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Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

The leading organisational development programme for social enterprise businesses.


Study Social Enterprise at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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 12 month programme and is run on a part-time basis in the Ulster University, Jordanstown campus. The modules are delivered over 12 days in the University supported by 6 days of study visits and peer learning opportunities. Attendance at all modules is mandatory.

Start dates

  • January 2017
How to apply

Entry conditions

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

A level

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

Applicants must:

(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.

Teaching and learning assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework.

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

Career options

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.


Please apply online.

How to apply

Start dates

  • January 2017


For further information on this programme, please contact:

Course Director: Mr Steve Pollard

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6572

M: +44 (0)77 1071 7161



"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