyping, scaling and resource­gathering.  They will explore the range of social business financing options, from the traditional, such as grant funding, to the emerging, such as venture philanthropy and impact investment.  They will examine the complexity of accounting for multiple bottom lines, a process which highlights the challenge of managing for both purpose and profit.

 The Altruistic Leader

This course focuses on leadership, particularly within the context of a social business.  It draws heavily from research in organisational behaviour, psychology, and sociology in order to examine the knowledge, skills and analytical capabilities needed to exercise leadership and influence. It attempts to strike a balance between theory and practice by providing a solid grounding in theory and research which students must apply to real life scenarios. The course examines topics such as: power and influence; organisational justice; motivation and rewards; leadership styles; cross-cultural management; organisational culture and change.

Applying Behavioural Economics for Social Impact: Design, Delivery and Policy

This course teaches students how to improve the effectiveness of social interventions.  It delivers insights from cutting edge research in psychology and economics, and asks students to use these insights to diagnose, design, deliver, and rigorously test products and services using the principles of behavioural economics and the methods of field experimentation.  The starting-point is the principle of coproduction: outcomes in health, education and similar fields are not simply given to end-users, but are produced by end-users themselves, interacting with supply-side factors.  Students learn how to diagnose end-user needs, preferences and behaviour. The course then explores how the psychological aspects of behaviour can be combined with the tools of economics to induce behaviour change and improve outcomes. Throughout there is emphasis upon the critical importance of effective measurement which informs improvements in diagnosis and design.  The course concludes by exploring how research can be translated into policy action and impact.  Real world Harvard Business School case study discussions form the basis of the classroom learning, which is highly interactive and practical.

Altruistic Entrepreneur Project

Throughout the programme students work in groups to develop an entrepreneurial business proposal for social impact, bringing the academic insights from across the degree into an applied experience. The course crystallises the learning from each module. It allows students, supported by experienced practitioners, to develop their own social business idea from concept to realisation.  It develops the crucial arts of pitching for finance, of testing ideas as rapidly as possible, and of working in diverse and international groups.  Involving radical ideas from design thinking, expert mentorship, and intense schedules, the project will culminate in a presentation to investors.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

Courses will be assessed through a variety of methods including papers, presentations, take-home exams and group work with an emphasis on integrated assignments that help students understand how to put into practice the various components of effective management and social impact delivery. 

The entrepreneurial project will be assessed through a mixture of group presentations, creation of a business proposition and an extended essay. You can view indicative details for teaching and assessment methods and contact hours for each course in the Course Guides listed in the Programme Regulations.

Academic support

You will be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking. 

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Teaching faculty

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Professor Stephan Chambers – Programme Director
Professor in Practice and Director of the LSE Marshall Institute

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Professor Nava Ashraf
Research Director and Professor of Economics, LSE Marshall Institute

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Dr Greg Fischer
Lecturer in Economics, LSE Department of Economics

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Professor Sir Julian Le Grand
Professor of Social Policy, LSE Marshall Institute

Connson Locke

Dr Connson Locke
Senior Lecturer in Practice, LSE Department of Management

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Dr Jonathan Roberts
Teaching Director and Senior Lecturer in Practice, LSE Marshall Institute

Class profile

  • class size: 20 students
  • internationally diverse
  • experienced working professionals from a variety employment backgrounds, including the private, public and third sectors

LSE attracts outstanding students from a diverse range of international backgrounds each year, and the Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship programme is designed to bring a variety of global perspectives to the classroom.

We expect to welcome 20 students from a broad mix of backgrounds, including corporate business leaders, executives from the public and non-profit sectors, policymakers, and entrepreneurs wishing to launch or scale-up their own socially-focused business venture.

The programme is designed for working professionals with at least 3 years’ experience in any industry. Executives from around the world will bring their talent to the classroom to form a close community of like-minded peers, and graduate as a cohort of global leaders in the field of social business.

Careers

Career development with the Executive MSc in Social Business and Entrepreneurship

This programme offers you a platform to become a leader in social business, whether you would like to set up your own entrepreneurial venture, progress your career in your current organisation, or transition to a new job role or industry.

By joining the programme you will become a part of LSE’s prestigious network of over 100,000 students and alumni worldwide, including business leaders, heads of state and Nobel laureates. You will develop the knowledge, skills and networks to pursue a broad range of career paths according to your individual goals, including:

  • Launching your own entrepreneurial venture, for example developing and leading a profit-making business to create positive social impact
  • Progressing your career in the private sector, for example leading your company’s corporate social responsibility function, or running socially-focused ‘intrapreneurial’ projects for a profit-making firm
  • Playing a leadership role in the public or not-for-profit sectors, for example with a socially-focused charity, NGO or think tank

Support for your career

Executive career coaching

Each student will receive bespoke individual career coaching from an external Executive Careers Coach, giving in-depth support tailored to their current position and future goals.

LSE Careers

LSE Careers has links with many leading employers, and offers a wide range of resources to assist you in your career development. 

Assessing your application

Entry requirements for the Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship

  • a good Bachelor’s degree: UK 2:1 or higher, 3.5 GPA or higher, or equivalent (see international entry requirements)
  • a minimum of 3 years' full-time, relevant work experience. The majority of students on the programme will have 5+ years' experience.
  • 'standard' level English language - IELTS or TOEFL:  if your native language is not English or if the language of instruction of your previous degree is not English (see our English language requirements)
  • GMAT or GRE: this is recommended only for applicants who do not meet the Bachelor’s degree requirements above. For those applicants only, this is not required but is strongly recommended as it will make your application more competitive

You will also need to submit the following with your application:

  • two references: one academic and one professional reference, OR two professional references if you have been out of university education for more than five years
  • personal statement: include your interest and suitability for the programme, career achievements and ambitions, what you hope to get out of the programme and what you think you can bring to the class
  • CV or resume

See further information on supporting documents

You should also ensure you have the support of your current employer to attend all of the classroom teaching modules during the programme. View 2018-2019 programme calendar with module dates.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form.

Personal statement requirements

If you are applying for this programme, please note the following specific requirements for your personal statement:

Write a short personal statement (up to 600 words) about why you want to do the programme. This might cover, for example, what you will bring to the cohort, and what are your particular strengths.

Also, you should answer the following question (your answer should be no more than 500 words):

  • The business of business is social improvement. Describe briefly the role of markets in social progress.

The total length of your personal statement – including the answers to the above questions – should be no more than 1,200 words.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however we encourage you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Will I need a visa to study on this programme?

Depending on your nationality you may need a visa to attend LSE modules. If this is required, you will need to obtain a Short-term Student Visa. We will assist you throughout the admissions process and can supply supporting documents for visa applications. Please see the relevant pages below for further information:

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

This tuition fee covers:

  • tuition
  • course materials
  • some meals and events in London

Please note that travel and accommodation for the London teaching modules is not included in the fees. 

Tuition fees 2018/19 for Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship

UK/EU students: £32,000
Overseas students: £32,000

There are several payment options available to pay your fees once you are a registered student. Please contact the LSE Fees Office (fees@lse.ac.uk) with any questions.

For this programme, there is a pre-registration fee of £2,500 to gain early access to online programme materials (this will be deducted from the overall tuition fee). 

Funding for your programme

This programme is not eligible for financial support from LSE, as the programme is designed for students to continue working and earning a salary while they study. However there are a range of other financing options available for the programme, outlined below.

Employer sponsorship

We provide customised professional development related to each student’s current employment role, and the programme can therefore be hugely beneficial to your company or organisation. The return on investment for your organistion at the end of the programme will be a fully developed employee with a unique skills set, and the talent to drive growth, success and innovation.

We encourage you discuss this directly with your employer and make a case for their financial sponsorship if this is appropriate, as they will gain valuable return on their investment in sponsoring you. 

External funding opportunities

A wide range of funding opportunities are available to students from across the world who plan to study on a postgraduate programme in the UK, provided by a number of organisations and charities. We recommend that you search our Awards pages and apply for any appropriate funding available to you, including scholarships, grant schemes, and fellowships.

Bank loans and government loans

  • UK residents: Professional and Career Development Loans (PCLDs) are available to students who have lived in the UK for three years prior to taking out the loan (regardless of whether they are employed or not). 
  • non-UK residents: For non-UK students, banks in your home country are also likely to offer student loans. Contact large banks based in your local region to find out about your options.
  • your government may also have a student loan scheme, for example with Federal Student Aid in the United States. Contact the Education Ministry in your home country, or your national Embassy in London, to find out more about any government loan schemes available to you.

Make sure a loan is right for you

If you’re considering taking out a loan to fund your studies, make sure you think about this decision carefully and choose an option with repayment terms which will be affordable and reasonable for you after you graduate.

Contact us

We encourage you to contact our Programme and Admissions Team to discuss the programme, and its suitability for your background and career goals.

Email: marshallinstitute.emsbeenquiries@lse.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7655

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