Business Studies encourages a critical understanding of business organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. Study provides an introduction to small firms, the functional areas of larger businesses and the wider competitive environment. Girls will be required to develop a range of skills including decision-making and problem-solving and use both quantitative and qualitative techniques.
This subject develops candidates’ research, numerical and communications skills and gives a broad commercial awareness to girls studying only the AS level qualification. There are around 5000 degree courses available. It is a vocational course so girls could set up their own business after school!
We liaise with a number of local businesses, including international companies, for combined Business Studies and Economics trips to see business operations first hand. Previous trips have included visits to O2, Coca-Cola, BMW and Nestle. Visiting speakers provide in-depth examples of their business experience related to areas explored in lessons. There are opportunities for the girls to be involved in real and hypothetical business scenarios through activities like Share Club and The Princes Trust Challenge which mimics the setting up and running of a small business.
Module 1: Planning and Financing a Business.
Topics focus on starting a business; market research, legal structure, location, raising finance and essential financial planning for small businesses. The exam paper comprises of short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study.
Module 2: Managing a Business
The core theme here is improving the effectiveness of the business; using measurements of profitability, labour productivity and market share. It includes management of people, ICT, marketing and production to improve a firm’s competitiveness. Exam questions consist of multi-part data response questions.
Module 3: Strategies for Success
Topic areas relate to the core themes of setting objectives, measuring performance, devising strategies, analysing company accounts, selecting marketing strategies and human resource plans. Exam questions require extended essay type answers to an unseen case study.
Module 4: The Business Environment and Managing Change
The synoptic unit draws upon all other units of the specification and considers the relationship between business and external factors. The exam is a written paper in two parts. Pre-release research tasks lead to the first section of the exam. The second section is an essay question. (Each question is worth 40 marks.)