Undergraduate teaching in Entrepreneurship
Lancaster University Management School has a well established tradition of teaching entrepreneurship, dating back to the late 1980s.
Core to our teaching in IEED are two specialist undergraduate degrees in Entrepreneurship:
- A four-year BA in Management and Entrepreneurship which includes a one-year placement in industry, typically in a small business or other entrepreneurial setting
- A three-year BA in Entrepreneurship (with Management)
Many other students include an element of entrepreneurship within their undergraduate degrees - each year we register around 500-600 students on to our various electives designed for second- and final-year students.
Many are studying for degrees in business and management, but the modules are open to students from all faculties of the University.
Why teach entrepreneurship - can it be 'taught'?
The question of whether entrepreneurs are 'born' or 'made' is one which generates considerable debate and is likely to continue to do so.
We take the view that we are not seeking through our teaching to 'create' entrepreneurs, but to raise awareness among our students of what may become an option for them at some stage in their lives. We also hope to generate understanding of the small firm and its environment - an important concern, given that many graduates are likely to find themselves working for SMEs during their professional careers.
We believe that the processes and behaviours that might be termed 'entrepreneurial' are applicable and observable in a range of different contexts.
Bringing practice into the classroom
We believe strongly in the value of bringing practitioner perspectives into the classroom. This forms an important complement to other areas of our teaching as it helps students to understand how theory informs practice and vice versa. It also brings students closer to the experience of those who are managing firms, giving them insights into the various issues and challenges they face.
We are fortunate in having many very valuable contacts with entrepreneurs and business managers in the region and beyond whose expertise we are able to draw upon in various ways: as guest speakers, tutors and mentors. As part of the BA in Management and Entrepreneurship degree students spend their third year working in a small business or other entreprenurial settings.