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DCU leading the field in Enterprise Education with DICE Programme

Posted on May 27, 2016

In a policy document on entrepreneurship in education, the employers’ group IBEC has called for the concept to be made mainstream at primary, secondary and third level “to deliver the skills needed for the workplace of the future”. Ibec cites the recent National Employers Survey which indicated a low degree of employer satisfaction with graduates’ entrepreneurial skills and business acumen.

If you are one of the lucky students who secured a place at DCU Business School in any of the 10 Courses on offer from Aviation Management (DC117) to Marketing, Innovation and Technology (DC240), or Global Business (DC116), the availablility of the innovative DICE Module puts you at the top of the heap when it comes to developing the skills employers want. It also makes DCU Business School a very attractive option indeed for those who want to develop their entreprenuerial tendencies and create a job for themselves!

The DICE course (Digital, Innovation, Creativity, Enterprise) is a freshmen module in enterprise education delivered to undergraduates studying business, enterprise computing and languages at DCU Business School.

The objective of DICE is to introduce students to the concepts, processes and methods relating to innovation, creativity and enterprise and to develop the personal qualities needed in a society driven by innovation and enterprise.

The DICE course has a specific emphasis on exploring the major technology trends i.e. social media, cloud computing and mobile technologies and in 2015, big data and analytics.

DICE is designed to provide a wide range of experiences to students early in their University life and to increase the enterprise tendency of DCU students.                   

Video: DCU Business School | D.I.C.E. | Digital, Innovation, Creativity, Enterprise

In 2014, the DICE cohort included over 350 freshmen students and plans are in place to increase delivery of the course both in Ireland and Saudi Arabia next year. Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, would like to extend DICE to all first year students in DCU.

Major Tech Trends

Freshmen are introduced to the major technology trends that are driving innovation, creativity and enterprise through mini-conferences on social media, mobile technologies, cloud computing and starting a social or conventional enterprise. Each mini-conference features academic researchers but more importantly Irish and international speakers from some of the leading global companies. Students are joined by over 500 members of the Irish business community at each event. The events are extremely popular both within the University and without and regularly trend on Twitter and feature in the media. Students are provided with reading materials on each topic and a workbook to help them reflect on the readings and presentations. These are synthesised in to blogs that each student prepares and publishes within two weeks of each mini-conference.

Learning Styles

DICE Students work by themselves and also in teams. They are exposed to different learning modes - they learn project management through traditional lectures and e-learning and earning by doing is also a key part of DICE.

App Project

A Mobile App project designed in conjunction with Microsoft Ireland is a 1 hour course and programme for non-technical students to design, develop and publish mobile apps in the Windows Store.

Following a training session delivered by Microsoft Mentors, students are allocated to teams comprising students from different programmes. Postgraduate students act as facilitators and project managers, supported by faculty and teaching assistants at regular clinics.

Each team must design, develop and publish an App to market a town or city in Ireland and other European countries. At the end of the course, each app and research poster is adjudicated by faculty, teaching assistants but also industry judges.

Communication Skills

Students develop their oral and written communication skills through a number of different projects including team meetings, blogs, research posters, presentations and of course, their App.

Responsibility and Accountability

Each team agrees and signs a team signatory code and team governance code. The postgraduate project managers reinforce by writing up formal meeting reports including attendance and participation at mini-conferences. Project managers and freshmen students also have mechanisms to report issues with other students and project managers to faculty for guidance, escalation or resolution.

Finally, students are given the opportunity to review each other’s contribution and participation. These are factored in to the aggregate course grade.


Student feedback on the DICE module has been very positive and attendance rates for the course are extremely high. The module enhances the enterprising nature of the students involved using many measures and theoretical underpinnings (entrepreneurial intentionality, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, enterprising tendencies and entrepreneurial passion). Research in DICE is also generating significant insights in to student team dynamics at individual and team levels.

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