Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Holding an offer for 2020 entry? Visit our dedicated offer-holders page to find out if Manchester's right for you.

Information for offer-holders

BSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Life Sciences Enterprise Project

Unit code BIOL31080
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Manchester Enterprise Centre
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Life Sciences Enterprise Project is a collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences and the Manchester Enterprise Centre. Working in a team of 5 or 6 you will invent a Biotech company, develop its business plan and pitch for investments in a ‘Dragons’ den’ style event.


•       Allow students to gain a deeper understanding of one research area

•       Develop the competencies needed to recognise, develop and exploit a business opportunity

•       Allow students to examine the processes involved in recognising the potential of university-based research to solve commercially valuable problems in the market place

•       Enable students to research, produce and present a business case for exploiting a scientific idea within a commercial setting. This will be carried out in the form of a business plan and a presentation to a panel

•       Develop transferable skills, e.g. team working, project management, time management, problem solving, critical thinking, oral presentation, negotiation, networking

•       Develop as an independent learner as the course delivery is via enquiry-based learning

•       Analyse (reflect on) the processes of team working, managing a project and other skills development to support self-development and team development

Learning outcomes

•       Generate, evaluate and shape ideas

•       Critically evaluate information in order to improve decision making, formulate objectives, determine strategies and plan actions

•       Identify the resources needed to establish and sustain a successful venture

•       Assess the commercial potential of a business opportunity

•       Evaluate the issues that can impact on the successful commercialisation of a business idea

•       Demonstrate an understanding of how basic science can be commercialised

•       Present a feasible business concept

•       Construct an effective business plan

•       Work with others to creatively generate and critically evaluate ideas

•       Communicate the value of a business opportunity

•       Identify, and plan how to acquire the resources necessary for evaluating, developing and implementing a project

•       Research, analyse, evaluate and utilise information from a variety of sources

•       Develop, structure and communicate ideas effectively

•       Develop and utilise creative problem solving skills

•       Plan and prioritise work load in order to work effectively whether in a team and as an individual

•       Reflect on skills development as a basis for future employment

•       Develop useful networks

Employability skills

Analytical skills
To write a good business plan, the students have to constantly solve problems, critically evaluate the information gathered, and make team decisions
Group/team working
Students will be divided into teams of 5 or 6 and will work together over one semester to develop their business plan and establish their own action plan to manage the project.
Students have the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions to real world problems.
Students may have the opportunity to lead their team at various points throughout the project.
Project management
Teams are expected to establish their own action plan to manage the project and meet deadlines.
Oral communication
Formal oral presentations on idea for business plan and 'lions' lair' event during which each team pitches their business opportunity in front of whole group and project supervisors. Informal presentation of research due every week.
Problem solving
Students have to come up with innovative solutions to a given problem. To write a good business plan, the students have to constantly solve problems, critically evaluate the information gathered, and make team decisions
Students must research the scientific background behind their given topic and decide on a potential commercial application, for which they do a preliminary feasibility study looking at both technical and business aspects. They must then come up with a realistic business plan for their chosen idea for which students need to be very resourceful, conduct many surveys, and contact many companies and experts to find valid information for their report.
Written communication
Literature review and business plan
Due to the nature of the course, students have ample opportunities to develop many transferable skills (business awareness, organisation skills, resourcefulness etc.) and this development is supported via reflective logs.

Assessment methods

The literature review (individual) is worth 10 credits and then the project work is worth 30 credits.

  • Individual work (35%):
    • Poster on feasibility study = 20% (end of Semester 1)
    • Personal development pieces = 8% (ongoing)
    • Project performance mark = 7% (ongoing)
  • Teamwork (65%):
    • Oral presentation on idea for business plan = 5% (start of Semester 2)
    • Strategic analysis report = 20%
    • Business plan = 30% (end of Semester 2)
    • Business pitch = 10% (end of Semester 2)



Recommended reading

  • Shreefal S. Mehta (2008) Commercializing Successful Biomedical Technologies: Basic Principles for the Development of Drugs, Diagnostics and Devices. Cambridge University Press
  • Yali Friedman (2004) Building Biotechnology: Starting, Managing, And Understanding Biotechnology Companies. Thinkbiotech

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 44
Independent study hours
Independent study 256

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Martin Henery Unit coordinator
Maggy Fostier Unit coordinator

Return to course details