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Business Studies

A level

Business Studies analyses businesses and the markets they serve. This course introduces you to the wide range of activities that go on in a business and how decisions are taken in an ever-changing commercial environment. It will also help you to understand the business world from the perspectives of various stakeholders: customers, managers, owners/shareholders, employees and society in general. You will also understand that businesses cannot operate in isolation, but are affected by economic, environmental, ethical, governmental, legal, social and technological issues.

A range of teaching techniques will be used to allow students to develop independently. Workshops are available for students to be not only supported but also challenged and stretched throughout the course.

It is essential to have good numerical skills for this course.

Photograph: students at an Insight Day at Anglia Ruskin University

Course content

Year 1 course content

You will study a range of introductory business ideas including enterprise, market research and business location. The focus here is on the day-to-day operational issues that businesses face. Finance, Marketing, Human Resources and Operations (Production) will be central to your studies. Data and financial analysis will be included throughout this year. In addition, you will begin to work on developing key examination techniques.

Reference to real-world businesses will be made throughout the year. A key aim here is to nurture an enthusiasm for learning about modern business issues. Generic skills such as decision-making, problem-solving and critical analysis will be acquired.

Year 2 course content

Here you will study a range of more challenging and strategic business issues which a business is likely to face in the ever-changing world we live in. The focus here is on larger-scale business, in which key decisions are likely to affect whether a business will remain successful or not. The effects of the external environment (such as the recent UK recession) upon business performance is analysed. There is also an international aspect. More data and financial analysis is included. Further development of key examination techniques will take place.

All assessment is by examination at the end of Year 2.

Is it for me?

You will enjoy and benefit from Business if you:

  • are interested in the business world;
  • want to know how different employers motivate their workers;
  • watch the news or read newspapers;
  • would like to know why Nintendo are aiming their Wii towards a specific group of customers;
  • want to know why mobile phone companies spend millions of pounds upgrading their services;
  • Like, and are confident working with, numbers: understanding Finance is essential for a business;
  • want to know why Nike continually introduce new styles of trainers like their Harris Tweed design;
  • like expressing and justifying your own views and opinions;
  • can explain your reasons for reaching a certain conclusion;
  • want to understand drinks companies’ reasons for having a range of brands;
  • would like to develop basic skills which may help you start your own business one day;
  • are interested in how interest rates affect individual consumers and businesses.

Special features

There will be opportunities to develop your presentation skills during class and group activities.

Opportunities exist to visit businesses throughout the UK such as Thorpe Park, a Coca Cola factory and Cheslea Football Club. During these trips students will attend business talks related to topics they are studying on the course.

We also promote employability skills and have visits to Anglia Ruskin University for taster days and talks from industry professionals such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Entry requirements

At least 7 GCSEs at Grade 4 in a range of subjects including English. A Grade 4 or equivalent is required in Business Studies if taken at GCSE level. A grade 5 in Maths is required.

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