A Level Business Studies is a very relevant and interesting subject, which covers a wide range of issues of topical concern to students who are consumers, will in the future be employees (and employers!) and to those who are interested in the welfare of society generally. Business organisations vary in size, in ownership, in objectives and most certainly in how they go about achieving those objectives. The business environment in which firms operate, is increasingly complex and fiercely competitive having a huge effect on us all ... Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse! The course introduces students students to business through building knowledge of core business concepts and applying them to business contexts to develop a broad understanding of how businesses work.
In Theme 1 students develop an understanding of how businesses identify opportunities and they will explore how businesses focus on developing a competitive advantage through interacting with customers. Students develop an understanding of how businesses need to adapt their marketing to operate in a dynamic business environment. This theme also considers people, exploring how businesses recruit, train, organise and motivate employees, as well as the role of enterprising individuals and leaders. Theme 3 moves from function to strategy, enabling students to develop their understanding of the core concepts and to take a strategic view of business opportunities and issues.
Theme 2 enables students to develop an understanding of raising and managing finance, and measuring business performance. The theme outlines the importance of using resources efficiently within a business to ensure that goods or services can be delivered effectively and effciently, and to a high quality. Students also consider the external influences have an impact on businesses, including economic and legal factors. Study gives students the opportunity to develop a range of skills including analysing, problem solving, decision making and interpretation of data in a variety of formats. In theme 4, students investigate businesses that trade on a global scale and explore their reasons for doing so. Students develop an understaning of the globally competitive environment and consider the ethical and moral dimensions of global business activites.
There are 3 exam papers, all lasting 2 hours each.
- Paper 1, worth 50% of the AS Level and worth 35% of the A Level. It assesses theme 1 and 4 and includes two case studies with a mixture of long and short answer questions.
- Paper 2, worth 50% of the AS level and worth 35% of the A level. It assesses theme 2 and 3 and includes two case studies with a mixture of short and long answer questions.
- Paper 3, worth 30% of the A level. It assesses all 4 themes and includes a pre-released context with data response questions and two extended questions.
Paper 1 and 2 are examined at the end of the AS Level. Papers 1, 2 and 3 are all examined at the end of the A Level.
4 in GCSE English Language and a 5 in Maths OR a 4 in English Language and a 4 in Maths, but Core Maths must be studied alongside Business Studies.
You do not need to have studied Business at GCSE to be successful in it at A Level.
The subject offers opportunities for students to explore the real business world by visiting organisations. We are keen to exploit the development of the subject by inviting business practitioners into school, building on links with the business community and giving stduents the possibility of actively engaging in business activity themselves.