Towards an understanding of how university students learn within an entrepreneurship education curriculum and pedagogy

  • Kiefer Lee

Student thesis: Doctor of Education


This thesis reports on a case study which explores the nature and processes of entrepreneurship learning, teaching and assessment centred on the experiences of a group of students enrolled on an undergraduate entrepreneurship degree programme in the UK. It contributes towards an understanding of entrepreneurship education by exploring how students learn and construct knowledge within a curriculum that has an emphasis on experiential and action-based form of learning located in the university settings and through work-integrated learning. This study utilised a mixed methods approach whereby a combination of literature reviews and in-depth interviews have been utilised to generate data to explore the research questions. Presented in a journal format, I report and theorise on my research findings in four outputs in the form of journal articles. The first output, How do we teach entrepreneurship in university? A conceptual review of the literature, presents a conceptual review of the published literature in the teaching practices of entrepreneurship in higher education and synthesise the conceptual developments and diverse empirical findings towards a more integrated understanding of how to teach entrepreneurship in university. The second output, Assessment practices in entrepreneurship education in higher education: A scoping review of the literature, presents a scoping review of the published literature in the assessment practices of entrepreneurship education within which I discuss and develop a conceptual synthesis of the key concepts in the field. The third and fourth outputs report on the empirical findings of the in-depth interviews. The third output, Towards an understanding of how university students learn within an entrepreneurship education programme, explores how students learn entrepreneurship and construct knowledge through a range of learning activities within the curriculum as well as social interactions with tutors and peers inside and outside the classroom. The fourth output, Work-integrated learning in entrepreneurship education: A case study of the experiences of university students within an undergraduate entrepreneurship programme, explores the work-integrated learning experiences of entrepreneurship students during work placements and how they translate entrepreneurship learning into practice at the workplace. I conclude with a critical synthesis of the findings of the four outputs against my research questions, a summary of the contributions to knowledge and implications for academic practice, and recommendations for further research. Taken as a whole, this study makes original contributions to knowledge in its claim that entrepreneurship learning can be perceived and understood as a process of construction in which students construct what they know on the basis of their experience. Learning and development are not solely the outcomes of engagement with activities within an education curriculum and that such activities need to be understood as part of a fuller engagement between teachers, students and the various environments in which they evolve within their lifeworlds.
Date of Award31 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCarlo Raffo (Supervisor) & Steven Jones (Supervisor)


  • Entrepreneurship education
  • Entrepreneurial learning
  • Entrepreneurship pedagogy
  • Entrepreneurial graduates
  • Entrepreneurship curriculum

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