Skip to main content


SPG8016 : Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Science and Engineering

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Katie Wray
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To practice the process of ideation and opportunity development through forensic examination and testing of assumptions upon which business propositions are based. The module will use a scientific approach to the analysis of identifiable problems and will focus on refining and validating problems through planning and undertaking real market research (online methods) before moving forward.

Once an opportunity has been evidenced, students will seek to propose a commercial or social model through which they can demonstrate potential viability.

This module will support students that wish to propose new ideas within an employment context (intrapreneurship) as well as to equip them with the foundation from which to jump off into widely available funding and support for well proven commercial propositions.

There are follow-on opportunities available through the University’s Start Up Programme in the Careers Service.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will include:
The problem-opportunity development process
Critiquing and constructing project and business propositions
Market research and the forensic examination of assumptions
Finding customers
Market analysis
Formulating a commercial opportunity; funding and finance
Intellectual Property
Minimum Viable Product Challenge
Commercialisation workshop
Marketing: clarifying your proposition
Marketing: communications
Sales and selling
Peer to peer Pitching and presenting opportunities
Group coaching meetings

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00PiP Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture14:004:00PiP Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Planning and preparation for portfolio
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00PiP Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Preparation for and delivery of Presentation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials141:0014:00Reading materials and research activities
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion170:0070:00Preparation for assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical26:0012:002 workshops to progress group work using methods and tools introduced in the module
Guided Independent StudyProject work160:0060:00Authentic Market Research/ Opportunity profiling
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module invites students from across disciplines to ‘bring their individual skills and interests with them’ and combine personal experience, industrial knowledge and interest areas to facilitate ideation, innovation and problem solving. The module assessment preparation is active across part 1 and 2 of this module and will require significant group and independent work beyond lectures. Tutorials/small group sessions enable academic staff to work one-to- one and coach groups forward.

Part 1 activity will include an introduction to problem identification; from which students will, in groups unpack to find an actionable aspect of the problem to present for assessment at the start of the first taught week. This actionable problem will become the stimulus for development throughout the rest of the module.

The mid-school period will draw on the taught material to undertake further exploration and research independently in order to unpack an opportunity within the problem of interest.

Part 2 will provide stimulus for group work in the morning sessions, and facilitated group work in the afternoon sessions.

The post-school period will use material from the second week to bring together research and insight into a commercial or opportunity proposal (final group assessment)

From the start of the module, students should be prepared to undertake real market research by communicating with potential users and stakeholders in their area of interest in order to draw primary research conclusions in support of a new commercial or social opportunity.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M70Market Opportunity Report. 6000 word guideline for group assessment. Based on 4-6 students per group.
Portfolio2M30Individual portfolio of learning
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 Presentation2MOral or Video presentation for feedback on opportunity (10 mins + 5 mins questions)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Key skills of creativity, planning, organising, team working, personal enterprise, and communication will be utilised and developed; these will be assessed via the University’s tool for peer evaluation of group work contribution.

Assessment 1: Formative presentation of an ‘actionable-problem’
Students will draw down from stimuli such as the UN SDGs to work backwards in identifying an actionable problem which, if solved will demonstrate progress within the challenge area. Spending time researching and presenting the actionable aspects of the problem is key before moving forward in pursuit of a realistic solution. The purpose of this formative assessment if to receive feedback and guidance on moving forward with your group project.

Assessment 2: Opportunity Profile; Market Opportunity Report (70%)
Drawing upon research work, skills and practice throughout the module, this group assessment will document a rationale for spending more time/money/effort on the development of an opportunity into a formal market opportunity report. Rather than producing a business plan, this is a preliminary document which concludes what has been found, with evidence, which makes for a strong pre-business plan proposal.

Assessment 3: Individual Portfolio of Learning (30%)
Students will proactively record their learning during the module, and will build a portfolio of 3 items to reflect on and represent their learning in relation to the outcomes of the module.

Reading Lists