No matter what you do in your future, at some point you will need to have knowledge of how a business operates. Whether you become self-employed or work for a large organisation, you will need to understand what is meant by profit, how to communicate with others and how to operate as efficiently as possible. The full A-level is split into 10 subject areas, 6 of which are covered in the first year and would be examined in the AS qualification. All 10 areas are assessed in the full A-level. In the first year you will start by looking at 'What is a Business' and 'Management, Leadership and Decision Making', and then move onto decision-making to improve the different functional areas of the business – finance, marketing, operations (production) and human resources. In Year 2, you will then learn about how to analyse the internal position of the business – for example, the financial strengths and weaknesses, or the opportunities and threats that the business may face from outside. You then go on to look at strategic decisions (e.g. growth, innovation, digital technology or operating in international markets) and how change can be managed and implemented effectively. AS (Year 1) • What is business?: A look at the 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: Involves 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: This is about ensuring that you have more money coming into your business than going out! You will learn where you can get money from to start 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 mission, corporate objectives and strategy 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 do businesses manage change, organisational culture and how to strategically implement change? A consideration of the problems of strategy and why they sometimes fail.
What do I need to join?
5 GCSEs at grade 4–9. Must have a 5 in English Language.
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.
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.Apply for this course
Course information last updated: Tuesday 12th November 2019 @ 10.50am (5 days ago)