- Community Services Manager
- Project Coordinator
- Third Sector managers
- Training & Social Enterprise Officer
- PROJECT OFFICER
A programme to support the growth of the social sector providing skills to inspire, transform and enhance potential and existing social enterprises.
Social Enterprises operate globally in almost every industry sector, from health and social care to renewable energy, from retail to recycling, from employment to culture and sport, from housing to education.
There is a growing global movement supporting the mainstreaming of social enterprise business models and social business models as a viable and sustainable way of doing business. In recent years there has also been an explosion of social investment and financing options to support the development and scaling of the sector.
The Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprisesupports the growth of the social sector by providing the much needed business skills to inspire, transform and enhance the competitiveness of potential and existing social enterprises in an often challenging marketplace.
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About this course
In this section
This practical course consists of six taught modules.
The course is a 15 month programme and is run on a part-time basis in the Ulster University, Jordanstown campus. The modules are delivered over 13 days in the University supported by Attendance at all modules is mandatory.
- January 2020
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
All modules are assessed by coursework.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Finance for Growth
At a time when 3rd sector organisations are experiencing profound changes to their external environment leading to huge challenges for those reliant on Government funding. In the midst of challenge there are opportunities to develop alternate income streams to fund social aims Successful Social Enterprises will be those that can respond to the challenge by developing a sustainable funding mix. Participants will be supported to explore the key financial issues facing the sector:
• Securing the funds necessary to establish the enterprise
• The ability to effectively manage finance
• The ability to effectively manage growth and investment
The Social Enterprise Impact Plan
This module examines the need, best practice and the components of a social impact plan and will help students create a social impact plan for their enterprise. Students have an opportunity to apply social impact concepts and good practice principles within the context of their social enterprise. As an outcome of this module students produce and present a social impact plan for a social enterprise.
Governance of Social Enterprises
This module provides an overview of good practice in governance and business ethics and on how it can be used effectively to ensure sustainability and growth in social enterprises. An overview is presented of emerging theory and good practice in this area and of the role of the Board in relation to performance improvement, compliance and promoting organisational reputation.
This module will also examine various governance models, frameworks and case studies at local and international level and will promote the transfer of learning individually and organisationally.
Social Business Model Generation
This Module draws on the work of Osterwalder & Pigneur and that of Alter. Business Model Generation in this context will require the capacity to look creatively at generating sustainable business solutions to address social and environmental problems.
Creating Social Value through Marketing
This module places marketing in the context of the social enterprise. It will examine various marketing models, frameworks and case studies which look at how marketing contributes to creating social value and the sustainability of either a new or growing social enterprise. It also supports the student in developing a marketing plan.
The Global Social Enterprise Movement
This module places social enterprise in the context of the global social enterprise movement. It explores the distinguishing characteristics of social enterprises.
Social enterprises are businesses with social objectives. They include community enterprises, social firms, social businesses and mutual organisations such as co-operatives.
This module will examine various models of social enterprise including an overview of the social economy movement, the history of social enterprise generally including the EU and USA dimension to the social enterprise movement.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
There is no A Level requirement for this course. Please refer to Additional Entry Requirements for further information.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
(a) have gained a Certificate of Higher Education or an equivalent standard in an approved alternative qualification; and
(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);
or as an alternative to (a) and/or (b):
(c) provide evidence of their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.
Exemptions and transferability
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of the University of Ulster for modules amounting to at least the final 50% of the credit value of the award at the highest level.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:
- Community Services Manager
- Project Coordinator
- Third Sector managers
- Training & Social Enterprise Officer
- PROJECT OFFICER
A key objective of the programme is to promote social entrepreneurship. It is recognised that the social economy will provide many opportunities for employment in the future. It is anticipated that many students will convert their social enterprise idea into a viable business within which they will secure employment. Building on transferable skills developed throughout the course, others may seek employment in the private sector or continue their studies.
The programme also provides graduates with a secure platform from which they may further their careers by pursuing the relevant final year degree, or if they have a degree, an appropriate postgraduate qualification leading to the attainment of further academic or professional qualifications. Graduates of the programme may also develop their skills within the context of their current role or through progressing within their organisation or indeed within another organisation/sector.
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
Additional mandatory costs
Please contact the Course Director for information on the price of this course. There may be bursary support available towards the cost of tuition fees.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
"My goals have changed somewhat as I have learned how broad the term social enterprise is. I have also been able to look at the supported employment service in terms of a social enterprise and develop a business plan that offers a solution to both a social issue and funding gaps. It has given me a deeper understanding of social enterprise, but it has also widened my understanding of the opportunity for developing social enterprise within the organisation.
Amy Caskey - Support Officer (Employment), Triangle Housing Association
"I would highly recommend this programme to anyone, not only those on the ground within the social economy but those who intend setting up a social enterprise and those who hold higher positions within organisations in the social economy."
Robert Quinn - Client Relationship Executive, Community Finance Ireland
"The teaching input is excellent and the information and guidance material is of high quality and beneficial to my learning style. The assignments have challenged me to think in a more strategic way. Having to put my ideas and actions into words makes the process much more meaningful."
Fionnuala Black - Childcare Manager, Kinderkids, Ashton Community Trust Belfast