Grammar School


Business Studies A Level

Board: AQA

Course Tutors:     Mr M Smith, Mr M  McVeigh,

Mr N McCarley, Mr S Earley

Course Outline: A whole host of careers are possible from A level Business. An increasing number of our students go on to successfully study Business related courses at university eg. management, marketing, international management degrees while others choose something related more to their other A level choices.

Learning styles

Learning includes a number of approaches, including; teacher led discussion and current debates, classroom activities and research tasks involving the school chromebook  bank and VLE.

An interest in business affairs is assumed and students will be encouraged to debate and discuss topical issues.

Homework is set regularly -  2 per week.

It is assumed that students have a basic level of numeracy and that they are literate, although it is worth noting that the Maths content has been amplified for the new specification.

Subject Modules and Exams

Business AQA

We follow the market leading AQA specification. The A level course runs over 2 years while a separate AS qualification can also be gained at the end of the first year.

Year 1

  1. What is Business?

  2. Managers, leadership and decision making

  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance

  4. Decision making to improve operational performance

  5. Decision making to improve financial performance

  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance

As you can see the first year is all about understanding types of businesses and the key functional areas within a business: marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Students will take their AS exam at the end of the year although the grade does not count towards the final A level in year 2.

Year 2

  1. Analysing the strategic position of a business

  2. Choosing strategic direction

  3. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies

  4. Managing strategic change

The second year looks more at overall business strategy eg. should a firm start selling to China? Should a firm take over another? It builds upon the first year knowledge to consider wider business issues like ethics and globalisation. The second year examination tests the full 2 years of study.

AS Level Assessment

Assessment is by two one-and-a-half hour written exams at the end of year one. Each exam counts 50% towards the AS qualification.

Paper 1: Two compulsory sections including multiple choice, short answer questions and data response questions.

Paper 2: One compulsory case study consisting of seven questions.

A-Level Assessment

Assessment if by three two hour written exams at the end of the course. Each exam counts 33.3% towards the A-level grade.

Paper 1: Multiple-choice questions, short answer and two essays.

Business is front page news. The way businesses operate is under greater scrutiny than ever before, while TV programmes like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den have raised the profile of Business to a new generation. The subject allows students to explore business behaviour and understand how a business operates and what can influence its success. It combines well with all other subjects due to its relevance to so many careers and everyday life.

The topical nature of business make it a fascinating addition to any choice of A levels. In recent years our attention has been directed to issues such as fair trade, business ethics, global warming and economic uncertainty. We have seen firms like Starbucks and Google accused of tax avoidance in the UK and Tesco suppliers using horse meat in their supply chain. Firms like Blockbuster Video, Comet and HMV have struggled to adapt to the changing business world while LoveFilm, Apple and Aldi have taken advantage. WHY?

We investigate marketing strategies, finance, operations, human resources and business strategy. It is also important to look at the changing business environment eg. laws, the economy, globalisation and see how firms can adapt.

Paper 2: Three compulsory data response questions.

Paper 3: One compulsory case study consisting of six questions.

Entry requirements

Grade C in GCSE Mathematics is required. A grade B in Mathematics is recommended but not essential. 


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