MA in Social Entrepreneurship

There is a growth in the number of entrepreneurs starting businesses with social and environmental purposes at their heart. This exciting MA will enable you to develop a critical understanding of and practical insights into modes of social enterprise.

Length
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
Funding
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.

Fees
See our tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact ICCE
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

There is an urgent need for talented individuals who can design novel solutions to our most profound societal challenges.

This international MA provides practical and sociological tools to individuals motivated to develop alternative economic practices and frameworks to meet such challenges. These might include (but are not limited to) social enterprises, collaborative innovation networks, hubs, digital platforms, support intermediaries and/or policy proposals.

Benefitting from the MA’s timely educational content as well as from its firm roots in London’s rich networks, our students go on to become thought leaders in the burgeoning social innovation field, advancing it in a creative fashion from their chosen angle. Past graduates have gone on to create their own social enterprises or to work for prestigious organisations such as the Yunus Institute and Social Enterprise UK, while some have elected to carry out advanced research into social innovation.

This MA is ideal for:

  • Current social entrepreneurs hoping to develop their expertise further (roughly 25% of our students from the UK and EU study part-time while working in the field)
  • Undergraduates aspiring to become social innovators and changemakers
  • Intrapreneurs interested in organisational transformation within the creative sector or any other sector of interest
  • Support organisation/infrastructure architects and policy makers (including those who wish to advance the field of social innovation in their cities/areas/countries)
  • Those interested in becoming analysts and knowledge experts in this field (including academic researchers with PhDs)

Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • The email address details of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference.
  • A personal statement. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

The deadline for applications is 20 July. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Entrance requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (including 7.0 in the written element) or equivalent to enroll and study on this programme.

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form

UK/EU

+44 (0)20 7919 7766
course-info@gold.ac.uk

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702
international-office@gold.ac.uk

Courses and Structure

The MA in more detail

The MA in Social Entrepreneurship is one of the few graduate programmes in the world dedicated entirely to the study of the fast-moving field of social entrepreneurship and innovation.

It will equip you with a strong understanding of foundational theories of entrepreneurship, innovation, social problems and policy (with organisational sociology as the base discipline) while supplying practical tools in relation to entrepreneurial modelling and SROI.

There is also a marked emphasis on creativity, which means that you will have considerable scope to choose the precise topics you wish to tackle and the approaches you wish to apply. Teaching on the course is interactive and seminar-driven rather than based on the traditional model of long lectures and limited discussions.

What you study

The programme will introduce you to key concepts in the historical development of social enterprise and innovation and to its changing role in society and the economy. Seminars and talks will be given by social entrepreneurs, as well as leading professionals.

You'll learn innovative approaches to developing an enterprise, and gain confidence in revenue generation and financial modelling. 

A significant amount of the learning is delivered through group projects and activities. This is designed to develop your individual communication skills and teamwork.

The programme consists of five core modules:

  • Theories of Creative, Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial Modelling
  • Social Entrepreneurship: Policy and Frameworks
  • Social Return On Investment: Principles and Practice
  • Research or Project-Based Master’s Dissertation

In addition to these main modules, we also regularly invite external experts from intermediaries such as UnLtd and other educational institutions such as the University of Oxford to ensure our students get access to a wide range of cutting-edge topics in the field. Social and alternative finance is among the key areas examined in such guest lectures; social innovation cases from particular country-contexts such as, for example, South Korea, Japan and Colombia also feature frequently.

We are occasionally able to provide additional training in related fields (such as accounting) in the form of short-term workshops to strengthen our students’ educational experience at Goldsmiths and at the University of London. We also encourage you to become members of various social entrepreneurship/collaboration hubs around London for learning and networking purposes.

A non-business school programme

The MA in Social Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths is quite unlike traditional business/management-driven courses in the field: on the one hand, it allows scope for a far deeper examination of the theoretical and practical foundations of social innovation; on the other, it provides unique access to an expanding learning community (formed by our students and our wider, growing network) engaged in real-time research.

Equally important is the fact that students are consciously encouraged to, and supported with, forming their professional public profiles, through things like:

  • blogging (eg via The Golden Angle blog that students founded in 2013-2014)
  • public speaking
  • interactive research projects
  • developing your own social enterprise

Because our students possess diverse, highly relevant knowledge that they have accumulated prior to coming to Goldsmiths, real efforts are made to integrate this knowledge and experience into the collective learning processes.

One relevant tool that we employ here is an interactive peer-review process that we employ to raise the quality of student output, which means that often student essays (not just dissertations) are of publishable quality. Furthermore, we take full advantage of our location within London’s bustling community of social innovation by engaging with leading intermediaries, practitioners and (junior as well as senior) thought leaders.

Learning objectives

In terms of essential learning objectives, MA in Social Entrepreneurship students are expected to: 

  1. Develop a critical, sociologically informed understanding of this fast evolving field
  2. Develop tangible expertise in social return on investment and entrepreneurial modelling methodologies
  3. Become part of London's social innovation community, a global centre of gravity in this field (with links to local social innovation communities virtually everywhere in the world)
  4. Access a number of future career paths in the growing social innovation sector
  5. Develop a grasp of research methods, a significant body of written work and a public profile through assignments, debates and online/offline publication avenues (including The Golden Angle), enabling some students to work as social innovation consultants/knowledge leaders upon graduation

 

Student and Graduate profiles

Perihan

"London is a city where creative and cultural industries play a key role in the economy. The city has endless networks and organisations utilising innovation and supporting social enterprises, and I think being a student at Goldsmiths in this specific program helped me even more to reach different networks and meet amazing people in the field."

Sandra, Colombia

Sandra received a prestigious Goldsmiths Banco Santander Scholarship

Since finishing my undergraduate studies in international business, I worked for five years for Oro Verde, an initiative based in Colombia aimed at protecting one the world's 25 most important biodiversity hotspots: the Choco Bioregion. As Marketing and Commercial leader, I was in charge of linking artisanal gold miners – who created the world's first fairtrade gold certification scheme for social and environmentally responsible practices – with jewellers, allies and consumers worldwide through business development.
 
I became interested in social business and the unlimited potential of solutions for social problems through market-driven proposals. I was fortunate to discover Goldsmiths' MA in Social Entrepreneurship in a graduate fair in Medellin and was drawn to its innovative academic approach to this new field. So far, my experience has been intense and rewarding. Based in a vibrant location in London, the campus' lively atmosphere provides a mix of different cultural and professional backgrounds, which makes the academic process even more interesting.
 
Being awarded the Goldsmiths Banco de Santander scholarship has greatly facilitated my dream to study in the UK. It means to take advantage of the opportunities that a city like London has to offer as a global hub where the newest trends of social entrepreneurship are being shaped in a great variety of discussions and events across different sectors. This experience undoubtedly allows me to grab novel knowledge and practices which will enable me to share and apply my learning to create social value when I return to Colombia.
 
For my previous work, I am also a grantee of the Joke Waller-Hunter (JWH) Initiative, creates opportunities for young people in the environmental sector in developing countries to unfold their full potential.

Careers

It is intended that students completing this programme will seek employment primarily in two areas. Firstly: self-employed in their own social enterprise or a member of a team of an SME developing from an existing or new practice. Secondly: within government or NGO organisations concerned with developing the infrastructure and environment for new social enterprises to flourish.

Skills

The skills you'll develop throughout the MA include: entrepreneurial knowledge and skills; a critical understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of social entrepreneurship; the ability to critically examine the conditions required for innovation and entrepreneurship to make a strong impact on societal problems; the ability to apply entrepreneurial approaches to projects; effective business and communication skills.


Content last modified: 16 Apr 2014

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