Business Studies is the analysis of decision-making against a background of risk. We look at how business leaders take decisions in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources and production. We investigate the concept of leadership and we consider the factors which lead to business success and those which lead to failure. The subject is certainly a good choice for anyone interested in a business career but other students will also benefit from it. Most, if not all of us, will work in or for organisations and this subject affords students an understanding of how teams and organisations are managed.
The course consists of four themes:
Theme 1: Marketing and People. This is the study of the marketing mix, meeting customer needs, analysing the market, managing people and what makes a good entrepreneur and what makes an effective leader.
Theme 2: Managing Business Activities. Students learn about how finance is raised, financial planning and management, resource management and the external influences on business.
Theme 3: Business Decisions and Strategy. Students learn about the formation of objectives and strategy, the way decisions are taken and the influences on decisions. Also included is the study of the ways businesses grow, ways to assess competitiveness and the ways in which change is managed.
Theme 4: Global Business. This theme explores the impact of globalisation and the ways in which businesses can expand and market themselves overseas. It also covers the study of multinationals.
Paper 1: Marketing, People and Global Businesses. Will be a 2 hour written examination worth 35% of the final grade. It covers Themes 1 and 4. It will include one data response question and one extended open-response essay question.
Paper 2: Business Activities, Decisions and Strategy. Will be a 2-hour written examination worth 35% of the final grade. It will cover Themes 2 and 3. It will include one data response question and one extended open-response essay question.
Paper 3: Investigating Business in a Competitive Environment. Will be a 2-hour written examination worth 30% of the final grade. It will cover material from all four themes and will be based on a pre-released context document from the exam board. It will include one data response question and one extended open-response essay question.
To be accepted onto the course students need at least a Grade 6 at GCSE in Maths and English Language. Students need to be thoughtful and prepared to participate in discussion. An interest in the world of business is essential. Keeping up-to-date with developments in business news is also highly recommended. A clear written style is important and this subject should help students develop skills in data-analysis as well as essay writing.
Examination Board: Edexcel. Course Number: 9BS0