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Hear from Rob Lightfoot

A Level Business Studies appeals to just about anyone with an interest in the Business World and particularly those with a desire to follow a career in either Management or in the City. Nationally it is one of the most popular GCE Advanced subjects. It is also a subject that would be useful if you are thinking about setting up your own business or being self-employed in the future.

Business Studies is a broad subject in the Social Sciences, allowing the in-depth study of a range of specialties such as accountancy, finance, organisation, human resources management and marketing.

The syllabus encourages the pupils to acquire a range of important and transferable skills which are essential for future study and employment. Pupils will be expected to:

  • Manipulate data in a variety of forms and to interpret their results
  • Present arguments and make judgments and justified recommendations on the basis of the available evidence
  • Recognise the nature of problems, solve problems and make decisions using appropriate business tools and methods
  • Plan work, taking into account the demands of the task and the time available to complete it
  • Conduct research into a specific theme in preparation for one or more tasks
  • Challenge their own assumptions using available evidence.

The subject will consider the role of Government, Trade Unions, Investors and the City and the general Political environment that Business has to work in, as well as looking at the basics of Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management and Production. The second year units consider more complex business scenarios and focusing on strategy, as opposed to tactics.  They target larger businesses which may be trading in international markets, and deal with how managers might measure the performance of the business. The A Level concludes by examining the ways in which businesses can manage change successfully when responding to external stimuli.

The Exam Board is AQA and there are three papers each of two hours duration.

Complementary subjects are: Politics, Geography, English and History.

Possible careers include: Management, City, Financial Services, Banking, Accountant, Project Manager, Analyst

Subject enrichment: Boys are issued with a core text but are encouraged to read around the subject and to make use of alternative resources such as The Times 100 Case Studies and biz/ed to augment their studies. There is also a reduced subscription available to the Business Review quarterly periodical which focuses on providing current articles specifically written for A Level Business Studies students. Each year the Business students also get the opportunity to go out on educational trips to major firms such as Jaguar Land Rover, JCB and Triumph. This gives the boys an opportunity to see first-hand the theory they have been taught put into practice.