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Diploma programme content

PGDE students

The content of the Diploma is made up of 10 modules, which are of three types:

Core curriculum

All core courses are taken during the first year of the programme. The four core courses are:

Opportunities, Business Models & Entrepreneurial Strategy

This module introduces frameworks for generating ideas for ventures, evaluating the potential for success of those ideas, and for then turning the ideas into a set of hypotheses to be tested and objectives to be pursued. Methods and techniques for testing assumptions are also taught.

You practise the analysis, evaluation, planning and testing methods proposed on "real" ideas.

Choosing a set of activities the venture will and won't undertake, while building defensible capabilities and relationships, yet maintaining an appropriate level of agility, together determine whether a venture can sustain itself. The module explores what we understand about business strategy and business model composition for entrepreneurial ventures and teaches the strategy-making process.

Entrepreneurship Skills & the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Understanding how the process of entrepreneurship works, and the behaviours entrepreneurs demonstrate, supports the successful practice of entrepreneurship. Concepts derived from studying expert entrepreneurs include the centrality of the perspective of the customer, attaching one's venture to pain points, proceeding where possible through experiments and small bets, assembling teams and developing partnerships. How does the entrepreneur think and make decisions? What are the guiding principles which, when entrepreneurs adopt them, aid effectiveness? What is the role of mission and vision? Must entrepreneurs be leaders? How do entrepreneurs embrace and live with the paradoxes of managing under uncertainty, and of promoting their vision to others while remaining objective? How do entrepreneurs use design thinking and rapid prototyping to create, clarify and communicate their value propositions and ventures? Through a variety of philosophical, psychological and practitioner perspectives this module aids understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset and how to adopt it.

Assembling & Managing Innovative Teams

High-impact entrepreneurial ventures rely on teams. We understand a great deal about how to select and develop teams that are "high performance" – this module helps would-be entrepreneurs develop a road map for achieving this. Practical exercises in team dynamics bring the principles to life.

Persuasion, Social Capital & Sales

No matter how an innovative venture is intended to grow later, forming the first, crucial set of relationships requires persuasion and "selling". This module investigates a variety of techniques, and proposes rational, social and emotional levers to be used in the persuasion of the critical audiences of innovators, early adopters, co-innovators and distribution partners required to get a venture off the ground. Participants will sell.

At the beginning of the programme we administer a financial literacy test. Those who do not achieve a pass mark are expected to take the Financial Literacy course (further details below). However those who demonstrate mastery of the module learning outcomes may take an additional elective module instead.

Financial Literacy

In this module you learn how to calculate gross profit margin, break even point, cash cycle, burn rate and investment profile for a business opportunity (and their significance for entrepreneurial ventures), as well as how to read financial statements and how to brief and manage relationships with financial professionals and advisers.


Specialist pathway modules

You may take exactly one 'pathway' module. The modules are taught by pathway leaders, who are world-leading practitioners in that domain; the aim of the modules is to build understanding and expertise relevant to your venture idea and to help you build an appropriate networking and credibility-building strategy and tactical plan within your chosen domain.

Pathway modules are optional – you may choose not to take any pathway and take an extra elective instead. You may change your pathway choice up to the end of February.

Pathway modules are taught March-July. Masters and Diploma students are taught together on pathway modules. The modules are:

  • Fintech Entrepreneurship
  • Healthcare Entrepreneurship
  • Biotech Entrepreneurship
  • Retail & Consumer Entrepreneurship
  • Cleantech Entrepreneurship
  • Agritech & Food Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Industries Entrepreneurship
  • Manufacturing Technologies Entrepreneurship
  • Government Services Entrepreneurship
  • Construction & Property Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship Education

Learn more about the specialist pathways

Elective modules

You normally choose four electives. However, students who gain exemption from Financial Literacy, or students who opt not to take a pathway module, may take an extra elective – in theory, therefore, the maximum is six.

Elective modules are taught March-July. Masters and Diploma students are taught together on pathway modules. Some modules are taught with a blend of offline and online instruction; others are taught online only.

Blended offline/online instruction 

  • Pitching & Investor Networks
  • Intrapreneurship Practice
  • Design: Creating, Making & Service Design
  • Becoming a Startup Engineer 

Online only instruction

  • Intrapreneurship Theory
  • Raising Early Stage Finance
  • Lean Startup Theory & Practice
  • Managing Scaleups
  • Intellectual Property
  • B2B Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Leadership & Vision
  • Decision Making & Systems Thinking
  • Managing the Early Growth of a Firm
  • Managing Early Stage Finance
  • 21st Century Entrepreneurship: Sustainability & Emerging Topics
  • Raising Later Stage Finance

Please note that the content of the programme is subject to change.