As a department we offer Business Studies at both GCSE and A-Level. Business Studies provides students with insight into the operation of both small and large enterprises.
Both the GCSE and A-Level courses introduce students to the challenges and issues of starting a business, including financial planning. They then explore the key internal functions of business and how the management of these functions can assist in improving the effectiveness and performance of a business. At A2, students consider strategies for larger businesses and are introduced to key topics such as leadership and change management. Studying Business Studies at AS/A2 level does not require students to have studied the subject at GCSE level – in teaching the course we assume no prior knowledge.
GCSE Business Studies
GCSE Business Studies provides students with an insight into how to start-up and maintain a successful business. Involvement of local businesses and the use of real life case studies allow students to apply their business knowledge practically. The course as a whole promotes a wide range of skills that are transferable to working life. Year 10 pupils conducted research of the photography market, involving companies such as Investec and Cadbury and questioning guest speakers, to investigate the qualities of successful entrepreneurs.
Elements of business studied include:
- Marketing – much more than simply advertising!
- Accountancy & finance – the bottom line!
- Production – how and where it is made.
- Managing people – is money the only motivator?
- External influences – The impact of the credit crunch.
Who is the course suitable for?
It is of particular use to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs or managers within any field. Due to the nature of the course it makes a good combination with any other options, as it will be useful to support any career.
The course comprises three units:
Marketing and Enterprise - Candidates complete a controlled assessment report, worth 60 marks, 25% of total GCSE. The report is written in the autumn term of year 11.
Business and People - Written Paper (1 hour) 60 marks, 25% of total GCSE. The exam takes place at the end of year 11.
Production, Finance and the External Business Environment - Written Paper (1 ½ hours) 90 marks, 50% of total GCSE. The exam takes place at the end of year 11.
A-Level Business Studies
Business Studies provides an excellent grounding in both the internal working of a business and the external influences that act upon it. More specifically the course aims to foster an understanding of:
- how businesses are created and developed and business ideas protected;
- the internal functions of contemporary business organisations of all types;
- the dynamic external environment within which businesses operate and the effects this can have upon decision-making within a business;
- major topical issues that can generate change for business organisations and the ways in which businesses respond to these issues;
- the range of stakeholder perspectives that can be taken on business activities.
You should do this course if…….
You have a genuine interest in business related issues. Maybe you’re an avid viewer of programmes such as The Apprentice, Dragons Den or the Money Programme. Business Studies A Level will provide you with a good foundation of understanding of business, covering a wide range of topic areas. You must be comfortable with writing essays and working with figures as these skills are tested in the examinations.
Where does the course lead?
Many degrees such as Accountancy, Management, Finance, Politics, Geography and Law all contain aspects of Business. Many students have gone on to do degrees in Business, Economics, Engineering, Maths or Physical Sciences and have found the subject useful to them.
Ultimately, many Business students go on to work for businesses, in a wide variety industries. Business Studies will also help you to make sense of current affairs and to be more aware of real world economic issues, such as interest rates, unemployment and the business cycle. You will be developing a range of skills, which will certainly help in your chosen career and make you more attractive to potential employees.
Skills you will develop on this course
Developing arguments, research skills from: books, newspapers, journals and the internet. Clarity of oral and written expression, critical evaluation skills, debating and presentation skills, concise and efficient note taking styles, application of numerical and theoretical models, ICT, team working, improving own learning and performance and problem solving.
What GCSE grade do I need?
Studying GCSE Business is helpful, but not essential.
Business Studies – Content
Theme 1: Marketing and people
Students will develop an understanding of:
- meeting customer needs
- the market
- marketing mix and strategy
- managing people
- entrepreneurs and leaders.
Theme 2: Managing business activities
- raising finance
- financial planning
- managing finance
- resource management
- external influences.
Theme 3: Business decisions and strategy
This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2. Students will develop an understanding of:
- business objectives and strategy
- business growth
- decision-making techniques
- influences on business decisions
- assessing competitiveness
- managing change.
Theme 4: Global business
This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1. Students will develop an understanding of:
- global markets and business
- global marketing
- global industries and companies
- (multinational corporations).
The transferable skills underpinning these themes include:
Carrying out calculations, interpreting data, making and presenting arguments, making and justifying business decisions, identifying problems and proposing solutions, recognising that a problem exists, conducting research and challenging assumptions.
All units are assessed by external examinations.
- Mr D Baddeley BSc(LJMU) PGCE (LJMU) PGDip (Chester) (Head of Business and ICT)
- Miss Rachael Sargeant