To thrive in a disrupted world you will need creativity as well as commercial acumen to change things for the better. The MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship will teach you how to apply your passion to change the world through real-world business challenges, including:

  • starting up your career and ideas in a professional-supported environment,
  • undertaking applied commercial projects in collaborative teams,
  • learning human-centred techniques for designing and developing ideas of real social value.

We welcome students from any discipline who are thinking about building a socially purposed career either in large commercial organisations or startups.

This programme shares much of its teaching with our other Innovation and Entrepreneurship programmes (MSc and MA) but has a specific focus on social value and social innovation.

You will develop the high-level skills and critical competencies needed for successful social innovation and entrepreneurship, through a largely practice-orientated educational approach based on collaborative teamwork across disciplines and cultures.

During the programme you get opportunities to work alongside social-purpose businesses and organisations to develop a deep understanding of their opportunities and challenges.

Bristol is a recognised hub for innovative and entrepreneurial business, being ranked within the top five best places in the UK to start-up outside of London (Startup Cities Index, 2022), and home to some of the most impactful, innovative, and creative organisations in the world.

Find out more about the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Programme structure

The degree is delivered through practical units on innovation-led entrepreneurial skills, design and systems thinking, and developing and prototyping ideas.

In the first term, you will learn about human-centred design thinking to develop innovations that create value by meeting real human needs. This involves understanding your target audience and the issues they face, and developing and testing 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 term, you will explore solutions for a real-world client, iterating to develop an unexpected range of possibilities and creating prototypes to test with customers or users. You will learn about different kinds of enterprise, how to explore your ideas from a business perspective and how to place them in the appropriate context. You will find out how to assess the viability, feasibility, sustainability, and desirability of a proposed venture and write compelling business plans.

In your final project over the summer, you will pull together all you have learned to create an innovative product or service as an entrepreneurial or innovative new venture.

There are no exams, only coursework, which typically includes both individual and group assessments and you will get the chance to work in interdisciplinary teams throughout the year.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content of our MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£19,000 per year
Overseas: full-time
£34,000 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Funding and studentship opportunities are listed on the Faculty of Arts funding pages.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Workers with design skills are 47% more productive in their jobs and, whilst already contributing £209bn to the UK economy, their value is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the economy (Design Council, 2018).

You may create a social entrepreneurial venture or join an existing one. Whatever you choose, you'll be able to hit the ground running.

You will graduate with a portfolio of work that shows what you can do - you may even have an emergent venture. You will have built a network of contacts to draw on whether you are starting-up or seeking innovative roles.