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.
Organisational Behaviour and Marketing for Social Entrepreneurs*
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.
Managerial Economics and Quantitative Measurement for Social Entrepreneurs*
This course provides a fundamental grounding in economics, accounting and quantitative research methods, tailored to meet the needs of social innovators and entrepreneurs.
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.
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, conducting 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)
Environmental Problems and Development Interventions*
Cities, People and Poverty in the South*
Consumer Insights: Behavioural Fundamentals*
International Business Strategy and Emerging Markets*
Handling Disruption: Humanitarian Emergencies Management and Development*
Corporate Social Responsibility and International Labour*
Innovation and Technology Management*
Cross Cultural Management*
Leadership in Organisations: Theory and Practice*
International Marketing: A Strategic Approach*
Contemporary Topics in Advanced Technology Management*
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.