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This is an excellent choice if you have an interest in business or believe that the career you may follow will require some degree of business knowledge. The course examines how businesses are set up, develop and grow. This includes the different types of businesses that exist, the objectives a business is likely to set itself, the meaning of profit and the external factors that influence the business, such as the economy or population trends. The course also covers the various influences on decision-making, such as the role of leaders and others, and develops skills to prepare for employment or higher education. It is a solid foundation forcourses related to finance, accounting, marketing, administration, retail, customer service and human resources.
In this course you will study the following.
AS (Year 1):
- What is business? Looking at business basics, aims and objectives.
- How do businesses make a profit? Looking at different forms of business and the issues they have.
- Managers, leadership and decision-making: Looking at what leadership and management do, the types of management and leadership styles and the influences and effectiveness of management and leadership.
- Marketing: Looking at your customers and finding out what they want, looking at your competitors and what they provide, and deciding upon the best strategy for your business.
- Finance: Ensuring you have more money coming into your business than going out. You will learn where you can get money from to start up your business, how to work out how much to charge for your goods or services, and how you can compare your financial performance with other businesses.
- Human relations: Do you know how to recruit and motivate staff, as well as dismiss them without being taken to an employment tribunal? Do you want to learn how to negotiate with trade unions and how best to communicate with your staff? If so, you will find this part of the course very useful.
- Operations management, efficiency and productivity: How can you ensure you are making the best use of your staff, machinery and premises? You will look at how important quality is in a modern business and how to ensure you can provide customer satisfaction.
- The business environment: No matter how good you are at business, you will be affected by issues outside of the business. How can you predict these influences and what can you do to reduce their impact?
A2 (Year 2):
- Analysing the strategic position of a business: Looking at the missions, corporate objectives and strategies of businesses and how they influence strategic decision-making.
- Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess its strengths and weaknesses, financially and overall.
- Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities.
- Choosing strategic direction: Choosing which markets to compete in, what products to offer and how to compete.
- Strategic methods: How to pursue strategies; assessing a change in scale, innovation and trading abroad.
- Managing strategic change: How businesses manage change, organisational culture and how to strategically implement change. A consideration of the problems of strategy and why it sometimes fails.
How will I know how I am doing?
There are a big range of exam questions; the exam papers include multiple-choice, short answer and calculation questions, extended essays and questions based on a case study or data response information. The overall A-level grade will be determined by three 2-hour papers at the end of the course.
What do I need to join?
Five GCSEs at grade 4–9. Must have a grade 5 in English Language.
You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during term time where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest, with the aim of giving you an insight into full-time working life. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period.
What can I do next?
Business is a popular course at degree level, and can be combined with other aspects such as management, marketing and finance. There are also a wide range of business-related apprenticeships available to students with A-levels. Career options for business graduates include employment in commerce, finance, accountancy, marketing, HR and personnel management. While many of these careers are open to graduates in any subject, some employers will have a preference for graduates with a business background, and for others it may be a definite requirement.
Course information last updated: Friday 30th July 2021 @ 8.30am (2 days ago)