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Out of the comfort zone: Embedding entrepreneurship in a cohort of computer science doctoral students

Lookup NU author(s): Oonagh McGee, Dr Matthew ForshawORCiD, Professor Steve Caughey



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The study of entrepreneurship, and widening debate on pro- viding Computer Science (CS) students with skills for em- ployment, has led to a rise in programmes offering addi- Tional skills including entrepreneurship, presentation skills and communication skills. This paper provides an early stage reection of the design, development and delivery of a bespoke entrepreneurship module, designed to empower students and provide them with skills to build successful startup businesses. This course was designed specifically for Computer Science and Mathematics students, within a cohort-learning environment. Students were guided through the principles of the Ostervalder Business Model Canvas, allocated into groups and asked to devise a business idea, iterating this throughout an eight week period. Students were provided with support from teaching staff alongside weekly coaching from successful entrepreneurs and ipped classroom tuition. The teaching methods employed in the Professional Skills course are not traditionally used in Com- puter Science education and students reported a number of challenges in completing the module. These included team dynamics, time and investment required and the require- ment for engagement with stakeholders. All of these issues highlight the unique nature and practical application of the course material, presenting the opportunity for reection of the success and impact of the module. In addition, the tu- Tors of the course reect on their experience of delivering the course for the first time, and their response to student feed- back. We also provide advice on reproducing the course.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McGee O, Forshaw M, Hodgson B, Caughey S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: ITiCSE '16 Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE

Year of Conference: 2016

Pages: 83-88

Online publication date: 11/07/2016

Acceptance date: 29/02/2016

Date deposited: 30/10/2017

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/2899415.2899469

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450342315