Culturing Enterprise Skills in Bioscience Students

Ann Davidson, Matthew Gardiner, Joy Perkins, Pietro Marini, John Barrow

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Subject benchmark statements in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education state that graduates of bioscience degree programmes should have the necessary skills for enterprise and knowledge transfer. This is a crucial skill set for science graduates, in a world where scientific advancements and technological breakthroughs are occurring at an ever-increasing rate. Furthermore, many university degree programmes state their degrees will prepare their graduates with attributes and life-long learning skills that go beyond subject-specific expertise. Making students aware of their external environment and providing them with an opportunity to express how they may interact with an ever-changing world is therefore an important endeavour and one that we believe should begin as early as possible within university curricula. Therefore, we have developed an enterprise session that runs within a first year undergraduate bioscience course, providing students with the opportunity to explore and practice enterprise skills (such as creative problem solving and team working) demanded by the modern labour market. This aligns with an increasing number of employers requiring graduates to be innovative, adaptable and resilient, and have an enterprising mind-set. The enterprise session supports students to develop these key attributes and skills, enabling them to engage with the pace of change and potentially make effective contributions to the economy following their graduation. The session is run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise in partnership with the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition and the Careers Service at the University of Aberdeen and takes the form of a 2-hour on-campus workshop for over 300 first year bioscience students. Working in small groups, students think creatively around a variety of items (e.g. a lab coat, scalpel and safety sign) and then explore their functionality in 10 years’ time. A further exercise involves students innovating through drivers of change that range from very focussed recent bioscience ideas to more wide-ranging societal changes, and how these drivers for change may impact on their thoughts and actions as they progress through their degree. At the end of the session, a survey gathered students’ perceptions, attitudes and understanding of enterprise education. This poster will highlight key findings and developments brought about from this survey, and explain how they will influence future events and proposed ideas to further skills developments in undergraduate bioscience students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019
EventPhysiology 2019 - Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jul 201910 Jul 2019


ConferencePhysiology 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Enterprise Education
  • Skills Development
  • Biosciences


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