Examination Board : AQA Business
Introduction and Structure : ‘A’ Level Business Studies aims to equip students with a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the strategies they use to compete in the UK and in the global economy. The course involves rigorous analysis of the internal workings and management of businesses, and detailed exploration of business decision making in a dynamic external environment characterised by risk and uncertainty.
What is business? The relationship between mission and objectives; the measurement and importance of profit; revenue and costs; sold traders LTDs and PLCs; limited and unlimited liability; share capital and stock markets; the external environment
Managers, leaders and decision making. Types of and influences on management and leadership style, scientific decision making versus hunch decisions; decision trees; stakeholder mapping and relationship management
Decision making to improve marketing. Market share and size; market mapping; types and limitations of market research; price and income elasticity of demand; segmentation, targeting and positioning; the marketing mix and the 7Ps
Decision making to improve operational performance. Labour productivity and capacity utilization; lean production and efficiency; Total Quality Management, Kaizen and quality assurance; just-in-time and stock control; outsourcing and supplier management
Decision making to improve financial performance. Revenue and capital expenditure; cash flow forecasting; budgeting and break-even analysis; sources of finance
Decision making to improve human resources performance. Training and development; organizational and job design; theories of motivation; employer-employee relations
Analysing the strategic position of a business. SWOT and PESTLE analysis; balance sheets and ratio analysis; impact of political change, Porter’s 5 forces analysis; investment appraisal
Choosing a strategic direction. Ansoff’s Matrix and strategy; organic and external growth; mergers and acquisitions; innovation and IP
Assessing internationalization. Off-shoring versus outsourcing, use of digital technology
Managing strategic change. Causes of and pressures to change; organizational culture; network analysis; strategic drift
You will sit three two hour written examinations – each exam will be worth 1/3 of the full A levels.
Careers: Business Studies helps you to develop a variety of employability skills such as effective communication, teamwork and critical thinking skills. Career opportunities include Accounting, Investment Banking, Retail Management, Human Resources, Marketing, Strategic Buying to name a few.
Entrance Requirements: Standard entry requirement for entry onto A level programmes of study is 6 GCSE’s at grade C or above. We require you to have at least a grade C in English and Maths at GCSE level. It is not essential but useful if you have studied Business Studies before and achieved at least a B grade or equivalent.