Culturing Enterprise Skills in First Year Bioscience Students

Culturing Enterprise Skills in First Year Bioscience Students

Picture of Dr Joy Perkins, Dr John Barrow, Ann Davidson and Dr Pietro MariniA multidisciplinary teaching team report about the impact and value of the enterprise skills workshop delivered to 300, first year, bioscience students. The teaching team consists of Ann Davidson, SIE; John Barrow & Pietro Marini, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition and Joy Perkins, Centre for Academic Development.


The challenge in this teaching context is for academic staff is to support and engage a large number of students, at an early stage in their bioscience degree programme, to start developing core enterprising behaviours that remain with them throughout their degree and beyond.

Increasingly, employers require graduates to be innovative, adaptable and resilient, and have an enterprising mind-set. Enterprise education supports students to develop these key attributes and skills, enabling them to engage with the pace of change and to make effective contributions to the economy.


The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) in partnership with University staff deliver an on-campus, 2 hour workshop, which provides students with the opportunity to explore and practise enterprise skills (such as creative problem solving and team working) demanded by the modern labour market. The session helps students to become more aware of their external environment, and provides them with an opportunity to express how they may interact with an ever-changing world.


Participation does lead to students understanding the value and relevant of enterprise education as illustrated through the students’ comments below:

“Inspired creativity and made me question upcoming topics which I know will be useful in the future.”

First Year Student, School of Biological Sciences

“How quickly the workplace and technology is changing and to keep a look out for this.”

First Year Student, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition


Evaluation conducted at the end of the session has provided data to demonstrate impact and to enhance future enterprise teaching sessions. The next steps are to investigate the feasibility of embedding enterprise education throughout a degree programme, and to make contact with relevant employers, to add validity, and currency to future enterprise sessions.