The first opportunity to take a course in Business Studies is in the Sixth Form.
Business Studies provides students with the skills to understand business decision-making and current business issues. Potential students should be aware that this course rewards a wide-ranging, holistic approach. Problem solving skills and an awareness of the world of business are important.
Businesses operate in a dynamic ever-changing environment and it is important that students are able to see this in reality. The department encourage guest speakers from businesses to give talks on a number of topics. The Department also runs a trip to the Jaguar Car Plant in Birmingham to look at the concept of lean production.
We currently follow the Edexcel Specification which includes the following units of work:
Unit 1 Developing New Business Ideas
This unit starts by looking at why people set up in businesses and gives a good insight into famous entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Lord Alan Sugar. Students are encouraged to set up and run their own small enterprise alongside this unit of work, which develops many important skills for life, such as teamworking, meeting deadlines and working under pressure.
Indeed, we have recently had a successful business group who set up a business selling a range of jewellery, making an overall profit of £400. The group decided to give this profit to two charities - The Robbie Anderson Trust Fund and Cancer Research.
This year we have a group of students who are setting up a business producing a range of temping confectionery such as fudge, chocolate truffles, brownies and flapjacks. The group are hoping to make a substantial profit from this to go to our chosen charity Hope for Cancer.
Unit 2 Managing the Business
This unit looks at the internal workings of the business, particularly focusing on operations management and people within the business. Students are given practical work and in the past have enjoyed making pizzas on a production line!!!
Unit 3 International Business
The unit develops students' further understanding of large businesses that operate on a global basis. Students are required to specifically study businesses relating to China and India. Students are all encouraged to keep up with current affairs within the business world by regularly reading business news, a recommended site being BBC News Business.
Unit 4 Making Business Decisions
This unit shows students how businesses make decisions and the certain 'tools' that are used, for example financial ratio analysis, Porter's Five Forces, and market analysis. The exam is based around a pre-release case study, this year being on Toyota.
AS - for the first year of the course students complete Unit 1 and Unit 2. Both units are external assessment, with Unit 1 being examined in January and Unit 2 in June. Both units include a section of multiple choice questions followed by a section of business data and relevant questions.
A2 - this is undertaken in the second year where students complete Unit 3 and Unit 4. Unit 4 includes a pre-release case study that students have access to and the exam requires students to make a business decision based on this. Unit 4 exam is taken in January. Unit 3 exam is taken in June.
For further information, please contact Mrs F Wagstaff, Head of Department