Dr Dermot Breslin: Teaching
Drawing on his commercial experience and ongoing research activities Dermot is strongly committed to the continual development of entrepreneurship teaching within our undergraduate management programs. Undergraduate management students currently have the opportunity to take the following key modules which Dermot is responsible for:
MGT229 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship:
In this intermediate level module students learn about the key developments of entrepreneurship as a field of study. The emphasis of the module is on a balance between theory and practice, and the unit is structured around key theories and perspectives in entrepreneurship, with current and future research developments being explored. A number of guest entrepreneurs are also invited to speak to the class throughout the module, and together with a number of in-depth business case studies, students explore ways in which theory might inform practice and vice versa. The unit also includes a group-based activity in which groups develop a business idea for presentation to a panel at the end of the semester. In the process of developing these ideas, student takes part in a number of challenging 'enterprise workshops.' Drawing on relevant theories, students are encouraged to reflect upon their learning and behaviour in these group activities. Whilst lectures and tutorials are the chief means of teaching and learning, students are encouraged to participate in an active discussion forum on MOLE. Students are also encouraged to take part in a number of additional extra-curricular entrepreneurship workshops and seminars.
MGT380 New Venture Creation:
In this final level module students have the opportunity to develop and fine tune entrepreneurial skills and behaviours. Building on the theories/tools learned in other management units, including accounting and finance, marketing, HRM, strategy and operations, students develop a business idea of their own. Lectures and tutorials are structured around this development process, with in-depth examples of real business start-ups given. Students present their business ideas mid-semester to the class, following which they receive detailed feedback before starting detailed market research. Students are also encouraged to participate in an active discussion forum on MOLE exchanging ideas with fellow enterprising students and the module leader. In the course of the module all students complete secondary and primary market research, analyse the market, develop a marketing mix, develop product/service design and operations, and complete projected financial forecasts. In summary this challenging module gives students the opportunity to pull together the various management theories/tools learned during their three years at Sheffield and to develop key entrepreneurial skills needed in today´s business world. In the past some students have also used the module to prepare business ideas for launch, and subsequently created their own ventures. Some of these students are invited back to speak to the class about their experiences.