Business Studies

  • KS4

    Students will start by learning about business concepts and issues concerning the activities of a business. They explore the purpose and role of a business from spotting an opportunity through to the growth of an established business.

    They will look at the importance of advertising and the ‘marketing mix, which ensures businesses meet the needs of its customers. Students will also investigate the role of human resources from communication to the recruitment process and how businesses spend time selecting the right candidate for a position.

    Later in the course, students take a closer look at the role of operations and finance in business activity. Operations include production processes, quality of goods and services, customer service, and working with suppliers.  The finance section covers the role of the department, sources of finance available to businesses, costs, profit and loss, cash and cash flow.

    They also explore how business responds to external influences, including ethical and environmental considerations, the economic climate and globalisation, and how businesses are not stand alone entities but exist in a state of interdependence with other businesses and stakeholders.

    The subject is not just delivered through desk research.  The dynamics of the business world will be investigated through group work and exploring real business examples.

    Skills Taught:

    Any career in business requires individuals to have good numeracy and literacy skills, and these are developed throughout the course. Confidence is also key, so the ability to present in front of an audience is also developed and encouraged.


    Students will take two externally set examinations, Unit 1, business activity, marketing and people; and Unit 2, operations, finance and influences on business.  Each unit is worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

  • KS4 - Cambridge Nationals Enterprise and Marketing Level 2 Certificate

    There are three mandatory units:

    Unit R064: Enterprise and marketing concepts.  In this unit students explore the techniques businesses use to understand their market and develop products through market research and segmentation.  They will explore what makes a product viable and understand the different methods businesses use to attract and retain customers.

    Unit R065: Design a business proposal.  Students are presented with a business challenge from which they create a researched and costed business proposal. They will carry out market research, present data, use idea generation tools, seek and act on feedback, and cost their proposals. In their work on this unit they will develop their self-assessment, collaborative working, creativity, numeracy, research and evaluative skills. This unit builds on the theory they learn in Unit R064 and is assessed by completing a piece of coursework.

    Unit R066: Market and pitch a business proposal.  Students prepare for and pitch the business proposal that they developed in the previous unit. They develop a brand identity and investigate how best to promote their product and then plan, practise and finally deliver their pitch. Afterwards they review both their performance and their business proposal. This will help develop their analysis and self-evaluative skills as well as those relating to self-presentation. For students concerned about standing up to deliver a presentation to a group, they need not worry as there are different ways the pitch can be delivered.

    Skills Taught:

    Any career in business requires individuals to have good numeracy and literacy skills, and these are developed throughout the course. Confidence is also key, so the ability to present in front of an audience is also developed and encouraged.


    Two coursework assignments and one external exam will constitute the assessment of this course.  Unit R064 and R065 would aim to be delivered in year 10, with R066 and any exam resit being completed in year 11.  Students gain a qualification that is the equivalent of one GCSE at grades A*-C. For students who successfully complete all units, they will be awarded a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* dependent on the outcome of their assessed work and exam.

  • KS5

    A Level Business Studies is an enjoyable and rewarding course. It is suitable for students who have a lively and enquiring mind and a willingness to explore new ideas. The course focuses on the dynamic nature of the contemporary business works, provides the opportunity to research into topical business issues, explore real business situations and the practical application of business concepts and look at the role of entrepreneurs in society. It encourages learners to develop an enthusiasm for studying business; gain an holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts;  develop a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants;  be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations and individuals; and acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills; including decision-making, problem-solving, and the challenging of assumptions and critical analysis.

    Students will study 3 components.
    Component 1: Business opportunities and functions

    Business opportunities focuses on new business start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises. The content in this section is based around the concept of starting a new business and the issues that surround the process of planning a new business.

    Business functions broadens the context for students and includes all types of business organisation, ranging from recently formed small businesses to well established multinational companies. Students need to understand that, in order to succeed in a competitive market, all businesses have to consider the core functions of business.

    Collectively, the two areas covered in this component will give learners an understanding of the important role played by small businesses in the economy and the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of established businesses and not-for-profit organisations in providing goods and services.

    Component 2: Business analysis and strategy

    Component 2 builds on the theory introduced in Component 1. The emphasis is on understanding and using analytical techniques and developing appropriate business strategies. Students will need to understand, construct and analyse a range of decision-making models and investment appraisal methods used by businesses to decide on their strategy. Students will develop analytical skills to investigate business opportunities and problems in a number of different contexts and evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative data to suggest possible strategic responses from businesses.

    Component 3: Business in a Changing

    This component focuses on how businesses adapt to succeed in a dynamic external environment. Students will learn that the business world never stands still and there are continuous opportunities and threats to businesses of all sizes. Students will understand that regardless of size, businesses now operate in a global marketplace and they need to consider a wide range of external factors that affect their day-to-day activities, decision-making and strategy.

    Entry Requirements: 

    A minimum of five GCSE passes graded at A*-C/9-5 are required. We will be especially interested in your grades for English and, where applicable, GCSE Business Studies. You will need to have achieved B/6 grade in Business Studies or English. If you are able to achieve these standards you will be considered for the course.


    In order to prepare appropriately for classroom learning it is expected that all students will familiarise themselves with the business world and read newspapers and business publications and completed the summer homework tasks. Students will need to purchase core texts that will cover the GCE study texts. Moreover, and so as to better consolidate classroom learning independently, students will also be expected carry out prior reading of the topics before the classroom and to add to class notes, building on arguments and developing more in depth knowledge of key theories.

    Extra-Curricular Activities/Independent Learning Opportunities:

    There are lots of opportunities for students to meet with local business people and visit businesses to see them in action. Visits to manufacturing plants such as Jaguar Land Rover may be possible to look at production and manufacturing, Coca Cola to look at their production and Alton Towers to have an insight into their marketing. Previous residential visits have included New York and Rome.

    Career Pathways:

    Studying Business Studies at A level can lead to a career in: Marketing, Management, Finance, HR, Accounting and Law.

    Good combinations of other subject to study with Business Studies are: ICT, Psychology, Sociology  Mathematics and a Language.

    Student Testimonials:

    “I’ve studied Business Studies since GCSE. I have enjoyed learning about the different techniques businesses use in all aspects. I have found that it links very strongly to the outside world of business and has been very useful when getting a job. I have also enjoyed putting what I have learnt into context of different businesses and evaluating different techniques that they could use. I have learnt essay writing skills and developed my analytical writing skills which have also helped me in my other subjects.”

    “I hadn’t previously taken Business studies at GCSE, but following other peoples positive feedback from the subject; I wanted to take it at A level. I was thrilled at the opportunity and have enjoyed studying business. My favourite aspect of it is being able to understand how a real business operates, and presenting it to my class. Business studies have given me many opportunities to educational visits which make Business studies even more enjoyable. I like being able to learn about the marketing mix, which also ties in with my other subjects. This year, Business studies are about applying my knowledge to current affairs in China. This fascinates me as China is one of the dominating countries for business.”

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