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BUSINESS

LEVEL 3: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA

Have you ever wondered how a particular business brand comes to dominate the market on a global scale? How the growth of digital technology influences how businesses operate? Why is it important that global brands consider the ethical impact of their activities? If you are interested in these questions, then Business would be an excellent choice for you.

You will get an insight into the diverse range of activities local, national and global businesses engage in to grow, increase market share and profitability. You will look at the key aspects of a business including the roles of Marketing, Human Resources, Finance and Operations and how they interact, and investigate the impacts of the external environment on business performance. This course focusses on leadership and decision making and is ideal for those with a general interest in the business world or those who imagine a future in a self-employed or managerial position.

Working with case studies, based on real businesses, you are encouraged to develop an independent and entrepreneurial approach to problem solving, business analysis and evaluation. You will develop a range of transferable skills including; oral and written communication, decision making and numerical & analytical skills. You will be expected to write extended essays and learn a range of theoretical business models and numerical formulas. This course has a balance of numerical and essay-based activities.

There are many competitions, virtual talks, and simulations. Past students have taken part in activities involving pitching new business ideas to industry specialists and attending virtual presentations by business experts to find out more about progression into different industry sectors.

Business may be a suitable option if you are interested in any of the following.

  • You want to learn transferable skills that can be adapted to a range of careers e.g. analytical ability, communication and presentation skills, goal setting, leadership skills, numeracy, problem solving skills, teamwork and time management
  • You aim to combine business knowledge with other careers paths/interests e.g., creative subjects where you may intend to be self-employed, Event Management, Accountancy, Business Law, Languages (International Business) or environmental careers
  • You want to gain an understanding of the business world around you. You interact with the economy on several levels including as a consumer and as part of the workforce. An understanding of the business environment is important as you progress to your chosen career.
  • You want to study a course that balances practice and theory. You will learn about different business theories and models and understand how they apply to the world of work and different industrial sectors.
 

You will study the following topics:

  • Understanding the nature and purpose of 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
  • Managing strategic change

You will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
  • plus three more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

You will have three exams at the end of the course, each two hours in length. 

  • Paper 1 consists of multiple choice, short answer questions/calculations and two extended essay questions (no case study)
  • Paper 2 consists of data response/case study questions made up of short answers and essays
  • Paper 3 consists of six essay questions of varying length based around an extended business case study (includes text, data, and financial information).

Students commonly progress onto a range of degrees including; Business, Economics, Marketing, Finance & Banking, E-Business & Commerce, International Business, Accountancy, Sports Management and Business & Law. Alternatively students go directly onto Apprenticeships or employment. 

Potential future career paths include; Marketing, Finance and Investment, Business Admin/Management, Economics, Retail, Human Resources, Distribution and Logistics, Accountancy, Sales, General or Commercial Management and Event Management.

Is there any enrichment on offer?

You can get involved in the National Student Investor Competition where you work in teams to invest virtual money in the London Stock Exchange and compete against other schools/colleges with the aim of generating the largest return on your investment. This trading activity replicates reality, develops financial capability, and encourages engagement with the finance sector. It will provide you with a positive and practical experience of what it is like to invest in the real life stock market and develops mathematical and teamwork skills.

“Business A level is so much more than the theory of business, we are constantly applying our knowledge to the real world and industries we are personally interested in. You will gain such a holistic view of the subject which makes business so beneficial for whatever your next steps are after college. You will enjoy learning about the different strategies a business can use as it ties together everything you learn over the two years. I highly recommend the course as lessons are very enjoyable and interactive, as well as being very useful”.
Tia

“There are a variety of methods used when learning Business at A Level so if one doesn’t suit you, another might. These include note taking, group discussions, quizzes (online or on a whiteboard), essay questions and group projects. The topics I have found the most interesting are Innovation, Marketing and Strategic Positioning. This is because when you develop your understanding about these topics, it is easy to apply it to businesses you are fond of in the real world and understand what strategy they use and why they have developed this strategy. I would certainly recommend taking A Level Business”.
Molly

“Business is a subject that looks into the basic structure of organisations and the unique strategies they use to attract customers. It covers from how a business works internally to adapt different situations, to why businesses have divergent cultures and viewpoints. After I started learning business, I found myself more observant on how firms around me work and what marketing strategies they used to target me. One of the best parts is when I can apply the knowledge I learnt onto my daily life, such as comparing the food delivery services of different companies, discovering what traits make their services stand out more, leading to their relative performances. Learning Business is also useful, valuable and practical because your understanding can be utilised in any workplace around the world, which makes one more compatible in choosing a wide range of jobs. Therefore I highly recommend Business A level”.
Alicia

“We are given the opportunity to work in groups where we can use our creative skills and apply them to real life business! In particular, I enjoyed studying Marketing as we looked at a variety of businesses in depth. Learning about business culture will help me in the future as it has given me a flavour of what types of people I may find in the workplace. I enjoy studying Business at A Level because I learn so much about real world businesses and the future of work. I am able to use my creativity to problem solve and develop new ideas which are relevant to the modern business. In particular, I enjoy learning about all the different models such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as it’s a great visual tool in understanding what decisions businesses should take in order to grow. I would definitely recommend studying A Level Business as you receive a great balance of learning tricky concepts whilst partaking in group work and researching real life businesses and how they operate”.
Charlotte