Information regarding our 2023/24 admissions cycle

Our 2023/24 postgraduate taught admissions cycle will open on Monday, 10 October. For most programmes, the application form will not open until this date.

MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Place and innovation, from Silicon Valley to Graphene City

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN62062
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


Why do some cities stay innovative and entrepreneurial, whilst others lag? Why do places like Silicon Valley, MIT’s Kendall Square, Barcelona’s District 22, or Zhongguancun in Beijing become powerhouses of innovation, to which prospective entrepreneurs flock? What are the insights from Manchester’s initiatives to stimulate new ‘innovation districts’ in such areas as healthcare, media, and graphene.

This course will explore why, in the real world, innovations are more likely to emerge in some places than others and what that means for entrepreneurs, managers, public policy makers and communities. It will look at the emergence and growth of innovation hotspots and clusters, probe who gets to benefit from growth, and examine lessons that are relevant in other contexts. It will also explore the challenges for places that are lagging behind: can their fortunes be reversed through the promotion of innovation?

The course will cover: the relationship between innovation and place; the determinants of innovation-led economic development, including clusters and ‘innovation districts‘; innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems; and the role of science infrastructure such as universities or science parks in promoting innovation in places. We will look at cases from the UK and around the world.

Sessions will involve some formal lectures but also guest speakers, group discussions and role-playing simulations.

Innovation and entrepreneurship activities are shaped by – and go on to shape – the ‘ecosystems’ in which they emerge. Their success influences the location and innovation decisions of future innovators. The course will be of interest to students who wish to understand these dynamics. As well as providing useful insights for those interested in innovative entrepreneurship the course also provides knowledge and skills relevant to a range of roles in large firms, innovation intermediaries and agencies, governments and the consultancy firms that advise them.



BMAN62062 Programme Req: BMAN62062 is only available as an elective to students on MSc IME


The aim of the course unit is to outline the challenges for place-based economic growth in the context of an increasing pace of science, technology and innovation activities, digital transformation and attempts to transition to a more sustainable socio-technical system.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, students will have demonstrated: Subject knowledge and a good understanding of the main debates in relation to the geography of innovation and the link between technological change and regional development, as well as appreciation of real case examples; ability to synthesize and critically appraise the main approaches presented in the course; writing and critical-analytical skills to engage in discussions based on actual or simulated case examples.


Assessment methods

Coursework: 2,500 word individual report (80%)

Short presentation (face-to-face or video ‘pitch’) (20%)

Assessment will focus on real or simulated problems or challenges faced by external clients (e.g. innovation agencies).


Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.

Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum.

Specific course related feedback sessions.

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation.

Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Feedback on essay topic/ outline


Recommended reading

O’Mara, P. (2019) The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. Penguin Publishing Group

Lecuyer C, 2006, Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the growth of High Tech, 1930-1970, (MIT Press, Cambridge MA).

Feldman, M.P., 2014. The character of innovative places: entrepreneurial strategy, economic development, and prosperity. Small Bus Econ 43, 9-20.

Fuchs, G., and Shapira, P., eds. (2005), Rethinking Regional Innovation and Change: Path Dependency or Regional Breakthrough? Springer, New York. Springer e-book:

Prager, J. C., & Thisse, J. F. (2012). Economic geography and the unequal development of regions (Vol. 59). Routledge.

Katz, B., & Wagner, J. (2014). The rise of urban innovation districts. Harv. Bus. Rev.

Laranja M, Uyarra E, Flanagan K (2008) Policies for science, technology and innovation: translating rationales into regional policies in a multi-level setting. Research Policy 37(5):823-835


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Elvira Uyarra Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Method

Office Hours

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