"Teaching is never saying the same thing the same way twice - each time you teach, students and the world have reconfigured."

Professor Sue Hamilton, Institute of Archaeology


UCL Alumnus Colin Chapman founded Lotus in the 1950s


What is an entrepreneur?

UCL defines an entrepreneur as 'an individual with the imagination, skills and drive to identify and implement an idea - to take a project through from the planning stages to final success'.

Incorporating entrepreneurial skills into the curriculum

Learning entrepreneurial skills through activities

To help build entrepreneur skills, students at UCL are given the opportunity to do work placements or run activities such as conferences, events or exhibitions. These activities give students practical experience of planning an idea from conception to final delivery. Current examples of this practice at UCL include:

  • Exhibition project (Museum Studies) - students set up, develop and run an exhibition project, learning skills such as how to work with external consultants and communicate to visitors. At the end, students self-evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their project.
  • MA ECP work placements - students often get to critique companies' existing products and services, helping companies to improve their value and usefulness.
  • The Medsin National Conference – an annual conference on global health run by UCL students. Medical students plan the entire conference from conception to delivery.
  • Entrepreneurship and the Arts for Generation Y – a ten-week course for Arts and Humanities students which involves setting up and running a film festival.

Encouraging entrepreneurship through assessment

Traditionally, students are assessed through written examinations or essays. By varying assessment methods, students can develop skills that will help them to be entrepreneurial in the future such as self-critiquing, evaluation and open communication. Examples of assessment methods that encourage entrepreneurship include pitches, presentations and planning. 

  • More information on different assessment methods
  • Why buttons go bad - how using digital stories encouraged planning, presentation skills, peer assessment and open communication
  • ACME prepares medical students and doctors to be effective at delivering presentations, an important skill for their future career. 

Problem-based learning and research projects

Problem-based learning and research projects help to create independent, critical and creative thinking – important skills for entrepreneurs. By getting them to work on ‘real-life’ projects, students are exposed to a new way of thinking where they are encouraged to find solutions to real problems for themselves.

  • Astrophysics project – traditionally, Astrophysics undergraduates don’t do practical research until their final year project. This research project enables students to undertake real-life research early on in their studies, learn from each other, and take ownership of the project.
  • Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering – this department created a problem-based learning course for third year students and found that it developed skills in problem solving, team working and prepared them to be lifelong learners.

Page last modified on 09 aug 12 17:06

Tell us about the inspiring teaching and learning taking place in your department: email teaching.learning@ucl.ac.uk