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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Pitching Your Stories, Services and Products (fusion online) (EFIE11095)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryConvincing and enrolling others to give opportunities and/or resources is a key aspect of leading, whether as a creative, technical expert, executive or government employee. This course will examine how to make your ideas 'sticky', how to frame and pitch them effectively, and how to use storytelling as a method to get your message heard and remembered. We will examine the accountability of stories, and how they are evaluated and judged by audiences. You will gain practical experience of framing and pitching your ideas to others.
Course description This course draws on organisation and management studies and marketing to explore what makes ideas 'sticky', and how to use stories and storytelling as a method to do this. It also makes use of ideas within economic sociology and social movement theory to understand theoretical underpinnings of framing and overflowing which is essential for the enrolment and mobilization of support and resources for ideas. The course is divided into the following three components:

1) Pre-intensive independent learning (elements of sticky ideas):

The purpose of this component is to provide students with an understanding of what makes ideas stick with audiences (or does not). This will be done through selected pre-readings and short videos overviewing the essentials of 'Made to Stick' framework by Heath and Heath. The students are asked to reflect and apply this framework through the analysis of their own project ideas and share this analysis on a collaborative platform with others to see and provide comments on. In addition, they will read a case study on an iconic brand making use of cultural stories and myths and answer a set of questions.

2) Two-day intensive learning (theory and practice of framing and pitching ideas):

This component will focus on the theory and practice of framing and pitching sticky ideas. It will comprise a combination of lectures and guest presentations, discussions, group work and assessed group pitch presentations. During these two intensive days of learning, the students will work in groups to develop and pitch ideas to solve a real live client problem: the client will deliver an overview of their client situation and problem, which they would like the students to address, and answer any student questions. The course organiser will provide additional guidance on working with clients and the expectations and framework for the pitch presentation.

Building on the pre-intensive component and pre-tasks, and lecture content introducing the students to theories and techniques of storytelling, pitching and framing delivered by the course organiser and two guest speakers on types of pitches and pitching, they will prepare and deliver a mock-up pitch presentation for the client on the second intensive day. The students will receive formative feedback from the course organiser which they can use in their final video pitch presentations and individual coursework in the post-intensive component.

3) Post-intensive independent learning (application and critical analysis of a pitched idea):

This component will focus on the preparation of the final video pitch presentation and an individual assignment (critical analysis of the pitched idea in an essay format). The students will be supported by the course organiser and a teaching assistant through an online discussion board, email and synchronous Q&A sessions (delivered twice to cover multiple time zones).

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  4
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 3, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Online Activities 6, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Other Study Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 6
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:

1) Group Pitch Presentation (30%)

In groups, the students develop and pitch an initial idea to solve a real live client problem during the intensive days. Their pitch presentation should introduce their proposed idea to the client problem, making use of any appropriate artefacts (e.g. slides, visuals, video material) to make their idea sticky, and prepare to ask 1-2 questions from the client to help them develop their idea further. The pitch presentations will be recorded in the post-intensive period and shared with the client to get their feedback. The students will be provided a marking criteria to assist in the assignment.

2) Individual Essay to Accompany the Video Pitch Presentation (70%)

Students will prepare a 1500 word essay to accompany their pitch presentation. It should analyse and reflect on its theoretical underpinnings making use of the course materials and independent readings. The essay should also reflect on the feedback on the pitch presentations and how this shapes the framing of their original idea. The students will be provided a marking criteria to assist in the assignment.

The recorded groups pitch presentations should be submitted within a week after the intensive days, and the individual essay should be submitted within 4 weeks after the intensive days.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Students will receive feedback at various points during the course:

Summative Assessment Feedback:
- By written feedback on the assessed video pitch presentation and essay.

Formative Feedback:
- Through digital learning platform on individual pre-task.
- Throughout the intensive days in group discussions and mock-up pitch presentations to support in their final assessed group pitch presentations.
- Though online discussion board/email and post-intensive Q&A sessions with the lecturer and/or TA to support students in their final individual assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of what makes ideas sticky.
  2. Frame and pitch original ideas collectively and individually.
  3. Apply storytelling as a method to enrol support for ideas.
  4. Apply critical analysis and work with theory on framing ideas.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:


Heath, C. and Heath, D., 2008. Made to stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck. Random House.


Benford, R.D. and Snow, D.A., 2000. Framing processes and social movements: An overview and assessment. Annual review of sociology, 26(1), pp.611-639.

Callon, M., 1998. An essay on framing and overflowing: economic externalities revisited by sociology. The Sociological Review, 46(1_suppl), pp.244-269.

Finch, J. and Geiger, S., 2011. Constructing and contesting markets through the market object. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(6), pp.899-906.

Geiger, S. and Finch, J., 2016. Promissories and pharmaceutical patents: agencing markets through public narratives. Consumption Markets & Culture, 19(1), pp.71-91.

Holt, D. and Cameron, D. 2010. Cultural strategy: Using innovative ideologies to build breakthrough brands. Oxford University Press.

Holt, D.B. 2004. How brands become icons: The principles of cultural branding. Harvard Business Press.

Palo, T., Mason, K. and Roscoe, P., 2020. Performing a myth to make a market: The construction of the 'magical world' of Santa. Organization Studies, 41(1), pp.53-75.

Further Reading:

Boje, D.M., 1995. Stories of the storytelling organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as 'Tamara-Land'. Academy of Management journal, 38(4), pp.997-1035.

Czarniawska, B., 2004. Narratives in social science research. Sage.

Gabriel, Y. (1995). The unmanaged organization: Stories, fantasies and subjectivity. Organization studies 16(3), pp.477-501.

Snow, D.A. and Benford, R.D., 2005. Clarifying the relationship between framing and ideology. Frames of protest: Social movements and the framing perspective, 205, p.209.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course developed the following graduate attributes and skills:

1) Creativity and inventive thinking: thinking creatively and managing the creative process in oneself and in others

2) Decision making: analysing facts and situations and applying creative and inventive thinking to develop the appropriate solutions

3) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: broadly, have an ability to demonstrate an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking

4) Verbal communication and presentation: develop oral communication of complex ideas and arguments using a range of media; communicate and persuade

5) Written communications: be able to communicate complex ideas and arguments in writing using a range of media from formal writing to social media and have the ability to produce clear, structured written work
KeywordsPitching,Framing,Storytelling,Sticky Ideas
Course organiserDr Teea Palo
Tel: (0131 6)51 1070
Course secretaryMr David Murphy
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