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Business Studies at Watford Grammar School for Girls

Course description

Awarding Body: AQA


• To develop a critical understanding of all types of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value.

• To understand the specific issues involved with starting up an enterprise and investigate the techniques employed to improve business efficiency.

• To be aware of the strategies adopted by businesses to achieve success within their environment.

• To understand the changing nature of business and to examine methods used to manage such change effectively.

• To encourage the development of a range of skills, including decision-making, problem solving and information management.

• To bring to students an understanding of the wider world and to introduce them to concepts and issues which may be of interest and value to them in their future lives.

• To give students an understanding of how businesses are coping with the challenges facing them in the global economy.

In addition studying business contributes to the Spiritual, Ethical, Social and Cultural development as well as developing knowledge of the wider world.

The AS level course focuses on the decision making of small businesses while the A2 couse is concerned with larger businesses’ corporate strategy.

Course content

AS Level

Unit 1: Planning & Financing a Business

Starting a Business - the challenges of a new enterprise.

Financial Planning - essential financial concepts needed by businesses including an understanding of costs, revenues, profits, breakeven and cash flow forecasting.

Unit 2: Managing a Business

Finance - preparing budgets, improving cash flow and profits.

People in Business - organisational structures, recruitment, training and motivation.

Operations Management - operational decisions, quality, customer service, suppliers and technology.

Marketing and competition - designing an effective marketing mix, market conditions and competitiveness.

A2 Level

Unit 3: Strategies for Success

Functional Objectives and Strategies.

Financial Strategies and Accounts - investment and financial decisions and measuring performance.

Operations strategies - improving efficiency of operations, location and innovation.

Human resource Strategies - work force planning, adapting organisational structures and employee relations.

Unit 4: The Business Environment and Managing Change

Corporate Aims and Objectives.

Assessing changes in the business environment - effects of change on the economic, political, social, ethical and technological environment.

Managing Change - planning for change, leadership, corporate culture and decision-making.

Key Skills Covered

Communication, Application of Number, Information Communication Technology, Working with Others, Improving one's own learning and performance, Problem Solving, Investigation and Critical Understanding.

Entry requirements

The nature of this subject requires literacy and numeracy to a good standard and, therefore, students must have GCSE Grade B in both Mathematics and English Language. A willingness to read newspapers and an interest in current affairs are essential including television programmes such as "Dragons’ Den".


AS Level

Unit 1: 40% of AS / 20% of A Level Paper 1 hr 15 mins.

Unit 2: 60% of AS / 30% of A Level Paper 1 hr 30 mins.

A Level

Unit 3: 25% of A Level Paper 1 hr 45 mins.

Unit 4: 25% of A Level Paper 1 hr 45 mins.

Future opportunities

The study of business blends well with most sixth form subjects and is useful in all careers. It is particularly suitable for students considering careers in business management, finance, marketing, IT or law. In the future knowledge based economy, many young women may become senior managers within corporations or may be running their own enterprise. The study of business in the Sixth Form will prepare students well for the world of work.

Further information

There may be an opportunity for some girls to take an additional AS level in Accounting in the second year of their A level Business course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Watford Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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