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blue_worldStudying Business concerns 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 breath taking pace 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 (Edexcel), A Level Business (AQA) and the Level 3 Applied Business qualification (AQA). Details of each course follows.

GCSE Business Studies (Edexcel)

Students will be assessed through two 90 minute written exam papers at the end of the course, which includes a range of calculation, case study and longer written questions.  Each paper carries an equal weighting.

Theme 1: Investigating small business

  • balloon_world Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity
  • Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice
  • Topic 1.4 Making the business effective
  • Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business

Theme 2: Building a business

  • Topic 2.1 Growing the business
  • Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions
  • Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions
  • Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions
  • Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions

For further information visit

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.

Topics studied

  1. What is business?
  2. Managers, leadership and decision making
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance
  7. Analysing the strategic position of a business (A-level only)
  8. Choosing strategic direction (A-level only)
  9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies (A-level only)
  10. Managing strategic change (A-level only)

For further background information, please visit –

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 Alternatively, contact Mr Bird at the school – [email protected]

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)