A Level Business Studies

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: Mr C Upton BA (Hons) (Durham), PGCE (Sunderland)
Email: cupton@stedmundscollege.org

EXAMINATION BOARD:  Edexcel

This information can be also found in the download at the bottom of this page.

Course Summary

Students at St Edmund’s will follow the Edexcel A Level Business Studies course (9BS0). This is divided into four themes. There is a natural progression from Themes 1 & 2 which are studied in Year 1 and Themes 3 & 4 which are studied in the final year of the course.  Further information can be provided in Edexcel’s course specification.

Theme 1 – Marketing and people (Year 1)

In this theme, students are introduced to the market, explore the marketing and people functions and investigate entrepreneurs and business start up.

  • meeting customer needs
  • the market
  • marketing mix and strategy
  • managing people
  • entrepreneurs and leaders

Theme 2 – Managing business activity (Year 1)

In this theme, students explore the finance and operations functions, and investigate external influences on business.

  • raising finance
  • financial planning
  • managing finance
  • resource management
  • external influences

Theme 3 – Business decisions and strategy (Year 2)

In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 2 and explore influences on business strategy and decision-making.

  • business objectives and strategy
  • business growth
  • decision-making techniques
  • influences on business decisions
  • assessing competitiveness & managing change

Theme 4 – Global business (Year 2)

In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 1 and explore business activity in a global context.

  • globalisation
  • global markets and business expansion
  • global marketing
  • global industries and companies (multinational corporations)

Choosing A Level Business Studies

The A Level Business Studies course is open to all students. Business Studies GCSE provides an excellent platform but it is not essential. However, given the quantitative and qualitative requirements we would strongly recommend  students have a minimum of a 5 in both Maths and English at GCSE and a 6 in Business Studies GCSE, if studied.

A Level Business: Tips For Success:

  • Organisation skills: Use your folder effectively and keep it neat. Ensure that all of your work, handouts and resources are organised by topic and chronologically. You will thank yourself for doing this come revision time.
  • Awareness of business news: Read or listen to the business news if not daily at least once a week. Throughout the course we will use current business stories as case studies. Being aware of what is going on not only means you are one step ahead but will help you apply what you learn in the classroom to real business decisions which is a critical skill when it come to assessment.
  • Think critically and consider different perspectives: In business there are few right and wrong answers, often it will depend on your point of view. Recognising other view points is a another key skill to develop.
  • Ask for help: The Business Department are highly supportive and are always around to provide additional assistance whenever possible.

Course Assessment

Students are assessed at the end of the first year on Themes 1 & 2 in internal examinations which provide the department with a strong indication of progress when making grade predictions for UCAS applications. The final A Level examinations which are externally assessed, take place at the end of the second year. There is no course work element to the course. Within the A Level course there is a focus on extended writing and students must be able to analyse case study material and respond to both short answer questions and questions that require longer analytical responses.

Year 1 Assessment

  • Paper 1: Marketing and people

Questions focus mostly on Theme 1 however students are required to make connections to content studied in Theme 2 in the final section of the paper. Questions are from local, national and global contexts.

  • Paper 2: Managing business activity

Questions focus mostly on Theme 2 however students are required to make connections to content studied in Theme 1 in the final section of the paper. Questions are from local, national and global contexts.

A Level Assessment

  • Paper 1 – Marketing, people and global business

Questions are drawn from Themes 1 and 4, and from local, national and global contexts. The examination is 2 hours long and represents 35% of the total qualification.

  • Paper 2 – Business activities, decisions and strategy

Questions are drawn from Themes 2 and 3, and from local, national and global contexts. The examination is 2 hours long and represents 35% of the total qualification.

  • Paper 3 – Investigating business in a competitive environment

Questions are drawn from all four Themes and are based on a pre-released context issued in advance of the examination The examination is 2 hours long and represents 30% of the total qualification.

Across each of these components, students will be assessed on the following objectives:

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues.
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues.
  • AO3: Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences.
  • AO4: Evaluate qualitative and quantitative evidence to make informed judgments and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues.

Developing Skills & Understanding

The Business & Economics Department places a strong focus on students applying their knowledge to the real world and developing skills that they are likely to use in their future careers both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities.

Within the classroom:

Within the classroom students will for instance participate in role playing exercises developing both leadership and team skills, give presentations using different media developing their public speaking and communication skills and carry out independent and group research.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

In addition to timetabled lessons, students have the opportunity to further enhance their learning through extra-curricular activities run by the department and the students themselves. The Business Hub meets twice weekly providing students with the opportunity to set up and run their own business projects, learn about investing on the stock market and review and discuss topical business news stories in detail. The student-led Economics Society meets weekly to discuss and debate some of the key economic challenges we face.

Competitions:

Inter-school competitions provide an opportunity for students to pit themselves against peers from other schools. Our students have an excellent track record twice reaching the finals of the Coca-Cola Challenge. This year student teams will be participating in the Student Investor challenge and Young Enterprise competitions.

Guest speakers, Field Trips & Conferences:

Whilst students will interact with businesses every day it is often at a superficial level. Opportunities to listen and question those working in industry at first hand and to visit businesses are therefore invaluable for helping students relate their studies to the real world. We actively seek to provide opportunities for both and in recent years we have run field trips to businesses both locally and internationally, including most recently New York.

Higher education and career prospects

Entries for Business Studies at university are growing extremely rapidly. This reflects its relevance to almost any career and its value to those progressing to higher education. Business Studies will be an asset to those interested in starting their own business and to students pursuing degrees in Business Studies, Accountancy, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Commerce, Personnel Management, Banking, Actuarial work, Business Management, Human Resource Management, Business Development, Business Strategy and Business with ICT and Economics.

 

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