Studying business studies at A Level gives students the chance to explore real life issues that are reflected in today’s global world. The course relies upon students participating actively in lessons, discussing important issues such as how important is marketing to achieve business growth? How do interest rates affect customers and businesses? What makes a business successful? What government policies can make a difference in business? These and other issues are explored using a wide range of resources. This course develops transferable skills for progression to higher education and the world of work.
Summary of course content
The A Level is structured into four coherent themes to support teaching and learning.
- Introduces students to marketing and people (Year 1)
- Introduces students to managing business activities (Year 1)
- Explores business decisions and strategy (Year 2)
- Explores global business (Year 2)
• The market and marketing mix strategy
• Managing people
• Raising finance
• Global competitiveness
• Raising Finance
• Financial planning
• Managing finance
• Resource management
• Impact of globalisation
• Growing economies
• External influences – economics
There are three externally-assessed papers at A Level. Each paper comprises 100 marks and is two hours in duration. Questions comprise short answer, data response and essay. Paper 3 has a broad, pre-released context to support the investigative nature of the qualification.
Paper 1: Theme 2 and 3
Paper 2: Theme 1 and 4
Paper 3: Pre-release and all themes.
How the course differs from GCSE
This specification provides a smooth transition from GCSE business studies but students will be looking in more depth at what makes a business successful, concentrating on more analysis and evaluation rather than basic pros and cons. It avoids unnecessary repetition whilst ensuring that learners new to the subject are appropriately supported. There will be more theories and concepts, including presentations from professionals, as well as more field visits with scope to apply these to real life situations, allowing students to gain an in-depth insight into the way a business can succeed.
Students develop the ability to analyse, critically evaluate, present, roleplay and read extensively to support their understanding of the principles underlying successful businesses and business practices in the world around us. These skills are highly valued and offer excellent preparation for university and employment alike.
Where the course leads
A qualification in business is useful in all employment, whether it be running your own business or working for one. Because of the broad spectrum of the course, it easily paves the way to study a whole range of courses in higher education. It also provides a good foundation for students seeking a career in advertising, finance, marketing, law and many others. Students will also get the opportunity to take part in the national Young Enterprise competition from September to April in year 1.
Special entry requirements
This course does require a good level of ability in both English Language and mathematics, so students should have achieved a minimum of grade 4 in both at GCSE. It is not necessary to have studied business at GCSE, but students need to have a genuine interest in current and business affairs. Students should be prepared to read and investigate widely around business issues and undertake their own research as the business world is constantly changing.