Skip to main content


NBS8134 : Business Enterprise Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jonathan Sapsed
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


Despite free market rhetoric governments continue to initiate and operate policies to support business enterprise. Any entrepreneur or established firm is likely to become involved with business enterprise policy at some stage whether applying for resources or to participate in activities that are otherwise not available. Entrepreneurs may also become involved in policy as agents who contribute to its execution, such as providing advice or other services to support other businesses. This course will address fundamental questions on business enterprise policy including (1) what support do new or established firms need? (2) why should government support firms? (3) how does government policy support firms? and (4) what are the rationale for policy interventions and how can these be identified and applied? Answering these questions requires a working understanding of theories, such as market failure, systems failure, network entrepreneurship and appropriability regimes, yet the module also intends to develop students’ practical skills in diagnosing business needs and delivering innovation support services.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is taught and delivered via a series of 6 (2 hours) practical lectures, a field-trip to a relevant business and creative development organisation in the north east region, as well as visiting external experts experienced in business enterprise policy.

The lectures will cover the following topics:

What support firms need?
Why support firms? Market failure and system failure
What support is available?
How to support firms: Resources and activities
Networks and intermediaries
Appropriability regimes and Systems of Innovation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading134:0034:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops62:0012:00In person practical lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Regional fiedltrips
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Online synchronous drop-in surgery/Q&A moderated discussion on assignment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study118:0018:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will be interactive in that students will be expected to comment on the content, to reflect on readings and to be ready to speak in an informed way on the themes of the module. There will also be group tasks as opportunities to test and apply concepts, including with the external experts.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Critical engagement with policy of interest
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MIndividual presentation outlining plans for summative assessment, with peer and Course Leader feedback
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay is focussed on the critical examination of policy of students' choice.

Formative feedback gives students the opportunity to present their initial ideas and receive feedback.

Reading Lists