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Business Studies AS & A Level at Presdales School

Course description

Business is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students are introduced to business in Themes 1 and 2 through building knowledge of core business concepts and applying them to business contexts to develop a broad understanding of how businesses work. Breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, with applications to a wider range of contexts and more complex business information, are developed in Themes 3 and 4, requiring students to take a more strategic view of business opportunities and issues. Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, to understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and to challenge assumptions.

Entry requirements

Grade B or high C in Maths and a subject that involves extended writing such as History or English and at least five other C grades at GCSE (Average GCSE score of 43). Students do not need to have studied Business at GCSE to be eligible for entry onto this course.


Assessment will take place in May/June of Year 2 and will consist of three papers. 

Paper 1 (2 hours, worth 35%) will assess marketing, people and global business. Questions will be drawn from Themes 1 and 4, and from local, national and global contexts. The paper comprises two sections. Students will be required to answer all questions from both sections. Sections A and B each comprise one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open response question. 

Paper 2 (2 hours, worth 35%) will assess business finance and operations, business decisions and strategy. Questions will be drawn from Themes 2 and 3, and from local, national and global contexts. Students will be required to answer all questions from both sections. Sections A and B each comprise one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including one extended open response question. 

Paper 3 (2 hours, worth 30%) will assess content across all four themes. Questions will be drawn from local, international and global contexts. For Paper 3, there will be a pre-released context document. The context will focus on a broad context, such as an industry or market in which businesses operate. 

At least 10% of the marks on all papers will require students to use mathematical skills.

Future opportunities

This course offers students the chance to develop skills, knowledge and understanding which prepares them for entry to the workplace, perhaps on an apprenticeship in business finance or management or onto a university course. Many students have, in the past, gone into higher education degree courses in business or specific aspects of business. An increasing minority are finding apprenticeships with big accounting firms, manufacturing firms and public sector organisations.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Presdales School directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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Key information


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    • Presdales is a five-form entry all-ability school which became an Academy on 1st April 2012, for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. Boys are welcomed into the Sixth Form. Founded as Ware Grammar School for Girls in 1906 on the Amwell House site, it moved to its present site at Presdales in 1964. Since 1975 – when the school’s intake was enlarged – we have accepted girls from a wide area of Hertfordshire.

      The school was rated ‘outstanding’ at all four inspections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Language College status was granted by the DfES in 1995 and, on the strength of the school’s high performance overall, Music College status with English as an accompanying strand was awarded in 2006, followed by Mathematics & Computing College status with a Gifted & Talented focus in 2008.