MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Management
  • Application code N2UA
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Limited availability
  • Overseas full-time: Limited availability
  • Location: Houghton Street, London


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.

Each student on the programme 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. Previous trips resulted in projects around sustainable home farming and child care in Cape Town, to removing cyanide from the water in the rural regions of Bangladesh. These in situ experiences are at the core of the degree and are guided by our expert partners who are deeply integrated into the fabric of the communities. Students 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.

Read more about the LSE student experience on our student blog, The Student Lens >

Programme details

Key facts

Start date 30 September 2024
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time only
Applications 2022 553
Intake 2022 53
Financial support Graduate support scheme (see 'Fees and funding')
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement Not required but will be considered (see GRE and GMAT for further information and exceptions)
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.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or above, or international equivalent. See international entry requirements. Applicants 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

Assessing your application

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)
- statement of academic purpose (see requirements below)
- two references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

Academic statement of purpose requirements

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

Write a short 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 academic statement of purpose – including the answers to the above questions - should therefore be between 1,100 & 1,600 words.

Speak to an Admissions specialist

If you have any queries which are not answered on the website or would like to chat with an admissions specialist, we run 1:1 Zoom chats on a weekly basis for prospective students and offer holders:

Book 1:1 session (prospective students)

Book 1:1 session (offer holders)

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 2024/25 for MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Home students: £34,980
Overseas students: £35,628

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

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 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 about fee status classification.


To secure a place on the programme offer holders will be required to pay a deposit of 10% of the tuition fee within six weeks of receiving their offer. Detailed guidance, including details around exceptions, will be made available from December 2023.

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.

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 generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

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 offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline. Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 25 April 2024.

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. Find out more about financial support.

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

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page). 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

Curriculum overview

We are ranked #3 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 (3 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 rigorous 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 unit)

Optional elective courses of your choice (to the total value of 1 unit) 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*

Entrepreneurial Finance

Consumer Insights: Behavioural Fundamentals*

Open Innovation*

International Business Strategy and Emerging Markets*

Handling Disruption: Humanitarian Emergencies Management and Development*

Information Technology and Service Innovation

Innovation and Technology Management*

Cross Cultural Management*

Leadership in Organisations: Theory and Practice*

Negotiation Analysis*

International Marketing: A Strategic Approach*

Corporation Social Responsibility*

Innovations in the Governance of Public Services Delivery*

Designing and Managing Change in the Public Sector*

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. 

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page. 

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 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 mentor 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.


Programme Director

Saul Estrin

Professor Saul Estrin
Professor of Management Economics and Strategy

Yally Avrahampour
Dr Yally Avrahampour
Associate Professor (Education) of Management

Teaching team

Dr Niranjan Janardhanan
Assistant Professor of Management


Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme and arranging exam adjustments. They run groups and workshops. 

IT help – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­– with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice – this offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advisers – we have a Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy) and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

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Student stories

Student profiles

Bilal, Pakistan


Mariana, Brazil
MSc Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 2018


Nayla, Argentina
MSc Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 2018


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 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.

Read more about the LSE student experience on our student blog, The Student Lens >


Career development with the MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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

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

Paroma Bhattacharya video

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

Pallavi Gupta video

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

Bill Sullivan video

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


"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 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. 

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:


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