Business Studies concerns the business aspects of organisations, both large and small, and their relationship with the community, the government and the economy. This subject involves understanding how entrepreneurs use their skills to make profits (or losses!) by producing goods and services. The factors which make a business profitable and successful are explored by the use of real life case studies such as the invention of the Dyson Hoover, how and why Coca Cola developed Coke Zero and other such business examples. The world of business takes place at such a breathtaking place and consequently there are always plenty of examples to draw upon.
Pupils will be taught, in addition to the content of the course, the skills of application, analysis and evaluation. This will not only equip them to make rational judgements of businesses but will also serve as invaluable transferable skills.
At Dame Alice Owen’s we offer GCSE Business Studies (Edexcel), A Level Business Studies (AQA) and the Level 3 Applied Business qualification (AQA), which is a new course for September 2016. Details of each course follows.
GCSE Business Studies (Edexcel)
Year 10 topics include:
- Spotting a Business Opportunity
- Showing Enterprise
- Putting a Business Idea into Practice
- Making the Start Up Effective
- The Economic Context
Year 11 topics include:
- Meeting Customer Needs
- Financial Management
- People Management
- The Wider World
Students will be assessed through a multiple choice exam (Unit 1), a written exam (Unit 3) and a controlled assessment (Unit 2). The multiple choice exam is based on different business situations and will account for 25% of the GCSE. The controlled assessment, accounts for 25% of the GCSE and tends to be based on a small businesses known to the students. The written paper, which takes the form of structured questions based around case studies, accounts for the remaining 50% of their GCSE.
A Level Business (AQA)
The new Business course is a very marketable A Level which will be a great foundation for any Business degree. More broadly, it will enhance students’ skills of analysis and evaluation of real life business situations which will serve them well in any degree course or job. The course content is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society – they will study key contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation, which is covered throughout the topics. The topics covered lend themselves to studying and engaging with the business world. The specification and assessment should encourage students to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues. Most of the assessment material is based on real business situations.
- What is business?
- Managers, leadership and decision making
- Decision making to improve marketing performance
- Decision making to improve operational performance
- Decision making to improve financial performance
- Decision making to improve human resource performance
- Analysing the strategic position of a business (A-level only)
- Choosing strategic direction (A-level only)
- Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies (A-level only)
- Managing strategic change (A-level only)
For further background information, please visit – http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/business-subjects/as-and-a-level/business-7131-7132
Level 3 Applied Business qualification
There is a great deal of cross over between the content of this course and the Business AS/A2 but it will suit you if you prefer to research topics based on real business practice and demonstrate your learning by carrying out real business activities. You will also need to be able to organise your own time and meet coursework deadlines effectively and consistently.
The qualification provides a broad understanding of business and entrepreneurship knowledge and develops skills to support progress to higher education. Assessment is through examinations, external assignments and centre set assignments.
A detailed breakdown of the topics studied can be seen below. For further background information, or visit http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/business-subjects/applied-general . Alternatively, contact Mr Bird at the school – email@example.com
Year 1 – Certificate in Applied Business
Unit 1 – Financial planning and analysis
- Learners explore different ways in which enterprises can be owned and financed. Learners will need to understand the issues that enterprises face and will use this information to make business decisions. External examination
Unit 2 Business dynamics
- Learners investigate factors contributing to the success of businesses, focussing on the role of managers, supervisors and employees. They consider how businesses organise themselves and will analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of these organisational structures. – Internally centre assessed
Unit 3 Entrepreneurial opportunities
- Learners develop an understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities and investigate how individuals can exploit these through personal enterprise. They consider opportunities for personal enterprise for a given context and propose marketing and operations activities to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities – External assignment
Year 2 Extended Certificate in Applied Business
Unit 4 Managing and leading people
- Learners explore how organisations operate in a changing environment. Themes include leadership, how employees and managers interact in the workplace and the impact of organisational structures on how managers and employees work. External examination
Unit 5 Developing a business proposal
- Learners develop, present and evaluate a business proposal. The business proposal will require human resources beyond those provided by the learner. Learners will develop and present their proposal to funding providers. Internally centre assessed
Finally students opt to choose one unit from the following three:
Unit 6 e-Business implementation
- Learners develop an e-business proposal for a new business start-up. Including how existing small business organisations use e-business to communicate and carry out internal business activities. They use information from the Business proposal to create an e-business strategy capable of supporting the business proposal. Internally centre assessed
Unit 7 Managing an event
- Learners investigate how to plan for, manage and review a one-off event related to the business proposal. Internally centre assessed.
Unit 8 Marketing communications
- Learners investigate the use of marketing communications by small businesses, develop a marketing communications mix for the business proposal and recommend a schedule of marketing communications. Internally centre assessed.
Mr J Bird (Head of Social Sciences)