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Thinking Entrepreneurially

Module description

This module is one of the modules included in the With Proficiency In (WPI) Entrepreneurship programme.

This module explores what it means to think like an entrepreneur and how individuals in all types of organisations can use entrepreneurial practices to solve problems and create value.

The module’s core component is delivered online and covers research on how entrepreneurs ensure success through the use of entrepreneurial thinking. This is built on in a series of workshops that help the participants to build their entrepreneurial mind-set.

This module is designed for students from all backgrounds and dsciplines and is valuable to all future career paths. An entrepreneurial mindset can be used to start a business but also to create positive change and value in existing organisations and roles. This module teaches the mindset to find opportunities, create value and build success throughout every career.

Innovation in learning will be at the core of the delivery of the module. A blended approach utilising online and experiential learning will be used.

No pre-requisite or co-requisite modules are required to take this module. This module is intended for interdisciplinary pathways and is suitable for non-specialist students, students from disciplines outside business and students without any business background or training.


Full module specification

Module title:Thinking Entrepreneurially
Module code:BEM2036
Module level:2
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Raphael Dennett - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



This module was previously named Could You Be An Entrepreneur. It is not possible to enrol on this modules if you have previously completed BEM2010 Could You Be An Entrepreneur?



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim of the module is to allow participants to both build and understand the entrepreneurial mind-set in relation to value creation and engage with the future of enterprise. A blended approach utilising online and workshopping will be used. The aim of the online content is to introduce and build an understanding of entrepreneurship practice. The series of workshops are aimed to engage the participant with building their entrepreneurial mind-set and develop an understanding of how an entrepreneur can apply this to create value and impact. These workshops will give the participant the chance to practice thinking entrepreneurially.  

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the defining characteristics of the entrepreneurial mind-set;
  • 2. employ specific entrepreneurial practices and problem-solving approaches.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. practice entrepreneurial approaches to addressing the needs and problems of themselves, others, and the broader community and world;
  • 4. practice the entrepreneurial process of ideation, analysis and iteration of ideas.?

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. critically analyse and reflect upon personal entrepreneurial skills and practices.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity12Online Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity14Workshops
Guided Independent study40Pre- and Post-work for workshops
Guided Independent study84Out-of-class entrepreneurship exercises derived from project

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
1 Reflective Report500 words1-5Peer, Cohort Feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
1 Reflective Report70(2,500 word) Reflective Report1-5Monitored Self, Peer, and External Review
Individual Online Quiz 15One online quiz as part of the online lecture series 1-4Automated online feedback
Individual Online Quiz 15One online quiz as part of the online lecture series 1-4Automated online feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Reflective Report(2,500 word) Reflective Report 70%1-5August/September assessment period
Individual online quizOne Individual online quiz 15%1-4August/September assessment period
Individual online quizOne Individual online quiz 15%1-4August/September assessment period

Syllabus plan

The module will cover the following topics: 

Learning Entrepreneurship is about learning a new mindset (a new way of approaching) the problems we all have in life. The entrepreneurial approach focuses on using action to identify and then address the needs and problems of ourselves, others, and the broader community and world. The goal is to create solutions to people’s problems and address people’s needs using an empathetic, iterative process. 

Entrepreneurship is like learning to play the violin or learning to water-ski – you just have to do it! So, most work in this class will be experiential – you will learn through doing entrepreneurship rather than reading about it. So, this class is focused on practicing entrepreneurial skills and then reflection on what you learn in a safe environment. 

What will you learn? You will gain the ability to use entrepreneurial practices that embrace 1) learning through action, 2) solving problems with the means you have at-hand, 3) developing empathy, 4) embracing and leveraging failure, 5) validating and improving ideas, and 6) testing and iterating your solutions. 

Each student will complete two individual assignments that assess your understanding of the entrepreneurial process. It will further your ability to analyse an idea and then act to gain feedback on your ideas. 

Our belief is that the practices you learn in this class will help you solve problems and address needs in your life no matter what career you embark on. Therefore, this class is encouraged for non-business students as well as experienced business students. This class does not assume that students have any prior business courses or experience. 

Additional Information: 


Global challenges and organisational approaches to tackle them will be demonstrated using a diverse set of contexts.

External Engagement:

Contribution by our Student Startup team, grad startup community, and Entrepreneur Fellows will allow students to meet and network within the innovation ecosystem. 


By honing entrepreneurial practices, students will have the ability to create value for themselves and within an organisation. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset can help students succeed whether they embark on a traditional career or create their own entrepreneurial venture. 


By understanding both the global challenges and the organisational and technological responses at our disposal students will be equipped to deploy problem solving and value creation practices that create a positive impact.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Most work in this class will be experiential – you will learn through doing entrepreneurship rather than reading about it. You will be your own key resource. 

Common resources used in this class are: 

Discussions with key members of your personal and professional network.

Experimental methods – group activities discussing real-world situations. 

Exeter’s Student Startup Team – an entrepreneurship incubator/ accelerator on Campus 

Clark, T., Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2012) Business Model You: A One-Page Method For Reinventing Your Career. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. 


Some of theoretical underpinnings of the course can be found in books/articles such as: 

Brown,T. (2019) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation New York: Harper Business. 

Dew, N., Read, S., Sarasvathy, S. D., & Wiltbank, R. (2009). Effectual versus predictive logics in entrepreneurial decision-making: Differences between experts and novices. Journal of Business Venturing, 24(4), 287-309. 

Gilovich, T., Griffin, D., and Kahneman, D. (2002) Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment by Cambridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Kahneman, D. (2011) Thinking, Fast and Slow. London: Penguin. 

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. 

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., & Smith, A. (2014). Value proposition design: How to create products and services customers want. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. 

Read, S., Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., Wiltbank, R. and Ohlsson, A-V. (2011). Effectual entrepreneurship. London: Routledge. 

Wiltbank, R., Dew, N., Read, S., & Sarasvathy, S. D. (2006). What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 27(10), 981-998 


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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


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