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Business A level at Esher College

Course description

This course aims to develop a critical understanding of business organisations from the perspective of shareholders, employees and customers. 

Have you ever wondered how Ryanair can sell its plane tickets for a fraction of the price charged by airlines such as BA and still be a highly profitable business? Or why changes in external factors can affect the performance of businesses such as Tesco and John Lewis? And why Tata Group bought Jaguar Land Rover? Or why Primark should behave in a more socially responsible way? Would you like to understand what strategies firms such as Apple and Starbucks employ in order to achieve global success whereas strategies used by Nokia and Sony have been less effective? If you decide to study Business you will be able to answer these questions and a whole lot more.

You will need good written skills for essay writing and a genuine interest in business news.  Strong numerical skills and the desire to learn how to calculate, interpret and use data is essential.  You will develop a range of invaluable skills including case study and data analysis, problem-solving and logical reasoning.  Above all Business encourages you to develop mature and rational decision-making skills.

Course content

Theme 1 Marketing and People and Theme 2 Managing Business Activities.

In the first year you will study theories related to the internal areas of a business, such as finance, human resources, operations management and marketing, and learn how these determine a business's performance and competitiveness. You will examine how external influences, such as the business cycle and economic factors, have an impact on the success of a range of businesses. You will also investigate leadership, entrepreneurs and business start-ups.

Two additional themes – Theme 3 Business Decisions and Strategy and Theme 4 Global Business

In the second year you will take a strategic view of business opportunities and issues. The emphasis is on business strategy and decision-making. You will investigate organisations that trade on a global scale and explore their reasons for doing so. You will develop an understanding of the globally competitive environment in which corporations operate and consider the ethical and moral dimensions of global business activities. The course is designed to equip you with transferable skills such as calculating, interpreting and analysing data, applying knowledge to unfamiliar situations, developing arguments and making judgements and decisions. 

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need a grade 4 in both GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths. If GCSE Business Studies is taken, a grade C is required.


Assessment is by written examination only. There are three exams at the end of the second year. Exams comprise data response questions, extended open-response questions and essays.

Future opportunities

Degrees in business-related courses such as Business Management, Accountancy, International Business and Marketing and related subjects such as Economics. Business prepares you for a variety of careers including marketing, banking, accountancy, finance, law and management consultancy. A business qualification can make you an attractive candidate in many fields.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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