5 Universities to Attend in the UK if You’re Interested in Social Enterprise

Flickr/CC/Will Folsom

By Pia Chatterjee

The hybridity of the social entrepreneurial form demands experience and knowledge not only in business and social issues, but also just how to manage the combination of the two. This new line of work brings with it important questions that can’t always be answered using what you know of businesses in general. The specificity of social enterprise has spurred the creation of different programmes and opportunities at the university level that specialize in the field. If you know it’s your calling, then here are 5 universities where you know you’ll find what you’re looking for:

Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford Said Business School (Oxford): The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship falls under the umbrella of the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. The Center’s mission is to provide world-class business education at the graduate level to contribute to the theory of social entrepreneurship and its application. It also connects researchers and social entrepreneurs with key figures in business, government, philanthropy and other crucial fields to create a strong network that pushes social impact forward. Founded in 2003 thanks to a 4.4-million-pound investment courtesy of the Skoll Foundation, the center became the most largely funded business international programme to be focused on social entrepreneurship. It also awards 5 MBA scholarships annually to individuals who show promise of a commitment to social innovation. Once admitted to the Said Business School, the courses of the Center should be accessible to you. Find out more on their site.

University of Northampton (Northampton): The University of Northampton was awarded the international accolade of “Changemaker Campus” in 2013 by Ashoka U, an eminent network of social entrepreneurs, for being exemplary in its commitment to social enterprise. Its social enterprise programme gives its students a strong educational base in the theory and concepts of the subject and connects its students to contexts in which their knowledge can be put to practice. Be it the Enterprise Club, their social enterprise support service Inspire2Enterprise, the University Center for Employability and Engagement for placement opportunities, or the Dialogue Café for you to meet social entrepreneurs face-to-face, you will undoubtedly find an opening to get involved in the programme and reap the most benefits from all the resources offered.

Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow, Lanarkshire): The first university in Scotland to launch a postgraduate degree in social enterprise, GCU was also named a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U. It has put into place the first Social Business and Microfinance programme in the world, putting at its students’ disposal top quality education in social entrepreneurship, contemporary issues in business and society, management strategy and developing creative and critical thinking to formulate realistic solutions to social problems. The course is designed to target international students working in social businesses, governmental employees hoping to further their knowledge of social enterprise, and even NGO workers hoping to understand the changing landscape of international aid and microfinance from a critical perspective. Look for more information on their website.

Hult International Business School (London): Considered one of the top 100 business schools in the whole world, Hult International Business School offers a promising one-year Master degree at their London campus in social entrepreneurship. It provides its graduates with the requisite experience to join prestigious institutions such as the UN, national governments and renowned nonprofits. Along with obtaining the business skills needed to work in a commercial professional setting, the course also provides its students with the capacities to tackle social and political issues of the 21st century. The only admission requirements for this programme are a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, to be 21 years of age, and to be sufficiently proficient in English. Check their website for more details concerning fees, electives offered and the possibilities of campus rotation.

University of Stirling (Stirling): Stirling is another great university to offer a postgraduate course in social enterprise that specifically proposes services in building and maintaining stakeholder support and securing investment. Once more, this course is structured to suit professionals already working in social enterprises, NGOs, developmental organizations or governments, but could also cater to students fresh out of lower-level degrees. With possibilities to specialize in health, social care, education, sports, culture, and environment, whilst studying finance, marketing, HR or operational management, the school allows each individual student to find precisely the right combination to cater to their needs. What’s more, the course ends with a supervised project to conduct research and development within the social enterprise sector. Don’t hesitate to check out their promotional video on their website.

As a recent graduate, these postgraduate opportunities will do wonders for your CV and resume, not to mention open up a whole new world of expertise for a job sector that is growing to be one of the most prominent and promising of our century. All of them being open to international students, don’t hesitate to look them up whether you’re in the neighborhood or not!”