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Business Studies

Business is the study of setting up and growing a company and managing a workforce within it. The Business department comprises Business Studies which is taught at GCSE and A level and Economics which is taught at A level. The department is based on the top floor of the main block, although many lessons are taught in the sixth form block. 

Key Stage 3

Business Studies is not taught as a separate subject in Years 7 - 8, but students learn some of the basic principals through history, geography, mathematics and PSHE.


The Business Studies department is active in introducing business studies to key stage three students through extra curricular activities including enterprise days for all years and "Smoothie Day" where year 9 students have the opportunity to set up and run a small smoothie business for the day with ingredients donated by Waitrose.


Why study GCSE Business Studies?


The specification is designed to encourage candidates to consider the practical application of business and economic concepts. GCSE Business Studies provides progression for those wishing to continue their studies to GCE Business, GCE Economics, GCE Applied Business, and the Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance.

The course commences in Year 9 and continues to the end of Year 11, Business Studies is allocated five hours over a two week period.


Unit 1 – Setting up a Business

This unit introduces students to issues concerning the setting up and operation of a business. It explores the activities of business and the reasons for success or failure. It encourages candidates to appreciate that businesses must operate within society and that this involves businesses engaging with a wide range of stakeholders who will hold differing perspectives.


1. Starting a Business

2. Marketing

3. Finance

4. People in Businesses

5. Operations Management Assessment

This unit will be assessed by an external written examination.


Unit 2 – Growing as a Business

This unit builds upon the content of Unit 1, allowing candidates to study businesses as they grow and the issues that expansion raises. Students also examine the legal status of businesses and key business functions such as finance and marketing.


1. The Business Organisation

2. Marketing

3. Finance

4. People in Businesses

5. Operations Management Assessment

This unit will be assessed by an external written examination.


Year 11 only 


Unit 3 – Investigating Businesses

This unit is a controlled assessment unit. The work must be each candidate’s own individual response and must be produced under controlled conditions.


  • All controlled assessment tasks will be set by AQA.
  • Tasks will be replaced each year and will only be available for one assessment opportunity.
  • AQA will provide centres with pre-released material which will require students to undertake a business investigation.
  • This unit is worth 40 marks – 25% of the final GCSE grade

Where will Business Studies take me?

This exciting and valuable qualification will help you to understand:

  • How businesses operate
  • What you need to do to become more employable or indeed to set up your own business.

 The course is up-to-date and relevant, reflecting the blend of business knowledge, practical skills, communication and team-working skills needed by anyone who is thinking about a career in any business-related job.

A Level

Why study A Level Business Studies?


If you have a passion for Business and you are interested in the stock exchange or new business ventures this is the course for you. You will gain the skills to analyse real life case studies for companies such as Amazon, Apple, BMW, Tesco's etc. Business studies will also equip you with the skills to analyse key financial data to help business decision making. Overall you will develop essential skills required to run a business such as in Business Management, Accounting and Finance, Marketing and Human Resource Management.


A Level Business Studies considers strategies for larger businesses and how managers might measure the performance of a business. It starts with a comparison of the objectives of the company as a whole and distinguishes them from the objectives of each department. The A-Level specification also equips you with skills to analyse financial information and external influences on a business.


Topic Matter

What is business?

Managers, leadership and decision making

Decision making to improve marketing performance

Decision making to improve operational performance

Decision making to improve financial performance

Decision making to improve human resource performance

Analysing the strategic position of a business

Choosing strategic direction

Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies

10 Managing strategic change


The Business Studies course helps you to develop a number of skills:

  • How to assemble data and assess it
  • How to analyse companies' strategies and tactics
  • Problem solving skills in relation to companies performance and strategy
  • Knowledge of business models and the business environment

What are the challenging aspects of the course?

  • To be familiar with financial ratios and interpret and read income statements and balance sheet
  • Understanding of the differences between functional and departmental objectives.

Structure of the Course

This course will be taught for 4x 1hour lessons per week. Independent study is set each week and deadlines must be adhered to. The course will involve additional reading, so please be prepared for this. 

Extra Curricular

Students are invited to take part in a number of vocational trips to assist their business experience. Recent events include a visit to Alton Towers to learn about their marketing strategy and a local trip to Sywell Aerodrome where the students learnt about setting up a small business from 2Excel before being treated to an aerobatics display.


The faculty also runs regular lunchtime and after school clubs to assist with coursework and exam revision.