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Prospectus

Business Studies

Business Studies Staff
Mrs G Lawrence (Head of Department) glawrence@conyers.org.uk
Mr L Matterson lmatterson@conyers.org.uk
  • Key Stage 4
  • A Level
  • Year 12 Assessment
  • Year 13 Assessment

GCSE Business

Introduction

GCSE Business Studies provides an in depth and comprehensive coverage of the main aspects of business and business activity.  By the end of the 2 year course, students should have an understanding of the internal workings of a range of business organisations, why businesses exist, how businesses make decisions, the external influences on business decision making, and the components that need to be in place to enable a business to be successful.

Skills

The course involves students using a wide range of written, spoken and numerical skills when looking at the operation of small and large businesses.  GCSE Business Studies should help students gain a real understanding of how businesses make decisions about a whole range of issues.  There are case studies and practical problems to solve, encouraging students to develop sound business judgement that proves invaluable in the working environment.

Course structure

The course consists of 6 main themes of study. Themes Businesses in the real world – how and why businesses exist, what structure to take, how to plan a successful business and how to expand your business. Marketing – Pricing, promotion, advertising, place, distribution, product, product development. Finance – Costs, revenue, profit, break even, balance sheets, cash flow, profit and loss accounts. Production – Quality, stock control, methods of production, impact of new technology. People in Organisations – Recruitment, selection, motivation, employment legislation. Influences on business – The economic climate, ethical issues and how laws affect businesses.

Assessment

Paper 1: Influences of operations and HRM on business activity. 50% Paper 2: Influences of marketing and finance on business activity. 50%

Exam Board: AQA

What is Business Studies?

Business Studies is really what it says on the tin! It is an in depth study of all the different aspects and functions of different types of business and the environment in which they exist. To this end by the end of the course you will be familiar with marketing and examine questions like how businesses make decisions about how to price and promote their products, where to sell their products and really what type of products they should produce and sell in the first place. Human resources involves a study of the best ways to recruit to ensure you get the best people, planning for a contraction or expansion of the workforce, and how you get the best out of your workers and ensure positive industrial relations. Finance involves some basic accounting; balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, cash flow and budgets, using financial data to assess the performance of the business, and where does the money come from to set up and expand. Operations can include anything from customer service to the introduction of technology to decisions about where to locate, at home or abroad. Is everything really made in China? There’s also some basic economics in there. All good business people should understand how interest rates, population changes, inflation, unemployment, government policy, economic growth might affect their business and know how to respond to any changes.

Why study it?

It is simply a very interesting subject to learn. Very few students ever drop the subject and many who originally didn’t intend to take it on to the full A level continue. It helps you make sense of the business world and really why businesses behave the way they do and make the decisions they do. As well as the general interest it is a highly respected subject at A and degree level and probably does enhance your chances of getting a good job. It opens up a whole range of possible jobs in business, banking and the wider world. All of you, at some point, are either going to work within a business organisation and/or start and grow your own businesses. Why not get an early insight into the internal workings of a business and what it might be like to run your own business? Seems a worthwhile thing to do.

The structure of the course

Course & Module Description

The course comprises a number of different modules and topics: What is Business This includes a study of why businesses exist, their objectives, the role of profit and shareholders, and how the economic, social and political environment can affect the demand for and costs of a business. Managers, leadership and decision making This involves a study of the role of managers and leaders, the different types of management and leadership styles, and how they make decisions based sometimes on intuition and sometimes based on scientific reasoning. Decision making to improve marketing performance We’ll look at the ways in which decisions are made about how to price a product, how to promote it, distribute it and the choice of product itself. We’ll also study market research, digital marketing and e-commerce. Decision making to improve operational performance We’ll look at a whole range of issues from quality, efficiency, methods of production, choosing suppliers and matching production to meet demand. Decision making to improve financial performance This is all about the money! So we’ll look at sources of finance, the different types of profits, cash flow, budgets and break even analysis. Decision making to improve human resource performance This involves looking at how firms can motivate their workers, how to recruit the best workers, organisational design and the relations between employers and employees Analysing the strategic position of a business This involves a study the external business environment and assessing how economic, political, legal and social changes can impact on business performance. We’ll also look at ways of assessing the financial performance of a business through ratio analysis, and investment appraisal. Choosing strategic direction This largely involves a study of marketing strategies and how best firms try to compete in different market environments. The importance of the strategic positioning of a business and its products within the overall market is looked at in detail. Strategic methods : how to pursue strategies This involves a detailed study of how and why firms want to grow, the process of innovation and greater use of digital technology, and the opportunities presented by globalisation and internationalisation Managing strategic change We’ll study the pressures to, causes of and value of change within an organisation.. We’ll look at organisational cultures, ways of implementing changes and ultimately why strategies to change succeed or fail Assessed by three 2 hour examinations. There are a range of questions from multiple choice to long answer data response questions to essay style questions based on a case study.

What next?

Studying A Level Business Studies can be extremely valuable if you wish to pursue a career in the following:

  • Banking
  • Finance
  • Accountancy
  • Retail/Business
  • Corporate
  • Consultancy

If you have any further questions regarding Business, please feel free to contact us on the details as shown below.

A Level Business Studies AQA (7132) Specification – https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/specifications/AQA-7131-7132-SP-2015.PDF

Half Term Assessment Purpose and Focus Key concepts/skills/terms Preparation/key areas to revise
1 3.1 initial assessment Testing written and skills of application to assess current performance Legal structures available to business Privatisation
2 3.1 and 3.2 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 quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues. 3.1.1 Understanding the nature and purpose of business 3.1.2 Understanding different business forms 3.1.3 Understanding that businesses operate within an external environment 3.2.1 Understanding management, leadership and decision making 3.2.2 Understanding management decision making 3.2.3 Understanding the role and importance of stakeholders NB pages 11-13 of the specification provide more information
3.5 Decision making to improve financial performance Use your notes to revise: 3.5.1 Setting financial objectives 3.5.2 Analysing financial performance 3.5.3 Making financial decisions: sources of finance 3.5.4 Making financial decisions: improving cash flow and profits NB pages 20-22 of the specification provide more information
3 3.3 Decision making to improve marketing performance Use your notes to revise: 3.3.1 Setting marketing objectives 3.3.2 Understanding markets and customers 3.3.3 Making marketing decisions: segmentation, targeting, positioning 3.3.4 Making marketing decisions: using the marketing mix NB pages 14-17 of the specification provide more information
4 3.4 Decision making to improve operational performance Use your notes to revise: 3.4.1 Setting operational objectives 3.4.2 Analysing operational performance 3.4.3 Making operational decisions to improve performance: increasing efficiency and productivity 3.4.4 Making operational decisions to improve performance: improving quality 3.4.5 Making operational decisions to improve performance: managing inventory and supply chains NB pages 17-20 of the specification provide more information
5 3.6 Decision making to improve human resource performance Use your notes to revise: 3.6.1 Setting human resource objectives 3.6.2 Analysing human resource performance 3.6.3 Making human resource decisions: improving organisational design and managing the human resource flow 3.6.4 Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement 3.6.5 Making human resource decisions: improving employer-employee relations NB pages 22-25 of the specification provide more information
6 Mock exam Use your notes to revise all the subject areas covered 3.1- 3.6

A Level Business Studies AQA (7132) Specification – https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/specifications/AQA-7131-7132-SP-2015.PDF

Half Term Assessment Purpose and Focus Key concepts/skills/terms Preparation/key areas to revise
1 3.8 Choosing strategic direction 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 quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues. Use your notes to revise: 3.8.1 Strategic direction: choosing which markets to compete in and what products to offer 3.8.2 Strategic positioning: choosing how to compete NB pages 29 of the specification provide more detail
2 3.7 Analysing the strategic position of a business Use your notes to revise: 3.7.1 Mission, corporate objectives and strategy 3.7.2 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: financial ratio analysis 3.7.3 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: overall performance 3.7.4 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: political and legal change 3.7.5 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: economic change 3.7.6 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: social and technological 3.7.7 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: the competitive environment NB pages 25-28 of the specification provide more detail
3 Mock exam Revise all topics covered so far 3.1 – 3.7
4 3.9 Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies Use your notes to revise: 3.9.1 Assessing a change in scale 3.9.2 Assessing innovation 3.9.3 Assessing internationalisation 3.9.4 Assessing greater use of digital technology NB pages 30-31 of the specification provide more detail
5 3.10 Managing strategic change Use your notes to revise: 3.10.1 Managing change 3.10.2 Managing organisational culture 3.10.3 Managing strategic implementation 3.10.4 Problems with strategy and why strategies fail NB pages 32-33 of the specification provide more detail