Key Stage 4

GCSE Business Studies

Examination Board – AQA

Course description

This is an exciting course which aims to open students’ eyes to the world of business. The units provide students with the opportunity to explore the theories and concepts in the context of events in the business world. The course provides progression for those wishing to continue their studies to A’ Level Business, A’ Level Economics, BTEC level 3 Business.

The course is suitable for students who have good skills of written communication, can apply their knowledge in a variety of contexts, can analyse and evaluate evidence and make reasoned judgements. An interest in the world of business would also be an advantage.

Teaching and learning styles

The course is divided into three units:

Unit 1 – Setting up a Business

This unit introduces candidates to issues concerning the setting up and operation of a business and covers topics such as Marketing, Finance, People in Business and Operations Management. It explores the activities of business and the reasons for success or failure. It encourages candidates to appreciate that businesses must operate within society and that this involves businesses engaging with a wide range of stakeholders who will hold differing perspectives.

Unit 2 – Growing as a Business

This unit builds upon the content of Unit 1, allowing candidates to study businesses as they grow and the issues that expansion raises. Students consider how the methods of expansion and objectives of larger businesses might differ from smaller businesses.

Unit 3 – Investigating Business

This unit will be produced under controlled conditions. The Examining Body will set the context for candidates to carry out an investigation into a local business with a focus on how their performance can be improved. The task will involve some preparation, research and planning and the completion of a final report outlining their business proposal.



Setting up a Business      Written paper – 1 hour         40%

Growing as a Business    Written paper – 1 hour        35%

Controlled Assessment:

Investigating Business     Research and Planning – 8 hours,  Final report – 3 hours          25%


Business Studies is taught in mixed ability groups.

Further information on GCSE Business Studies can be obtained from Mrs D Seward, Head of Department Business and Economics.


BTEC Business 

Examination Board: Edexcel

Course Description

The Edexcel BTEC First Award in Business is a level 2 qualification designed to provide work-related qualifications and experience in a specialist area.  The First Award is equivalent to one GCSE, leading to grades of  A* – C grades, noted as Distinction*, Distinction, Merit, Pass.  Any students who fall below the pass grade will achieve a level 1 qualification (GCSE equivalent grades D-G) which can provide a solid foundation for future learning in this subject.

Teaching and Learning Styles:

The principle aim of this course is that candidates will best understand the complex nature of modern business organisations in a practical setting.  Candidates will not merely learn about business but will develop their understanding by directly engaging with practical business activities.  This can be achieved through a variety of approaches including work experience, links with local employers, case studies, research, assignments and project work.

Course Structure

The Edexcel BTEC First Award in Business is taught over 120 guided learning hours (GLH). It has core and optional units.

Learners must complete both core units, plus further units for a total of 120 GLH. All units are equally weighted.

One unit of this course will be set and marked by Edexcel, all others will be set and assessed by the school.

The mandatory units are of equal weight, and account for 30 GLH each. They are outlined below.

Unit 1: Enterprise in the Business World: This unit introduces candidates to the language and terminology used in business.  It explores what businesses do, trends that affect them, how they operate and the factors that influence their success.  Candidates will plan an idea for a realistic business start-up in the local area, based on their research, select a format and then present the business model and plan..

Unit 2: Finance for Business:  In this unit candidates will explore the types of costs that businesses incur, from the initial start-up costs to the ongoing daily costs of running the business.  They will then explore the ways in which the sale of products and services generates revenue, so that they can develop their understanding of profit.  Candidates will then examine how businesses plan for success and learn about the techniques used to assist the planning process.  This will include break even analysis; budgets and cash flow forecasts.  Finally, part of the unit explores the ways in which businesses measure success and identify areas for improvement, including analysing key financial statements such as profit and loss accounts and balance sheets.

A further two optional units will be selected from a list of six possible areas of study.


Three of the four units are assessed on evidence produced by each candidate that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the subject content.  This will be in a variety of forms depending on the topic, for example a presentation, report, log/diary, explanations or project.

Unit 2 – Finance for Business – is externally assessed using an onscreen test.  The Examination Board – Edexcel – sets and marks the test.  The test has to be completed within one hour.

Further information on the BTEC First Award / Certificate in Business can be obtained from Mrs D Seward, Head of Department Business and Economics or Mrs M A Grant.