GCSE Business Studies
Course teachers: Mrs A. Kemp Mr A. Cartland Mr M. Adelsberg
The subject looks closely at all aspects of business life. After studying the subject the student will be able to answer questions about; why firms have particular structures; why they make the production, marketing, pricing and distribution decisions that are important for their survival; and suggest reasons for the many other trading decisions that they make. Students will also be introduced to the complicated accounting systems used by firms and they will be able to use published accounts to examine how effectively each firm has succeeded in its profit and other business aims. Industrial relations and problems concerned with employing people to work in business are also examined in detail. The role of the government in exerting an influence over the daily life of business will also be covered.
Assessment is in the form of two external examinations and a piece of internally assessed controlled assessment which is made up of one written assignment. Here, the student will study how local firms cope with some of their major problems.
The controlled assessment involve the choosing of one essay question from five then six hours research time under light supervision followed by three hours of write up time under exam conditions. Time in class will be divided between using textbooks and Case Study material. Information Technology will be widely used for presenting information (Word Processing); to interpret data (Databases and Spreadsheets); and encourage imaginative design techniques (Desk Top Publishing).
The syllabus is designed to fulfill three aims:
- Encourage a practical approach to learning, using the local community as a resource for study.
- Encourage candidates to develop initiative and the skills of problem solving and decision making.
- Provide common curriculum experiences in Business and Information Technology education.
Students will be assessed in three ways:
- A 45 minute multiple choice paper, sat in the summer of Year 11 (40 marks – 25% of total GCSE).
- An internally assessed Controlled Assessment module undertaken in the summer of Year 11 (40 marks – 25% of total GCSE).
- An hour and half exam paper, sat in the summer of Year 11 comprising of a combination of multiple-choice, short and extended answer, data response and scenario-based questions with a total of 90 marks. (50% of total GCSE).
The course will enable the student to combine an exploration of the mysteries of business and finance with the development of practical and essential computing skills.
The student will have a good preparation for the related A level subjects of Economics and Business Studies, but will also have developed a valuable understanding of how the business community works. This will stand him/her in good stead for many different career choices.
Business Studies is a subject that will prove particularly useful in many varied careers. Commerce, banking, insurance, computing, journalism, management and politics are just a few of the many areas that appreciate some form of understanding of the way that the complicated business world functions.
A-Level Business Studies
Course teacher: Mrs A. Kemp
What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?
Students should have GCSE English Language and Mathematics as strong written language skills and ability to deal with accounts and statistics are important parts of the assessment. Students do not need to have studied GCSE Business Studies.
For which kind of student is this course suitable?
The course will appeal to students interested in the world of work, who would like to gain a greater understanding of how a business operates and how business problems occur along with possible solutions to these problems.
Other subjects which might combine well with Business Studies…
Most subjects fit in well with Business Studies. The subjects where there is some curricular overlap with Business Studies include Government & Politics, Sociology, Geography, ICT, Mathematics/Statistics and Psychology.
Course Outline and Scheme of Assessment in Year 12 (AS level)
Topics studied for the AS examination includes in Unit 1: studying entrepreneurial activity and the issues surrounding starting and financial planning for a new business; in Unit 2: how to manage a business, manage staff, operations, finance and marketing activity. The AS course is a foundation course for the A2 course. All units are assessed by two written examination papers.
Course Outline and Scheme of Assessment in Year 13 (A2 level)
In Year 13 the emphasis is on providing greater depth of understanding in each of the topic areas studied at AS level. Unit 1 includes finance, marketing, operational and human resource strategies. Unit 2 includes developing an understanding in three key areas: external influences, leadership issues and managing change. All units are assessed by two written examination papers based on case-studies.
Teaching Methods and Homework commitment
A variety of approaches are used, including note-taking, practise of different types of questions, video, role-play exercises and computer programs. Students are required to work independently, completing assignments, including presentations on current economic events from information from quality newspapers and magazines. Outside speakers are invited into school for question and answer sessions.
What could I go on to do at the end of the course?
Business Studies is a subject that will prove particularly useful in many varied careers. Commerce, law, politics, banking, fashion, retail, insurance, journalism and management are just a few of the many areas that appreciate some form of understanding of the working of the complicated business world. A knowledge and understanding of Business Studies will also help students embarking on degree courses in Economics, Marketing, Accountancy, Geography, Sociology, Law and Politics.
What some of our students have said of the course?
“Business Studies is amazing because it is really interesting and the lessons are kept light-hearted but also very informal and enjoyable” – Year 12 female student
“Very interesting resourceful lessons, being taught to handle money and learning how to manage it” – Year 12 male student
“I think Business Studies will help me later in life as the skills you learn affect everyday life” - Year 12 female student
"I enjoy Business Studies. I feel I learn a lot in a friendly environment. It is an interesting course and worthwhile taking” – Year 12 female student