Programmes

MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Management
  • Application code N2UA
  • Starting 2018

MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme video

This unique programme brings expertise from the latest insights in social innovation research with LSE’s tradition for academic excellence, alongside practical learnings from our network of socially-focused organisations worldwide, into the classroom.

You will learn to think beyond current trends and fashions in the young and rapidly-developing field of social innovation, and develop critical academic views informed by cutting-edge research in management, psychology, sociology, economics and anthropology.

Based on this, you will learn how to design, launch and scale-up successful entrepreneurial ventures with social goals. Core courses will develop your managerial skills, and grow your talent as a successful leader of teams and organisations. Real consulting and social innovation design projects will develop your professional experience and entrepreneurial skills, and give an opportunity to start your own social enterprise during your year at LSE.

You will have the opportunity to undertake an international field trip to conduct research with an NGO or company in a developing country, gaining first-hand experience of the diverse range of issues faced by different communities worldwide. You will learn to critically analyse the root cause of social issues in their specific social, economic and political contexts, and to design effective solutions based on a clear understanding of the real problem.

You will graduate with lifelong critical skills and a platform for success in developing and leading socially-focused ventures.

Programme details

Key facts

Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time only
Applications 2016 New programme for 2017
Intake 2016 New programme for 2017
Projected class size 2017 45
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £26,976
Overseas: £27,504
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 26 April 2018)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement Not required but will be considered
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

Curriculum overview

We are ranked #2 in the world for social science and management, and the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme builds on this tradition for academic excellence with a cutting-edge academic curriculum. 

Core courses will develop your insights and understanding of social issues, and provide a world-class training in the development of social innovations to address fundamental societal problems in a range of different economic, political and geographic contexts. You will also develop managerial and leadership skills, to provide the foundation to launch and sustain socially-focused entrepreneurial ventures.

Core courses will also include an international field research trip with an NGO or socially-focused organisation in a developing country, as well as the opportunity to work on a practical innovation design consulting project. These projects offer the chance to develop your own social venture during your year at LSE.

Compulsory core courses (2.5 units)

(* denotes a half unit)

Social innovation design:

Two core courses will focus on understanding and design of solutions for social challenges. These courses draw on the LSE Department of Management's 10 years of experience in conducting research projects and field design programmes with an ecosystem of local partners in South Asia, Africa and South America.

Understanding Social Problems for Innovation and Entrepreneurship*
This course focuses on designing an effective social enterprise, which can range from a start up (e.g. a new local business or NGO) to a new socially-focused unit within a large organisation (e.g. a multinational company or global NGO/foundation). The course begins with an understanding of the causes of poverty and inequality in situ for a specific target group, and develops a core understanding of a wide variety of social problems from economic, psychological and sociological perspectives. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a field trip to an emerging market, where they will explore in depth the root cause of a social challenge in the local context, undertaking initial data collection and defining a pressing problem they wish to address in the Social Innovation Design course (below).

Social Innovation Design*
This course takes the social problem identified in the Understanding Social Problems for Innovation and Entrepreneurship course above as a starting point, and provides a rigourous overview of insights, concepts, frameworks, methods and tools for designing and scaling up a new social enterprise, ranging from business model innovation to crowd funding and impact assessment. A key component of the course will be a social enterprise design project where student groups are provided with a step-by-step methodology and coaching to develop a comprehensive enterprise solution to the problem highlighted during their field trip.

Core management fundamentals:

Two core courses will focus on the fundamentals of organisational management, with concepts, terminology and frameworks in marketing, organisational behaviour, economics, accounting and quantitative research. This is designed to build students' ability to make good judgements and better business decisions, and ask the right questions to critically assess issues in the in building, deployment and scaling of their social enterprise. 

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship I*
This course focuses on building an essential knowledge of organisational behaviour (such as leadership, teams, motivation) and marketing, to provide the managerial skills required to catalyse the changes required to launch and lead successful entrepreneurial ventures in social innovation.

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship II*
This course provides a fundamental grounding in economics, accounting and quantitative research methods, tailored to meet the needs of social innovators and entrepreneurs.

Dissertation:

Learning from all core courses will be brought together with a dissertation at the end of the programme, with the opportunity to conduct an individual capstone project bringing together a well-rounded understanding of social problems, techniques to develop innovative solutions, and entrepreneurial or managerial skills.

Dissertation*
Students have three options for the dissertation:

1. An individual design project for a new social enterprise, producing a sound and viable business model, a compelling plan for achieving long-term sustainability, and a detailed and convincing impact assessment.

2. An individual consulting project to solve a real-world issue for a client organisation. Project themes can be extremely wide-ranging across areas of specialisation and regions, all with a significant, tangible business problem to be solved. Past sponsors have included IMB (big data in Brazil), Riders for Health (healthcare transport in Africa) and Rickshaw Bank (business model renewal in India).  

3. Students can also seek approval to undertake a research dissertation, conducing an empirical research project to develop new knowledge in the field of social innovation. 

Optional elective courses (1.5 units)

Optional elective courses of your choice (to the total value of 1.5 units) will give you a chance to customise the programme to your own interests and career goals. These electives include:

(* denotes a half unit)

Consumer Insights I: Behavioural Fundamentals*

Open Innovation*

Cross Cultural Management*

Leadership in Organisations: Theory and Practice*

Negotiation Analysis*

Management of Human Resources: Strategies and Policy*

International Marketing: A Strategic Approach*

In addition to the elective courses listed above, students can also choose from the broad range of all graduate level elective courses across LSE, with the permission of the Programme Directors. The School’s expertise in the social, economic and political world will provide you with a rich variety of options to deepen and specialise your knowledge. 

 

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page. 

Teaching and assessment

The LSE learning experience

The curriculum is designed to challenge your view of the world, and of problems and solutions in social innovation. You will be asked to read the latest research to understand the underlying reasons why today’s societal issues exist as they do across the world, and the practical implications for managers of socially-focused organisations. You will critically assess trends, conflicts and patterns in society and in organisational management practice, with contrasting examples from regions across the world, and form your own opinions to defend and debate with your classmates in seminars. You will learn how to develop and communicate well-reasoned arguments, and to tackle complex decisions and problems in the context of the real socio-economic and geo-political architecture in which social organisations and entrepreneurial ventures operate across the globe.

Teaching and assessment

Courses are taught in lecture and class or seminar format. Lectures introduce the core theoretical and technical concepts whilst their associated classes allow students to discuss and apply these concepts through exercises and in-depth study. Seminars allow for the focused study of key concepts in a more informal style and often involve presentations by students on selected course materials. Many teachers adopt a variety of teaching methods to deliver their courses such as class exercises, team presentations, individual or group work, or case study discussions.

Given the high level of academic performance expected from students, a significant amount of independent study and preparation is required to get the most out of the programme. Half-unit courses can be assessed by two hour unseen examinations, coursework assignments, class participation or group/individual project work.

You can view indicative details of hours and assessment for all courses listed in the online Programme Regulations.

Academic support

You will also 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; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

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.

Faculty

Programme Director

Harry Barkema
Professor Harry Barkema
Professor of Management

Deputy Programme Director

Nadia Millington
Dr Nadia Millington
Senior Lecturer in Practice

Teaching team

Yally Avrahampour
Dr Yally Avrahampour
Assistant Professor of Management

Uta Bindl
Dr Uta Bindl
Assistant Professor of Management

Jacqueline Coyle-Shapiro
Professor Jacqueline Coyle-Shapiro
Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Saul Estrin
Professor Saul Estrin
Professor of Management Economics and Strategy

Careers

Career development with the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Your Career video
WATCH VIDEO >

The MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurships offers the opportunity to develop your career as a talented, insightful and entrepreneurial manager. 

The programme will provide the knowledge, skills and networks you need to take the next step in your career, whether this will be to launch or grow your own socially-focused entrepreneurial venture, drive forward your career in your current organisation, or find a route to transition into social innovation from another sector.

Graduates from the LSE Department of Management are highly sought-after in the job market, and go on to successful careers in a range of leading organisations worldwide. Many of our graduates have also launched successful start-up ventures.

Alumni career profiles

These alumni studied a course on Business Model Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid in the LSE Department of Management in recent years. This former elective course has been developed into the Social Enterprise Design core courses in the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

We also include a profile from one of our Corporate Partners, who worked with students on this former elective course.

Lesego, South Africa
Current occupation: Founder and CEO, Bokamoso Impact Investments 

Lesego Serolong video
WATCH VIDEO >

Paroma, India
Current occupation: Senior Associate, Incubation & Knowledge at UnLtd India

Paroma Bhattacharya video
WATCH VIDEO >

Pallavi, India
Current occupation: Founder and Managing Director at FifthEstate

Pallavi Gupta video
WATCH VIDEO >

Bill, Corporate Partner
Current occupation: European Marketing Lead at IBM Interactive Experience

Bill Sullivan video
WATCH VIDEO >

Sofia
Current Occupation: Marketing Director at Branch.co and Co-Founder of Sokotext
Awards and successes: Hult Prize nominee (2013), Forbes 30 under 30 nominee (2016)

Sofia

"Taking the design course has given me the confidence to pursue my dream of using business to fight poverty. I've been involved with the course since its pilot year, when as an undergraduate I was part of a student group that collaborated with the Management department in its design. I had the privilege of auditing it in 2009 and 2011. It was a very special experience for me to be part of a group of students who are all so bright and motivated to make a real difference in the world. Following the progress of my former classmates always puts a smile on my face - it is clear that the design course has influenced the career paths of so many of us. The course covered topics with a fascinating approach blending economics, Lean Startup, ethnography and social sciences, and included an opportunity to experience fieldwork with an organisation in an emerging market or to pursue a project with a forward-thinking corporate. To me, the experience was very typical of LSE as a whole: a place that encourages exploring radical ideas and getting engaged in interesting initiatives, while anchoring you with a sense of pragmatism and real-world ambition.

Since graduating, a group of LSE friends and I founded an award-winning social enterprise in Kenya called Sokotext. The business model has since been replicated by my co-founders in Colombia with huge success. Today, I am pursuing a career in scaling business-based approaches to poverty alleviation as the Marketing Director of San Francisco and Kenya-based mobile lender Branch.co. We are using the power of data to make credit available via smartphones to the financially excluded in emerging markets and within our first year have reached over 100,000 customers.

The entrepreneurial journey is neither easy nor straightforward, but the satisfaction of forging your own path and creating a positive impact in the world makes it all worth it. It is so fulfilling for me to be able to pursue a career where I can utilise my skills and efforts towards a greater purpose, and I am grateful to the Professors at LSE for encouraging me throughout the years. I truly believe that we can end poverty in our lifetimes, and that we will do it through business."

LSE Careers

LSE Careers will provide tailored individual support with your professional development and job search throughout the programme. They offer one-to-one Career Consultant sessions, access to employers with career fairs, seminars and workshops, a vast database of employment opportunities via the LSE Career Hub, and help with job hunting, CVs/resumes and interviews. 

Class profile

The LSE Department of Management attracts outstanding students from a diverse range of international backgrounds each year, and the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme is designed to bring a variety of global perspectives and professional experience to the classroom. 

We expect to welcome 30 students from a broad mix of academic and employment backgrounds, including those currently working in socially-focused organisations or CSR and sustainability teams within large companies, as well as students from a wide variety of other backgrounds wishing to move into this field.

The programme is well-suited to graduates with 2 or more years' work experience in social innovation, however work experience is not required and more recent graduates will also benefit from the development of knowledge and practical experience offered by the programme. This diverse mix of experience and expertise in the classroom is designed to challenge your perspectives and enrich your learning experience.

Current class (2017-18):

  • class size: 48 students
  • 21 nationalities
  • age range: 21- 51
  • average age: 29

Assessing your application

Entry requirements for MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or above, or international equivalentApplicants from any academic background are welcomed. 
  • students admitted to the programme would normally have 2 or more years' relevant work experience. However applicants with less experience (for example an internship) are also welcome to apply. Please detail any relevant experience in your application.
  • a GMAT or GRE score is not required, but a strong result from either of these tests may benefit applicants
  • English language requirements

Your application will be considered on its academic merits. An offer of a place may be conditional on attending additional courses and/or passing qualifying examinations at a suitable standard, in addition to your degree. You should note that there are always many more applications than places available at LSE and possession of the minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee that you will be offered admission. It is therefore in your interests to apply as early as possible.

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, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement (see requirements below)
- two references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

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 your particular strengths are.

Also, you should answer the following questions (your answers should be approximately 500 words each):

1. Tell us about an experience you had with social innovation /entrepreneurship/ a project with high social impact. What role did you play and what did you learn about yourself?  

2. How will your past experience, combined with this LSE masters, help you to achieve your goals?

The total length of your personal statement – including the answers to the above questions - should therefore be between 1,100 & 1,600 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 early to avoid disappointment.

Please note that to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section below on this page for more details.

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

UK/EU students: £26,976
Overseas students: £27,504

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

Contact us

Programme and admissions enquiries

With questions related to your application or the admissions process, please check our admissions frequently asked questions page.

If you have any queries which are not answered on the website, please contact the Programme and Admissions Team:

Email: dom.msc.admissions@lse.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3486 2946

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