A* = 56
Don't forget, if you are looking to study A-Levels please apply for up to three subjects.
Do you want to pursue a career in business? Have you considered starting your own business or want to work in the fields of accounting, marketing, operations and logistics, human resources, or customer service? Have you ever wondered what impacts the economy and how markets work? If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes’, then Business maybe the subject for you!
Business examines how and why businesses are set up and develop. It explores what challenges they face and how internal and external influences affect their decisions. The subject develops the skills needed for business or to enter higher education to study the subject. It is a solid foundation for many different business-related careers, and pathways.
The qualification follows the AQA specification, you will sit AS exams at the end of the first year. At the end of the second year, you will sit three exams each worth a third of the total qualification.
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including Maths.
A grade 5 in English Language.
In the first year you will study six units;
1. ‘What is a business?’: In this unit, you will explore the basics of business. Why do businesses exist? What are their aims and objectives and how do businesses measure profit? You will look at distinct types of business from sole traders to private and public limited companies, private and public sector organisations, and non-profit organisations. What are the roles of shareholders and what influences share prices? You will also look at what factors affect costs and demands such as competition and market conditions.
2. ‘Managers, leadership and decision making’: In this unit you will look at the role of a managers and how management and leadership style are utilised in the workplace. You will also explore what influences management decision and the role of stakeholders in that process.
3. ‘Decision making to improve marketing performance’: In this unit you will explore why businesses set marketing objectives and the influences on these from internal and external factors. You will look at the importance of primary and secondary marketing research and how companies interpret marketing data. You will also look at how marketing decisions are made and how target markets are decided on.
4. ‘Decision making to improve operational performance’: In this unit you will look at how businesses set operational objectives and how they analyse their operational performance and interpret data. You will also look at how businesses try to increase efficiency and productivity amongst their labour force and resources and how they seek to maintain quality, manage inventory, and supply chains.
5. ‘Decision making to improve financial performance’: In this unit you will see how businesses set financial objectives and explore the difference between cashflow and profit. You will examine how businesses forecast cash flow and profitability and see how companies make financial decisions and their rationale for different approaches.
6. ‘Decision making to improve human resource performance’: In the last unit for the first year, you will look at how businesses set targets for individual performance, what the influences are on these objectives and decisions and how businesses analyse their human resources performance. You will also explore the way in which different businesses follow different organisational structures.
In the second year there are four further units taught. These build upon the skills and knowledge learnt in the first year.
7. ‘Analysing the strategic position of a business’: This unit looks at the strategy and tactics businesses use. How they assess their financial position and how balance sheets, income statements and financial rations work. You will practically analyse data from financial statements to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a business and analyse what opportunities and threats are present in the political, economic, and legal environment for businesses. There will be discussion on the impact of demographical changes and the use of technology.
8. ‘Choosing strategic direction’: In this unit you will look at how businesses compete and develop strategies for new products and markets. You will examine the influences on these decisions and the value of different strategic positioning strategies.
9. ‘Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies’: This unit explores why businesses grow or retrench and how they manage this process. You will examine how and why businesses innovate and how international markets operate. Lastly you will analyse how businesses adopt and use digital technologies and evaluate the impact that these have.
10. ‘Managing strategic change’: In this last unit, you will look at the causes and pressures for change within business and how change is managed. You will also explore how, despite best intentions, strategy sometimes fails and evolves throughout the process of change. You will see how businesses strategically plan but also contingency plan to reduce the risks of change.
Many learners go onto to study Business at university after completing an A Level in Business, but a growing number are pursuing degree apprenticeships with leading organisations. For those looking at careers in marketing a suggested combination of subjects is Business and Media Studies or Business and English Language. Business and Economics is also a classic combination for those looking at going into the finance industry. Careers in banking, accountancy, finance, production management or human resources are common destinations for those who choose Business. An alternative to university after studying Business is a business-related apprenticeship which we regularly advertise to our learners.
Learners studying Business are welcome to join our Business Academy. In this academy we put theory into practice by giving you the opportunity to start your own business. You will be given a cash injection to bring a product to market with expert advice from business advisors from the world of business. There are also regular talks organised through our lunchtime talks series. This has included, in the past, talks from business foundations and business owners eager to meet our learners to provide opportunities. There is an apprenticeship team on hand to explore alternatives to university through business apprenticeships who offer opportunities to engage with you, throughout your time at SGS Sixth.