Skip to main content


BMS3003 : Business Enterprise for the Bioscientist

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Carys Watts
  • Other Staff: Dr Charlotte Hope
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce students to enterprise and entrepreneurship in relation to biomedical and pharmaceutical industries.
To examine and compare small and start up enterprises, including University spin outs alongside large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
To introduce aspects of finance, intellectual property rights, business law and marketing for business development.
To utilise bioscience knowledge to solve bioscience problems.
To develop student’s enterprise awareness, teamwork skills and abilities with emphasis on employability skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will include:
Comparing university spin outs, Small-Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large pharma and biotech
Identifying bioscience problems or areas for improvement, and generating solutions/improvements
Business feasibility planning
Team working
Financing the initial research into an idea
Market research and marketing
Legal issues: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and business type/structure
Social, political and ethical considerations

Enterprise development and innovation problem solving.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Guest speaker lectures or module leader lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Introductory Seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Workshop to build strategy, develop teamwork skills & practice oral pitching of the group idea.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Weekly group preparation meetings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Surgery Style advice session in student groups. Students can attend 2 x15 mins within these periods
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study172:0072:00Private study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module brings together theoretical bioscience knowledge and awareness and applies this in the context of commercialisation.
Pre-entry exercises or tasks, and reading prior to lectures provides context and deeper understanding.
Exposure to industry experts, entrepreneurial experts, business sector specialists and alumni provides a real-world grounding for the module tasks and assessments.
The teamwork exercises provide practice in team working, problem solving, leadership and decision making.
The use of initiative and organisational skills enable applied understanding of business process and innovation.
The drop-in surgery sessions allows groups to iterate and investigate their ideas in greater depth and consider aspects of their bioscience problem.
The workshop session enables students to develop their business strategy and practice teamwork, negotiation, decision making and presentation skills whilst also receiving constructive feedback from facilitators.
Assignments provide an opportunity for students to develop enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and key skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination101A30Crowdfunding style pitch; pre-recorded using ReCap system, then played to an audience & followed by questions to presenting group
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Peer assessment of contribution to group work (during workshop and throughout module). Assessed using WebPA.
Report1M60Business plan report (individual, 1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students work in groups to recognise a bioscience problem and to develop a solution using enterprise skills and business awareness. The workshop provides formative feedback on the idea through facilitator discussion and feedback. Assignments provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and key skills. Peer assessment enables the group to reflect on their own and peer’s contributions prior to the presentation. WebPA is used with the pitch presentation mark contributing to the weighted algorithm.

Allowing the students to pre-record their pitches enables them to be assessed on what they know and understand, rather than what they can remember. By making the format similar to a crowdfunding pitch this suits the video element. The ability to rehearse and listen back to recordings allows students more confidence and freedom to express their ideas. The recording is played live to an audience and assessors, followed by questions from assessors and oral defense by the students. Feedback from the pitch will aid students in developing their idea independently for the business plan report.

The written business plan report will allow students to independently demonstrate their adaptability following pitch feedback, and to articulate their enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and key skills.

Reading Lists