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Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc

Course Description

Do you want to change the world? Our innovation programmes will set you on your way.

The innovators of the 21st century will bring together arts, science, engineering, humanities and enterprise to deliver innovative products, services and ways of living. They will be team players, with a breadth of skills enabling them to work across specialisms and cultures. They will be designers and entrepreneurs, and have a passion for style, efficiency and sustainability. Bristol’s innovation programmes are for people who want to pursue their subject specialism in a way that enables them to apply it: to become innovators who can change the world.

Our aim is to educate a new generation to create and grow innovative companies and social enterprises. The MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme aims to develop the high-level skills and critical competencies needed for successful innovation and entrepreneurship, through a practice-orientated approach based on collaborative teamwork across disciplines and cultures. It teaches students how to apply their subject-specific knowledge to real-world challenges through a range of transdisciplinary units focusing on innovation-led entrepreneurial skills, design and systems thinking, making and testing. Students will be equipped to apply their knowledge and skills to address key issues such as health, education and the environment. Their final project will be their launchpad, when they will create an enterprise, put together a detailed plan and work out how take it forward and raise investment.

Santander Innovation Scholarships

We have five Santander Innovation Scholarships worth £3,000 each, which will be awarded as a one-off payment to the top five students on the MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme at the beginning of their course. These scholarships will be open to both home and overseas students and will be offered based on academic merit for the best innovation pitches (text or video) submitted, as judged by the innovations academic team. Representatives from Santander will meet the student award recipients at an event in September/October, near the start of term, when these scholarships will be awarded.

Programme structure

You will start by learning to work in teams and find out about both design thinking and systems thinking. This combination can deliver a holistic understanding of a genuine problem or need, generate ideas that will transform both the system and lives of users, while ensuring the new system is sustainable. You will work in multidisciplinary teams to take on a series of innovation and entrepreneurial challenges. You will also learn to create innovations to meet real human needs through the In the Wild unit, understanding your target audience and the issues facing them and developing ideas for possible solutions. You will gain insight into the technological, social and political influences on design and innovation, drawing on case studies of success and failure to help you think about future opportunities.

In the second teaching block you will explore solutions for a real-world client, iterating to develop an unexpected range of possibilities and creating prototypes to test with real customers or users. You will learn about different kinds of enterprise and learn how to explore your ideas from a business or social perspective and how to place them in the appropriate context. You will find out how to assess the feasibility, sustainability and desirability of a proposed venture, how to create business plans and how to assess whether your ideas will work, are viable, or whether anyone will want them.

In your final project over the summer, you will work in teams to pull together all you have learned - to create and trial a prototype for an innovative product or service, or a social innovation. Your team may contain staff and external partners, as well as students. You will put together a detailed enterprise plan to accompany your prototype, including market analysis, intellectual property searches, resource profiles, financial plans, user testing and clear opportunities for investment.


You will still be an expert in your chosen subject specialism and you will still be able to proceed into careers requiring an honours course in that specialism. However you will also be equipped to do much more: to take your subject knowledge and apply it to real-world challenges, to innovate, to work in teams with people from different specialisms, backgrounds and cultures, and to create and implement entrepreneurial plans to take ideas forward. These skills are highly valued by all organisations, large or small, local or global.

You may graduate as a member of a new venture that you and your fellow students have created. Or you may decide you want to create your own enterprise or join an existing one. Whatever you decide, you will be able to hit the ground running, building on your entrepreneurial and innovation experience. You will soon have the satisfaction of seeing your work starting to make an impact – and ultimately changing the world.

You will graduate with a portfolio of work to show what you have been able to do and will have a network of professional contacts to draw on. You will also be able to go on to further study, either in the UK or internationally.

Visit the Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent), references, a suitable personal statement and an innovation pitch.

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