Social Innovation MA

Key Facts

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    Full Time: 1 Year
    Part Time: 2 Years

  • Starting:


  • UK Fees 23/24:

    Full Time: £8,010
    Part Time: £890 (per 20 credits)

  • International Fees 23/24:


  • Location:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 893981


The Social Innovation Master’s degree has been designed to offer a distinctive, innovative qualification that builds skills and competence within the social enterprise sector, alongside developing investable and marketable socially enterprising solutions which address unmet social needs in original and innovative ways.

Updated 15/05/2023


  • Jump off at Postgraduate Diploma level or continue for full MA.

Course Content

  • In today’s increasingly interdependent and rapidly changing world, understanding the transformations of the 21st century that are characterized by uneven development, accelerated globalization, economic uncertainty, entrenched and complex social problems requires an academic approach that is interdisciplinary and focused on both innovation and commercialisation.

    The Programme aims:

    • to develop skills and leadership capability within organisations across all sectors engaged in social innovation, and
    • to develop a pipeline of investable social innovations which are also marketable

    The taught programme is built of six 20 credit modules specific to the course which explore particular themes with regard to social innovation and its scaling and sustaining, and a 60 credit innovation synthesis module which brings together multiple perspectives into a dissertation or project of the students’ choice specific to the application of social innovation. The whole programme is based on a social venture incubation programme which addresses not only the skills development of the students but also the development of a real social venture which will be both investable and marketable. To achieve this, there will be strong tutoring support supported by access to business support, mentoring and online resources.

    List of modules

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 23/24. The modules relating to the academic year 24/25 will be available from June 2024.

      • Module code: FINM039
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will introduce students to the operational and strategic aspects of financial and management accounting and financial management. It provides social entrepreneurs and innovators, from a non-financial background, with the ability to communicate financial information competently and confidently when proposing a financial case for investment in social innovations.
      • Module code: HRMM062
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable learners to understand the challenges of leadership and change in their Social Enterprise. The module will examine different models of leadership, their relation to power, and the appropriateness of these approaches in organisations that are concerned with social innovation and change.
      • Module code: HRMM063
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is enable learners to critically evaluate own learning and professional experiences, engaging learners as reflective practitioners who are encouraged to critique their own attitudes to learning and personal development. The module aims to contribute towards improved self-awareness of own efficacy in leadership and professional practice.
      • Module code: MKTM032
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to investigate marketing principles and practice in the context of social innovation and emerging theories thereof. Outcomes are often co-produced and there is a requirement to engage a range of stakeholders. In addition the emergence of digital marketing provides opportunities for new and dynamic approaches to marketing social innovations.
      • Module code: MKTM041
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides an in-depth understanding of the of social innovation in the creation and co-production of solutions to unmet social needs and the role of stakeholders in the process. Students will learn to critically debate, articulate, and influence others to engage with their ideas and innovations.
      • Module code: MKTM042
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides innovators with the opportunity to critically assess the policy and institutional context in which they operate: articulate the lens through which their organisation views the world and the nature of social problems faced by their communities. In addition they will examine alternative contexts for comparative purposes and be able to communicate effectively `what success looks like? through a critical evaluation of the impact they and others can and will have.
      • Module code: MKTM043
        Status: Compulsory
        The culmination of the student?s work on the programme and provides the opportunity to develop a solution to unmet social need with a coherent argument for potential systemic change. The solution must be grounded in theory and practice, with evidence of community/stakeholder involvement and the co-design, and sustainability with a clear articulation of the practical application of the proposal.
  • We are looking for perceptive, entrepreneurial and creative candidates who are self-motivated, passionate and enthusiastic about Social Innovation.

    Applicants will normally have an honours degree with a first or upper second classification in an appropriate subject. Applications from those without a first degree will be considered subject to an evaluation of comparable industry based experience.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) for study at postgraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 23/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Full Time: £8,010
    • UK Part Time*: £890 per 20 credits
    • International Full Time: £16,500

    *Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.

    Additional costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2023. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    22/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK Full Time: £7,650
    • UK Part Time*: £850 per 20 credits
    • International Full Time: £15,000

    *Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.

  • What are the assessments for this course?

    Assessment is 100% coursework. Module assessments will require fieldwork, research and practical application. Central to the learning strategy is the theme of students taking a high degree of responsibility for their own learning within a context of a work-based learning approach, which enables students to develop themselves and their ideas for social innovation within their own workplace context and gain academic credit for this activity.

    Are there any special features on this course?

    Students have the opportunity to structure their own learning in a way that benefits their personal development and the development of the organisation in which they are employed.

    The MA Social Innovation is designed for those currently working in the third sector who are interested in developing effective, sustainable innovations in a current role as well as those who are entrepreneurial and creatively seeking to build new social enterprises.

    Students can also study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Innovation. To be eligible for this award, the student must successfully complete all compulsory modules (except MKTM043 Innovation Synthesis).

    For a full breakdown of the course materials and modules please see the MA Social Innovation NILE site.


Careers and Employability

On successful completion of the programme, students will have the skills, knowledge and contacts to further progress their social venture and make a real difference in their communities.

Campus Facilities

If you study our MA Social Innovation degree, you will be able to use University of Northampton study areas, services, and facilities to help you with your studies.

Learning Hub

The Learning Hub is at the heart of the campus and home to the student information desk.


Senate Building

The main reception for the University and additional teaching spaces.