Skip to main content


BMS3003 : Business Enterprise for the Bioscientist

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Carys Watts
  • Lecturer: Dr Richard Hetherington, Professor Mark Birch-Machin, Dr Matthew Wilcox
  • 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

•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 enable opportunity spotting in biosciences/health problems

•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 innovation through university spin outs, Small-Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and large pharma and biotech

•Identifying bioscience or healthcare problems, or areas for improvement, and generating solutions/improvements

•Business feasibility planning Team working

•Financing the initial research into an early-stage idea Market research and marketing

•Legal issues: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and business type/structure Social, political and ethical considerations

•Enterprise development and innovative problem solving.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00PIP Business enterprise topics including guest speakers
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Personal research for pitch & business plan proposal
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Non-sync online (Business Bites recordings and discussion boards)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Pre-reading and tasks, research and post-session consolidation of sources.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00PIP Team crowdfunding presentation pitches
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00PIP Expert surgery (team drop-ins).
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Team research and preparation meetings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Sync online. Drop-in Q&A sessions (groups book 15-minute slots within the sessions)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study451:0045:00Private study over course of module.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module brings together bioscience knowledge and awareness and applies this in the context of theoretical commercialisation. Seminar style interactive sessions will enable applied enterprise skills development.

Pre-entry exercises or tasks, and reading prior to taught sessions 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.

Students must use initiative and organisational skills to enable an applied understanding of business process and innovation. The drop-in surgery sessions allow teams to iterate and investigate their ideas in greater depth and consider aspects of their bioscience problem. Collaboration as a team enables greater gathering of resources and breadth of discussion, whilst practicing teamworking and negotiation.

The PIP and online exercises and activities enable students to develop their business strategy and practice teamwork, negotiation, problem solving, decision making and presentation skills whilst also receiving constructive feedback from facilitators.

The formative pitch provides an opportunity for students to develop their enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and key skills and give and receive constructive feedback to aid development of the summative individual business plan.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Business plan report (individual, 1500 words, max 6 sides A4) based on team idea but developed following pitch feedback
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MPIP. Crowdfunding style team pitch; pre-recorded - team pitches (10 min max). Module facilitators and peers watch pitch recordings.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students work in teams to recognise a bioscience/health problem and to develop a solution using enterprise skills and business awareness. The online drop-in surgery sessions allow formative feedback on the idea through facilitator/expert discussion and feedback. Assignments provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and key skills. The formative team pitch allows qualitative feedback which is then used by individuals to inform and develop their individual business plan proposal.

Allowing the students to pre-record their pitches enables them to articulate what they know and understand, rather than just 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 back to a peer audience for constructive feedback upon the idea and pitch. Module facilitators also provide feedback and ask questions about their pitch; which will aid students in developing their idea independently for the business plan proposal.

The written business plan proposal will allow students to independently demonstrate their adaptability following the feedback, and to articulate their enterprise abilities, subject specific knowledge and commercial awareness.

Reading Lists