Business & Economics
The study of Business and Economics has never been more relevant in our rapidly changing world.
Challenges to the global economy, the Credit Crunch, the rise of China as an economic superpower and the future of the Euro are issues that are rarely out of the news spotlight. Furthermore, our interest in Entrepreneurship has never been higher, with television series such as ‘Dragon’s Den’ and ‘The Apprentice’ encouraging innovation and enterprise.
Business Studies is offered at both GCSE and A-level and both courses offer a gateway to a fantastic career anywhere in the business world. Learning about business startups, company structure and accounts, developing your ideas into a viable product and effective marketing could lead you to become the next Branson. Alternatively, you might want to work in a global corporation where learning about planning, operations management, strategic planning and human resources will give you a head start. A range of practical skills are developed, including teamwork, research, data analysis and effective communication.
Economics is a fascinating subject where we look at some of the fundamental forces which affect our lives, such as employment, prices, international trade and poverty. Economics concerns the allocation of society’s scarce resources and is at the nexus of consumers, industry and government. Economics is a challenging and highly regarded subject that teaches strong analytical skills and enthusiasm for debate. The subject is valued by universities and can lead to sought after careers in industry, financial services and government.
Our teaching staff all have significant industry experience, and strive to make the courses relevant and engaging. We invite guest speakers from industry, government and academia to enrich learning and students have the opportunity to take part in local and national competitions, such as Bank of England’s Target 2.0 and Dragon’s Apprentice.
A-Level Business Studies
In year 12, students focus upon the challenges faced by new businesses via two main learning topics. The first of those is called ‘Planning and Financing a Business’ and includes information on the different types of business structure and an introduction to money matters. The second topic is called ‘Managing a Business’ and gives students more knowledge on increasing profits, recruiting and managing employees, operations management (including customer service and technology), plus marketing. These topics are examined by two papers, counting for 50% of the overall marks and recognised as an AS level.
In year 13, students build on that solid knowledge-base with another two main learning topics. The first is titled ‘Strategies for Success’ and includes financial strategies to improve profits, strategies to take on the competition, operational strategies to improve products and for improving employee relations. These are the four cornerstones of a successful business. The second topic is titled ‘The Business Environment and Managing Change’. This helps students to plan the vision of a business, and how to deal with the impact of economic, cultural, political or technological changes on an organisation. These topics are examined by a further two papers to complete the A-level.
Business studies provides a platform for starting a business, progressing to higher education or working for the many corporations or public sector organisations that need sound business, organisational, presentational and interpersonal skills.
In Year 10, our students are introduced the basic tools of the economist in order to develop their understanding
of their role as a consumer, worker and citizen and their contribution to the local, national and global economy. Their two year study includes looking at personal finance to help them make informed judgements, and encouraging them to explore the moral and ethical dilemmas that arise when making decisions to do with spending, saving or borrowing money. Other key topics include money and the global economy, where students develop their understanding of areas such as imports and exports, exchange rates and globalisation.
In Year 11, students look at a more in-depth study of economics issues, exploring how the government manages the economy through varying policies. This unit will also involve students investigating an economic issue, pre-issued by the examining board. Their understanding of the course will be assessed by two one hour and fifteen minute papers at the end of Year 11.
Economics is a fascinating subject because it includes the study of how people behave and interact with each other and is present in every aspect of our daily lives.
In year 12, students focus on both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Microeconomics addresses issues such as: “Why are house prices so high?”, “Can pollution effectively be controlled?” and “Should governments interfere with markets?”
The macroeconomic issues covered include: “Why does the Government have an inflation rate target and how does it affect us?”, “What happens to the economy if people decide to spend more?” and “How are we affected by the Chinese and Indian economies?”
In year 13, students build on micro and macro knowledge and study another two key topics. Firstly, ‘The Global Context’ includes the impact of globalisation on UK economic performance. Secondly, ‘The European Union Context’ includes the effects of EU membership and economic policies on the UK economy.
There are two exams each year and are a mix of short answer and longer, essay style questions. Each counts for 25% of the total A-level.
Economics is a versatile subject that can lead to a number of careers. Not only could students find themselves working for big corporations, banks or the government but a qualification in economics could also be valuable support in a career like marketing, law, journalism or academic research.
The business department are dedicated to teaching students how businesses work, what business strategy and objectives are and how accounting, management, operations and marketing are used to help make business decisions for the future.
Students are given opportunities to discuss topical business issues, using case studies and interactive materials. They will develop communication, critical thinking, analytical and evaluative skills which will enable them to make judgements based on evidence.
Key Stage 4: EDEXCEL GCSE (1BSO)
Students will study the following topics:
Investigating small business: enterprise and entrepreneurship, business opportunities and ideas and external influences on business. (Paper 1: 50%)
Building a business: making marketing, operational, financial and human resource decisions. (Paper 2: 50%).
Key Stage 5: AQA A Level (7132)
The A Level will be taught as a linear course over two years. Students will study the following topics:
Year 12: Decision making to improve business performance: finance, human resource, marketing, operations.
Year 13: Business strategy: Analysing the strategic position of a business, choosing strategic direction, strategic methods and pursuing strategies, managing strategic change.
There are 3 papers covering all topics.
Key Stage 5: EDEXCEL BTEC Business
Students are offered a 1 or 2 A Level equivalent qualification which bring together knowledge and understanding of business combined with practical and technical skills.
Year 12: Exploring business*, marketing*, event management and international business,
Year 13: Personal and business finance*, principles of management, pitching a business and customer service*
*Topics for the Certificate.