Business Studies

Our Business Studies curriculum journey.

GCSE Business Studies

What is the course about?

Business plays an integral part in all of our lives and having an awareness of the world of business can be a valuable asset for your future. GCSE Business gives you the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work. You will begin the course by studying the purpose of business activity and reasons for starting a business, the skills and qualities of entrepreneurs, the different types of businesses from small sole traders to very large public limited companies, business aims and objectives and the main stakeholders in businesses. The external environment in which real businesses operate is also explored in detail as we analyse the influence of the economic climate, the legal framework in which businesses operate, developments in technology, ethical and environmental considerations, the competitive environment including its risks and uncertainty and the threats and opportunities posed by globalisation.

The four main functions of business - operations/ production, human resource management, marketing and finance - are then examined along with relevant business concepts and techniques for assessing business performance. The delivery of the GCSE course in Business suits a broad range of learning styles and abilities as you are encouraged to play an active role in your studies, join in discussions, carry out research, solve problems and present your ideas to the group. We also undertake the process of business planning and you will work together in small groups to set up and run a mini business enterprise, consolidating the business theory that you have been learning whilst also developing your practical business skills. We aim to equip our students for success in further study and employment by providing them with the opportunities to develop both business and transferable skills and the fundamental knowledge required by employers. We value and foster an enterprising attitude and welcome pupils who have a keen interest in broadening their experience and knowledge.

What skills and ideas will I learn?

You will learn to:

● use business terminology to identify and explain business activity
● apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts
● develop problem solving and decision making skills relevant to business
● investigate, analyse and evaluate business opportunities and issues
● make justified decisions using both qualitative and quantitative data including its selection, interpretation, analysis and evaluation, and the application of appropriate quantitative skills.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed through two written examinations at the end of Year 11:

Paper 1 Influences of operations and HRM on business activity.

This paper assesses:

  • Business in the real world

  • Influences on business

  • Business operations​

  • Human Resources

Paper 2 Influences of marketing and finance on business activity.

This paper assesses:

● Business in the real world
● Influences on business
● Marketing
● Finance

Each paper is worth 50% of the final GCSE grade and each is 1 hour 45 minutes in length. Both papers have three sections totalling 90 marks as follows:

● Section A has multiple choice questions and short answer questions worth 20 marks.
● Section B has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 34 marks.
● Section C has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 36 marks.

What will the course allow me to progress to in the future?
GCSE Business can lead to study at A level in Business or related subjects such as Accounting and Finance or Economics. It is also a very good preparation for vocational study at Level 3 and above or entry to an apprenticeship in a wide variety of industries.


COURSE OVERVIEW

This course covers economic, environmental, ethical, governmental, legal, social and technological issues and encourages a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value.  Students examine the management of organisations and in particular, the process of decision-making in a dynamic external environment.

COURSE CONTENT & ASSESSMENT

The A Level course begins by examining the question "What is business?".  We consider business objectives and forms of business ownership.  We then look at the role of managers, leadership styles, the importance of stakeholders and the decision making process.  This emphasis on decision making continues as we examine the four main functions of Marketing, Operations, Finance and Human Resources.  You will learn invaluable analytical techniques used in industry to ensure good cash-flow, profitability, realistic budgets, quality products, sound stock control, a motivated and efficient workforce and a suitable marketing mix grounded in accurate market research.  The A level course progresses on to examine corporate objectives, business culture and changes in strategy in response to the external business environment.  The focus here is on big business and senior management.  The use of modern technologies such as Twitter and Skype are integral to how we deliver the course; we talk to real business people and help you to develop your communication and presentation skills.  Throughout we make use of business news and topical issues to illustrate theories and concepts and you will develop the ability to evaluate the actions of many top UK and multinational firms.

The A level is assessed through three examinations in total; Paper 1 includes multiple choice, short answer and two essay questions, Paper 2 has three longer data response questions and Paper 3 is on a compulsory case study.

WHAT NEXT?

A Level Business Studies is accepted by all universities and colleges for study at degree level either in business studies itself or a related field – for example, Accountancy, Human Resource Management, Marketing, European Studies, Law and Management.

Entry Requirements:

Course-Specific Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 5 and ideally 6 and above in English and Maths. Students must have a real interest in business, the economy and related areas and be prepared to engage in discussion and debate.

COURAGE