Business Studies

Why study A level Business?

This course takes a holistic approach to the subject of business. It demonstrates the interrelated nature of business using business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary business issues and situations. This study will allow you to live, work or undertake further study with a better understanding of today’s fast moving competitive world.  You will be engaged through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society – you will study key contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

This A Level will get you started in business… and give you the skills and knowledge to progress to higher education. You could work for a corporation, (we are proud of our business alumni now in graduate roles with companies such as Fijitsu, Morgan Stanley, GlaxoSmith Kline and Bentley, or maybe a management consultancy such as Ernst and Young. All businesses (and other organisations like charities and hospitals) need sound business skills behind them. Students who take Business Studies often also study Computing, Economics, Modern Languages, or Maths. But students committed to the arts or sciences should also consider business studies in this cost-centred world.

Key Information Summary:

Course Title Business
Examination Board AQA
Linear Qualification? Yes
Course Webpage http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/business-subjects/as-and-a-level/business-7131-7132
Entry Requirements Business is assessed through a mix of multiple choice, short answer questions, data response and essay writing which require strong numeracy and literacy skills. It is not necessary to have studied Business Studies at GCSE level.  However, if it was studied at KS4, a C is required to further it to A level.  Due to the extended essays and financial analysis required at examination Grade 5 in both English and mathematics at GCSE are required, whilst Grade 6 in these subjects is strongly recommended.
Contact Teachers Mrs J McHarg   jmcharg@wilmslowhigh.cheshire.sch.uk

Course Details:

AQA business is a linear course with terminal examinations at the end of the two year A-level course.

Students will receive an introduction to business including aims and legal structure then progress on to learning how decisions are made in business in the various functions – marketing, operations, human resources and finance. Year 12 focuses on small to medium-sized businesses operating within national, as opposed to international, markets.

Year 13 looks at business from a strategic point of view with students using some of the key models used by large, often international businesses to help them in their decision-making.
Subject Content:

Year 12 Subject content

Students will study business in a variety of contexts (eg large/small, UK focused/global, service/manufacturing) and consider:

  • the importance of the context of business in relation to decision making
  • the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect competitiveness
  • the competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate
  • the influences on functional decisions and plans including ethical and environmental issues
  • the factors that might determine whether a decision is successful e.g. the quality of data and the degree of uncertainty
  • how technology is changing the way decisions are made and how businesses operate and compete
  • the impact on stakeholders of functional decisions and their response to such decisions
  • use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making (including the interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages)

Year 13 Subject Content

Strategic decision making

The study of strategic decision making will build on the year 12 study of decision making in the functional areas.

Students will consider:

  • the impact of technology on strategic decision making
  • the influences of Corporate Social Responsibility, ethical and environmental issues on strategic decisions
  • the difficulties in forecasting future trends
  • the importance of assessing feasibility  and risk when making strategic decisions
  • the impact on stakeholders of strategic decisions and their response to such decisions.

The topics lend themselves to studying and engaging with the business world. The specification and methods of assessment have been chosen to encourage students to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues. Most of the assessment material is based on real business situations. By examining and thinking critically about real business situations as they study the subject, students will gain an insight into different contexts which will help them to understand the key issues in any situation and compare and contrast this with other situations and apply their understanding.

Assessment details:

A Level – 2 Year Course

Paper 1 (33.3% of A-level) 2 hours

Three compulsory sections:

  • Section A has 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks.
  • Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks.
  • Sections C and D have two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) worth 25 marks each.

Paper 2 (33.3.% of A level) 2 hours

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three or four part questions

Paper 3 (33.3% of A-level) 2 hours

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions