Social entrepreneurship in the social policy curriculum

Robert Gunn (Department of Social Policy and Social Work, The University of York, York, UK)
Chris Durkin (The University of Northampton, Northampton, UK)
Gurnam Singh (Department of Social and Community Studies, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
John Brown (Department of Social Policy and Social Work, The University of York, York, UK)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Publication date: 8 February 2008



This paper aims to describe and analyse the development of a teaching module that introduces undergraduate students to the core skills required to develop and manage a welfare organisation. It makes particular reference to social enterprise.


The paper explores the political and educational context which inspired this initiative and the theoretical basis for the approach used. A particular focus is placed on the entrepreneurial aspects of the development. It moves on to describe the delivery of the module to the first cohort of students and includes their assessment of the learning and an evaluation of how they performed the assessment task.


Students were very positive about the content of the module; the teaching style employed and reported that it had inspired them to be entrepreneurial.

Practical implications

Students who are now paying large sums in fees may well be motivated to enrol on courses that are practice based or enhance professional development through engaging with “real world” issues. Such courses equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to boost their chances of pursuing a career in an area that fits their personal motivations, values and interests.


The paper addresses the real life experience of delivering enterprise skills training to social policy students, a group not traditionally associated with this type of approach. The paper will be of interest to students, academics and practitioners in the fields of contemporary welfare delivery and management who are interested in developing entrepreneurship skills training in higher education and workplace settings.



Gunn, R., Durkin, C., Singh, G. and Brown, J. (2008), "Social entrepreneurship in the social policy curriculum", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 74-80.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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