SM9550 - Business Start Up Placement Year

What will I learn on this module?

The business start-up year is a full year 120 credit module available on BA (Hons) Entrepreneurship. It is taken as an additional year between levels 5 and 6 and gives you an opportunity to focus on and run your business venture.

The placement consists of 48 weeks of running your own business, supported by the university.

This experience year is an important element of your course structure and it will provide you with the opportunity to develop and test your business ideas, and decide whether self-employment, running a business or entrepreneurship is the path you want to take on graduating or in the future. It will also provide you with a rich variety of learning experiences which will enhance and feed into your final year when you return.

This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to your degree classification. However, when taken and passed, the business start-up year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format "BA (Hons) (with Work Placement Year)". The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the training agreement signed by you, your assigned university mentor, and the University.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is completely experiential, so will learn by doing, and then reflecting on what you have learnt through the ups and downs of trying to run your own business. You will keep a learning journal which you will review with your university mentor.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

There will be a limited number of placed available and you will need to apply, in the same way as if it were any other placement. You will need to have the necessary permissions in place to be able to run a business in the UK, and the placement will be based at Northumbria university’s hatchery.

Pre-placement: You will be required to attend relevant presentations and meet with your university mentor and other staff as indicated in the module handbook.

You will have access to university facilities such as the hatchery and will be supported by weekly peer group review sessions facilitated by a member of module team. You will also be linked with partner organisations in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and subject specialist mentors provided through the hatchery.

On-placement: You will be supported on an ongoing basis through regular contact with your university mentor who you will have a monthly 1:1 meeting with of at least one hour. You will be able to contact your university mentor between meetings.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• LO1.Contribute their ideas, knowledge and expertise effectively in a business environment
• LO2.Reflect critically on their professional skills development in relation to employability
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• LO3. Integrate academic knowledge and understanding with practical professional experience

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• LO4.Communicate the placement learning experience to others

How will I be assessed?

1. Formative Assessment: You will be allocated a university mentor who will be available for formative assessment throughout the year.
2. Summative Assessment: The module assesses both your performance on placement and your reflection on the placement experience.
Summative assessment is by the satisfactory completion of a Portfolio of evidence, which will include a CV, a poster presentation and a business start-up placement of 48 weeks of full time work.

In exceptional circumstances, a work placement of shorter or longer duration can be authorised by the Faculty Director of Placements or the Academic Placement Co-ordinator for Placements, but should in any event be a minimum of 36 weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks. You will be required to produce a Portfolio based on your work experience and a reflection on your time out on placement.
The portfolio will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your self-development,, research and analysis skills and critical reflection on the usefulness of academic study to business.
This is a Pass/Fail module and an overall pass grade leads to the award of 120 credits. The Work Placement does not contribute to your degree classification.
The summative assessment will address MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.

This is a Pass/Fail module and an overall pass grade (40% or above) leads to the award of 120 credits. The Work Placement does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, the Placement Year is recognised on the degree certificate in the format – Degree title (with Work Placement Year).


• Attend pre-departure briefings and training workshops as required.
• Successful completion of Levels 4/5


• None

Module abstract

One of the challenges of setting up a business as part of a degree programme is juggling your academic work with your business. Entrepreneurs often work long hours and tend to be really focused on their businesses. This placement year will give you the opportunity to work 100% on your business. It will allow you to decide if full time entrepreneurship really is for you and work out whether you can make enough money by pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams.
If you decide that running your business full time after you graduate is not for you, then placement years provide the best chance of getting a good job where you can use your entrepreneurial talents because employers love graduates who have real work experience and ones who have demonstrated the self-reliance determination needed to create their own business. Places are limited and you will need to apply.

Course info

UCAS Code N150

Credits 120

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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