Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship (University of Edinburgh) PHYS5058P

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Entrepreneurship has become one of the most powerful and influential forces of change in the world. Technological innovation driven by scientific research has led to radical social and economic changes. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Genentech, and Cisco, all derive their success in part due to the innovative application of novel technology. But advanced technology alone is not sufficient to guarantee either user adoption or commercial success. Many ideas and technologies are abandoned or ignored despite presenting apparently significant advantages over incumbent systems. This course introduces students to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. It focuses specifically on how and why some innovations are successfully commercialized, with particular emphasis on the role of the innovator-entrepreneur, with specific reference to science-driven innovation relevant to students programmes of study. This course teaches some of the generic and transferable skills required to become an entrepreneur, and raises the student's awareness of the legal, business, managerial, creative, analytical and interpersonal skills relevant to setting up and running an innovative organization.


Entrepreneurial Motivation
Entrepreneurial Characteristics
Contexts of Entrepreneurial activity
Opportunity Recognition
Opportunity Evaluation
Acquiring Resources
Business models
Entrepreneurial Activities
Leadership and social entrepreneurship
Outcomes and Exits

Student Learning Experience

This course utilises multiple learning modes, including: independent reading, primary research, lecture, group discussion, case studies, and exposure to practice. Students who participate in and engage with every mode are most likely to gain the most learning from the course. Preparation for every lecture session is essential, as students are expected to be active participants in their own and others learning experience.


Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )

Requirements of Entry



Coursework and exams

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

As defined by the University of Edinburgh

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Recognise and critically assess an opportunity in a market space relevant to their programme of study

2. Critically analyse and consider different business situations where entrepreneurial opportunities are present or possible

3. Research a business start-up opportunity and marketplace

4. Prepare a written opportunity assessment to evaluate the attractiveness and/or feasibility of an opportunity

5. Conceive a plan for acquisition of further resources needed for venture development

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.