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Business

Why study Business?

Business is a dynamic subject. You will learn about the diverse nature of business enterprise and the interdependence of the various parts of the business world. You will explore business success and business failure, investigate local, national and global business markets, and understand how businesses need to adapt and respond strategically to the changing environment in which they operate to survive and grow. This constant evolutionary process makes Business a fascinating subject. The stimulating course content will encourage you to develop your skills as independent learners, critical thinkers and decision-makers – all personal assets that can make you stand out as you progress to Higher Education and/or the workplace.

Entry requirements

5 in GCSE Mathematics and 5 in GCSE English Language.
Course Outline

The examination board is Edexcel. In Theme 1 and Theme 2 you will learn about how businesses work. You will be introduced to the marketing and people functions before investigating entrepreneurs and business start-ups. You will also explore how business finance and operations work, to understand the impact of external influences.
Theme 3 and Theme 4 move from functions to strategy. You will explore influences on business strategy and decision-making and understand how businesses mitigate risk and uncertainty. You will also explore global business and the opportunities and issues facing businesses in today’s global world.

The A-level qualification assesses all four themes. There are three externally assessed written examinations.

  • Paper 1: Marketing, people and global businesses (35% of the A-level; 2 hours) Candidates will tackle data response and essay questions on marketing, people and global businesses (Themes 1 and 4). Each section in Paper 1 comprises of one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open-response question
  • Paper 2: Business activities, decisions and strategy (35% of the A-level; 2 hours) Candidates will tackle data response and essay questions on business activities, decisions and strategy (Themes 2 and 3). Each section in Paper 2 comprises of one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open-response question.
  • Paper 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment (30% of the A-level; 2 hours) Paper 3 will assess content across all four themes. Questions will be drawn from local, national and global contexts. There will be a pre-released context document issued in November of the previous year. The context will focus on a broad context, such as an industry or market in which businesses operate. Each section in Paper 3 comprises of one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open-response question.

Course Delivery

The subject is about the application of theory to business problems, so an awareness of the role of business in society is vital. The course will use case studies and topical material to help you to learn the skills of analysing a business problem. You will need to be prepared to look below the surface and to take a flexible approach when considering business strategies and solutions.

The transferable skills underpinning the units include carrying out calculations, interpreting and analysing data, developing arguments and making judgements and decisions. You will also participate in class discussions about current business issues and be asked to carry out presentations.

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

If you are interested in the world of business and you would like to understand, examine and practice the skills and attributes of successful entrepreneurs then business is a good subject for you to consider. A Business A-level is well regarded as a means of preparing for a wide range of university courses and particularly those which have a business or management content. It is also a useful preparation if you are considering starting your own business or wish to follow a career in finance, accounting, marketing, management and other business related areas. Whatever your career plans, Business will suit you if you are looking for a stimulating and challenging course that has a real relevance to everyday life.

Contact for further information
Mr M S Smith, Head of Business Education