Dissertation: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Prof Harm Barkema NAB 4.24
This course is available on the MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This course is not available as an outside option.
The dissertation gives an opportunity to apply, integrate, and/or deepen the knowledge, insights, and skills that the students have learned in the master's programme, by selecting one of the following options:
(i) An applied master thesis, applying the knowledge, insights and skills students have learned in the programme to analyse – and develop compelling recommendations regarding – a real world social problem
(ii) Designing a new social enterprise
(iii) A research project in the domain of the master’s program
Each thesis will be anchored in theory and methodology/evidence to meet academic standards, but in different ways and to different degrees. More specifically, students will be able to choose between:
1) An individual applied project. In the projects, students apply and integrate what they have learned in the previous courses in terms of theory, evidence, methodologies, and tools, as well as individually and additionally researched from relevant academic literature. These insights are used to analyse a real-world social problem in the broad domain of the Master’s program. Students are expected to support their analysis with relevant theory – sourced from academic journals – and with primary data analysis and collection in situ (tapping into the methodological knowledge acquired during the programme), leading to a theory- and evidence-based analysis, and compelling recommendations. One notable criterion for evaluation will be the way theory/research from academic journals as taught in the programme and, importantly, additionally independently sourced, are used to strengthen the analysis and recommendations, as reflected in the report.
2) An individual design of a new social enterprise. In the design projects students apply and integrate what they have learned in previous courses in terms of theory, evidence, methodologies, and tools, as well as individually and additionally researched from the relevant academic and design literatures. These insights are used to develop a new social enterprise / social business that addresses an important, clearly defined real world problem. Students are expected to support their analysis underlying (key parts of) the design with theory sourced from academic journals, as well collect and analyse primary data in situ (tapping into the methodological knowledge acquired during the programme), leading to a theory- and evidence-based analysis and business plan/ business model. One notable criterion for evaluation will be the way theory/research from academic journals as taught in the programme and, importantly, additionally independently sourced, are used to strengthen the design, as reflected in the report.
3) An empirical research project. The objective of the research project is to develop a novel theoretical contribution to better understand an important phenomenon in the domain of social innovation and enterprise. The contribution needs to build on – and contribute to – the state of the art of the academic literature in the domain of the masters programme, tapping into the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired during the course, as well as – especially – acquired in self-study, leading to a qualitative or a quantitative research project. A major criterion for evaluation will be the way theory/research from academic journals as taught in the programme and, especially, independently sourced, are used to strengthen the research, as reflected in the report.
6 hours of seminars in the LT. 6 hours of workshops in the ST.
- 3 hours of interactive lecture in the LT: Introduction, the three types of theses/tracks; the role of theory & academic literature in thesis development
- 3 hours of interactive lecture in the LT: Core methodological insights for thesis development
For each of the three tracks: A dissertation workshop (mandatory for all participants of the track,) at the start of the Summer Term; 6 hours (maximum) depending on the number of theses in the track.
In total, students will be expected to attend around 12 hrs of classes for the dissertation module.
Projects will be guided by a pool of 6-10 dedicated supervisors for these dissertations.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.
Students will be expected to produce – before the dissertation workshop – a dissertation proposal outlining the core question of the thesis (with sub-questions), a review/synthesis of relevant academic literature, the methodology for the study (qualitative or quantitative, sample selection, type of analysis, etc.). This proposal will be presented and discussed during the workshop. It will also serve as formative course work.
Core reading: Skovdal, M. & Cornish, F. Qualitative research for Development (currently the students already study several chapters of this book as part of MG4G1). Additional readings will be announced before the start of the Lent term.
Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2019/20: Unavailable
Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable
Controlled access 2019/20: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving
- Application of numeracy skills
- Commercial awareness
- Specialist skills