Business Studies A Level at The Ashcombe School
Why study the subject?
Studying Business will enable you to develop a critical understanding of organisations and business behaviour and, in particular, the process of decision-making. You will develop the ability to organise and present information, ideas and arguments clearly and logically through case studies – all skills that are needed for further study and employment.
Much of the course is based on ‘real’ business situations, and you should have a strong interest in current business developments and want to learn how a business is organised, operates, plans and makes decisions. Wide reading of newspapers and magazines and viewing of current affairs programmes are essential to enable full participation in class discussion. It is important to note that the latest specifications emphasise the importance of numerical skills.
Students who wish to pursue careers in any aspect of business, including management, finance, marketing, customer relations or business strategies will find this course provides a valuable foundation. Students with A-level Business have access to a wide range of possible career and University opportunities. You will learn and use a variety of transferable business skills of decision making and planning. You will have a head start within accountancy, marketing and management. Overall, you will gain a valuable insight into the business world.
The AS introduces students to business in a variety of context (e.g. large/small, UK focused/global, service/manufacturing and considers the importance and nature of decision making in the key functional areas.
What is business?
• Understanding the nature and purpose of business
• Understanding different business forms
• Understanding that businesses operate within an external environment
Managers, leadership and decision making
· Understanding management, leadership and decision making
· Understanding management decision making
· Understanding the role and importance of stakeholders
Decision making to improve marketing performance
• Setting marketing objectives
• Understanding markets and customers
• Making marketing decisions: segmentation, targeting, positioning
• Making marketing decisions: using the marketing mix
Decision making to improve operational performance
• Setting operational objectives
• Analysing operational performance
• Making operational decisions to improve performance: increasing efficiency and productivity
• Making operational decisions to improve performance: improving quality
• Making operational decisions to improve performance: managing inventory and supply chains
Decision making to improve financial performance
• Setting financial objectives
• Analysing financial performance
• Making financial decisions: sources of finance
• Making financial decisions: improving cash flow and profits
Decision making to improve human resource performance
• Setting human resource objectives
• Analysing human resource performance
• Making human resource decisions: improving organisational design and managing the human resource flow
• Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement
• Making human resource decisions: improving employer-employee relations
The second year of A-level builds on the units studied at AS and considers both the influences on and the impact of strategic decisions.
Analysing the strategic position of a business
• Mission, corporate objectives and strategy
• Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses:
o financial ratio analysis
o overall performance
• Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats:
o political and legal change
o economic change
o social and technological
o the competitive environment
• Analysing strategic options: investment appraisal
Choosing strategic direction
• Strategic direction: choosing which markets to compete in and what products to offer
• Strategic positioning: choosing how to compete
Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
• Assessing a change in scale
• Assessing innovation
• Assessing internationalisation
• Assessing greater use of digital technology
Managing strategic change
• Managing change
• Managing organisational culture
• Managing strategic implementation
• Problems with strategy and why strategies fail
Grades A*-C in English and Mathematics are highly recommended.
Unit 1: 1h 30 mins: 80 marks (50%)
Unit 2: 1h 30 mins: 80 marks (50%)
Unit 1: 2 hours: 100 marks (33.3%)
Unit 2: 2 hours: 100 marks (33.3%)
Unit 3: 2 hours: 100 marks (33.3%)
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Ashcombe School directly.