Enterprise and Innovation for Scientists

Unit code: MCEL10012
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 1
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

Open to Science and Engineering students only– available to those students who have received prior agreement from their registering school.


The unit aims to:

Introduce students to the enterprising and competitive environment in which companies operates with a basis             grounded in science/technology research and development intensive industries.

Introduce grand challenges having an impact on those industries.

To give students an insight into industrial new product development, from concept to market, the science/technology research and development intensive industries.

Provide students with an opportunity to investigate a company of choice and construct a proposal for the launch of a new product that will potentially benefit the environment and/or improve people’s life quality.

Explore the role that scientists intra-preneurs and entrepreneurs to drive innovation.

To develop core enterprise and transferable skills in information literacy, opportunity spotting, time management, project management, team work, communication skills and also develop their commercial awareness.

To inspire students to passionately embrace enterprise as an essential component of their personal and professional development.


Enterprise and Innovation for Scientists (Chemistry and Industry in previous years) is a module designed to give students from any science and engineering background an insight into the enterprising and innovative environment in which today’s science industries must operate in order to establish themselves, survive and grow. The unit focusses particularly in the impact that grand challenges (e.g., such as climate change, scarcity of resources, population growth, aging population, antibiotics resistance, etc) are having on science and technology based companies. During the module, students will gain an insight the various stages involved into turning some of those challenges into commercial opportunities to lunch new products, processes or services that benefit the environment, improve people’s life quality and the growth of a company. In addition to that, the key role that motivated, skilled and knowledgeable scientists play to drive innovation will also be explored. Students will be introduced to the role of intrapreneurs and scientists entrepreneurs.

During this module, students will work individually and also in a team to develop a new product for a specific company (science/technology based), taking it through launch at a final “pitch to the R&D Managers” presentation. This module will help students to develop a wide range of skills such as information literacy, opportunity spotting, time management, project management, team work, communication skills and also develop their commercial awareness. Students will also reflect upon and evaluate their individual contribution to the team project.

In the past, students have found the transferable skills and knowledge gain in this module very useful whilst at university, to enhance the chances to secure a placement/internship and also employment opportunities. Past students particularly liked the delivery style: interactive sessions with ‘hands-on’ activities resulting in an enjoyable and effective learning environment.  

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is delivered as a series of interactive lectures with hands-on case studies in which theoretical concepts will be introduced and students will be given plenty of examples and opportunities to gain knowledge of key concepts and put knowledge into practice. This interactive session provide a continuous form of feedback. Mobile phone polling technology will used to foster interaction and peer-learning.

Much of the student learning will, however, occur through student’s involvement in a research-based project focussed towards a specific company and the launch of a product related to the grand challenge.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a basic understanding  of key grand challenges and the opportunities these present to science/technology related companies to develop new products, improve processes and/or launch new services that will benefit the environment and/or improve people’s life quality.

Demonstrate an appreciation of what is involved in developing a new product for commercial release in the science/technology industries.

Perform an analysis using a number of information sources.

Express findings in a reasoned way to build a robust case leading to a logical conclusion in a written (individual report) and oral (team presentation) manner.

Demonstrate an ability to contribute effectively to group activities and organise their own time in working towards identified targets.


Employability skills

  • Group/team workingIntegrated practical course, Group exercises, Group presentation
  • Problem solvingTutorial and workshop problems, Individual report and group project individual report and group project: dedicated to provide solutions (strategy) for a chemical company
  • OtherThis unit is designed to increase students awareness of various sustainability issues (grand challenges), business and commercial awareness and develop enterprising competences. Knowledge and competences highly valued by employers.

Assessment Further Information

Formative assessment

Individual assignment– mark not used (0%)


Summative assessments

Individual project (2,000 words),  70%

Group presentation (15 minutes + 5 minutes Q&As), 30%


Lectures and activities cover the following topics:

  • Grand challenges: challenges and opportunities for a range of industries
  •  Introduction to the business environment
  • Innovation, Science Intrapreneuers and Entraprenuers
  • Ideas to market: what’s involved in the development and launch of a new product?
  • Information literacy
  • Project Management
  • Report Writing
  • Effective presentations

Recommended reading


Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2011), Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases, 9th Edition, Financial Times/ Prentice Hall, ISBN-13: 978-0-273-73202-0.

Worthington, I. and Britton, C. (2009) The Business Environment, 6th ed. FT/Prentice Hall, Harlow. ISBN-13: 978-0-27371-675-4.

Atrill, P. and McLaney, E. (2009), Financial Accounting for Non Specialists, 6th ed, FT/Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Budde, F., Felcht, U., and Frankemölle, H. (2005) Value Creation: Strategies for the Chemical Industry, Wiley VCH; 2nd Ed.


  • MEC website www.mbs.ac.uk/enterprise


A full set of information sources used in the course is given in the lecture handbook

Feedback methods

Formative feedback is the feedback given to help you to develop and improve with the unit of study.

In this unit, a formative work assessment is marked (but mark not used) and comments are returned to you on a feedback sheet.

Additional formative feedback is available to you through the following means:

  • Attending lectures, joining discussions about case studies and doing short work tasks set within the lecture session.
  • Your lecturer will reply to brief individual questions at the end of each lecture session, if there are a few minutes to spare.
  • Your lecturer will provide brief replies to your e-mailed enquiry within her allocated working hours.

Your lecturer may feedback messages to the whole class via Blackboard if the point that you have raised could be of benefit to the whole class. It is your responsibility to check blackboard regularly.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 24 hours
  • Independent study hours - 76 hours

Teaching staff

Veronica Sanchez-Romaguera - Unit coordinator

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