A Level

Business is front page news. In this extremely relevant, dynamic course you will learn all about starting a business and managing a large, multinational organisation in a world where companies operate under greater scrutiny than ever before.

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The business world affects our daily lives, whether we are shopping in the high street or considering issues such as the impact of leaving the EU. There is greater focus on what you read and hear in the news such as digital technology and e-commerce, international business, globalisation and business ethics. You will study business in a variety of contexts and use a problem-solving approach to gain insight into the factors affecting the operation of a business. A Level Business can give you the analytical models and information required to understand how businesses are created, managed and become successful.

Course Content

A level Business suits students who like business! If you enjoy watching the Apprentice or Dragon’s Den or if you like the idea of buying shares or if you want to manage a business then this is the subject for you. You need to want to know more about why people set up in business, what makes them successful and how they can do things even better.
The subject is based around the concept of choice and decision making.

  • Should Marks and Spencer move all of its operations online?
  • Is it better to pay high dividends to shareholders or invest profits?
  • What should Tesco do to reposition itself in the market?
  • How can Crush Candy ensure its long term growth?
  • Should Amazon pay more tax in the UK?
  • Should tobacco companies plan to exit this industry?
  • What’s the best way to design a job that motivates?
  • How can a construction business ensure its cash flow is healthy?
  • Should we relocate to mainland Europe after Brexit?

These are the types of issues you might consider when studying Business at A level. To answer these questions you are expected to analyse the key factors involved such as objectives, risk, costs, returns, constraints and ethics, and recommend the best course of action for a business given its existing position.
Essentially the course is about debating and decision-making in a business context and as such it develops invaluable skills whatever you want to do next. You need to learn and understand the theory and then apply it to a context. The “right” answer will depend on the problem in front of you and you need to be able to think issues through logically, put together well reasoned arguments and make recommendations.

Year 1
Theme 1: Marketing and people. This theme develops an understanding of: meeting customer needs, the market, marketing mix and strategy, managing people, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Theme 2: Managing business activities. This theme develops an understanding of: raising finance, financial planning, managing finance, resource management and external influences.

Year 2
Theme 3: Business decisions and strategy. This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2: business objectives and strategy, business growth, decision-making techniques, influences on business decisions, assessing competitiveness and managing change.

Theme 4: Global business. This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1: globalisation, global markets and business expansion, global marketing, global industries and companies.

(Exam board: Pearson Edexcel)
(Specification code: 9BS0)

How it is Taught

Case study work forms the main part of this course which lends itself to a range of teaching approaches, including whole class and small group work, presentations, learning and research activities and skills development from essay writing to data analysis. You are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, to understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and to challenge assumptions.

Assessment Information

Paper 1: Themes 1 & 4, 2 hours

Paper 2: Themes 2 & 3, 2 hours

Paper 3: All themes, 2 hours

Entry Requirements

You must have at least grade 5 in GCSE Maths and grade 5 in GCSE English. Prior study of Business is not necessary to start this subject at advanced level. If GCSE Business has been studied a minimum of a grade 5 is required.

In this subject, particular skills and aptitudes will be required, many of which will be demonstrated by students’ GCSE profiles.

Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.

Careers & HE Information

Degrees in Business are some of the most popular courses at university for QE students. These range from general Business Degrees to more specialist degrees such as Business Administration or Business Management. Certain degrees such as Management Science may be more theoretical, whereas others like Business and Accountancy are more mathematical. Business students can follow a wide range of careers in Industry, Commerce, Finance, Banking and Insurance. Skills in management and marketing are also required in other areas such as Charity, Social Work and Local Government, while knowledge of business is also important for Consultancy, certain teaching jobs and for Financial Journalists.

Useful Subject Combinations

Business Studies combines well with most other subjects for those students wishing to move directly into employment or for those looking to continue into higher education, particularly in the rapidly-expanding area of business management courses. The subject combines well with Economics, Maths, Law, Humanities, Media and Foreign Languages.

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