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Business Studies A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

The AS course covers a broad range of topics concerning business planning, business functions and the external environment. Students begin the course by researching and preparing a business plan, and then later the functional areas of production, marketing, human resource management and finance are studied. The A2 course considers objectives and strategies businesses could adopt in the four functional areas, outlined above. External influences are also studied in more depth.

Business Studies combines well with other subjects and is helpful in a wide range of careers such as Accounting, Management, Marketing, Economics and other related fields. Although there are some common elements with Economics, the two subjects are quite different but they complement each other and often both subjects are chosen by students.

Course content

AS Units

Unit 1: Planning and Financing a Business

Starting a Business:

Enterprise, business ideas and business plans, markets and market research, legal structure, sources of finance for new businesses, location and issues about small businesses employing people.

Financial Planning:

Costs, revenues, profits, break-even, cash flow, budgets and objectives.

Unit 2: Managing a Business 

Students gain an appreciation of different aspects of business including: Marketing and the competitive environment, the role finance, issues relating to people within businesses and the principles of operations management. 

A2 Units

Unit 3: Strategies for Success

The following topics are studied in relation to how businesses set objectives, measure performance and devise strategies: Functional objectives and strategies, financial strategies and accounts, marketing strategies, operational strategies and human resource strategies. 

Unit 4: The Business Environment and Managing Change

A synoptic unit drawing on all parts of the specification, considering the relationship between businesses and the external environment: corporate aims and objectives, assessing changes in the business environment and managing change. Students need to carry out research before the examination on an issue set by AQA. 

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.

It is not necessary to have taken Business Studies at GCSE level, but clearly an interest in business issues and organisations is desirable. The skills that are required include literacy and essay writing abilities, analysis and evaluation skills, numeracy and ICT skills.


AS Units

Unit 1:

Examination: 40% of AS, 20% of A Level, 1 hour 15 minutes exam, 60 marks. Short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study. 

Unit 2:

Examination: 60% of AS, 30% of A Level, 1 hour 30 minutes exam, 80 marks. Compulsory, multi-part data response questions. 

A2 Units

Unit 3:

Examination: 25% of A Level, 1 hour 45 minute exam, 80 marks. Extended answers based on an unseen case study.

Unit 4:

Examination: 25% of A Level, 1 hour 45 minute exam, 80 marks. 1st section is questions on a Pre-released research task. 2nd section has a choice of essays.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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