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Business Level 3 Study Programme at Wiltshire College

Course description

Business and the economy are experiencing rapid changes. The course is for anybody who wants to explore the various aspects of businesses, the economy and finance and who wish to gain an advanced level business qualification.

You will study a variety of different units to help you develop a good understanding of the environment in which businesses operate, how businesses organise themselves and what roles people undertake in businesses. A good level of communication, numerical and IT skills are essential in business and we help you to develop these skills.

The course allows for specialised and in-depth study and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career in the business world or continue to study further in a wide range of areas at university level.

This is a stimulating business course that is designed to help prepare you for the modern business environment.

Course content

The course is made up of 9 units of study which enable you to understand the world of business and the skills needed to play a part in it.

There are 4 mandatory units and 5 optional units. An example of some of the units studied are listed below.

The Business Environment:

The aim of this unit is to give you the fundamental knowledge of a range of business organisations, and the many factors that shape the nature of organisations operating in an increasingly complex business world.

Learners new to the studying of business will already be familiar with organisations through having dealt with them as customers or employees. One of the aims of this unit is to help you to build on these experiences and learn to ‘walk in the shoes’ of owners, stakeholders and managers of organisations.

Business Resources:

At the core of every organisation are the human, physical, technological and financial resources that enable it to function. This unit will give you a broad understanding of the importance organisations place on managing their resources efficiently in order to achieve their objectives. It is important that you are able to relate their understanding of resource management to a real organisation. This will provide an essential link between theory and practice.

Introduction to Marketing:

Marketing is at the heart of every organisation’s activity. Its importance is also growing in the non-commercial, public and voluntary sectors. Also, at the heart of marketing is the customer. This unit will introduce you to some of the tools and techniques all types of organisations use to achieve their objectives.

Business Communication:

A business needs accurate and relevant information from internal and external sources in order to operate profitably. Proper collection of data creates an environment where informed decisions can be taken for the benefit of the business. In order to manage information effectively, there must be good communication systems within the organisation. Staff must possess good verbal and written skills in order to communicate and share information.

Business Accounting:

Understanding how a business operates and what makes it successful, requires knowledge of the accounting process. Accounting involves recording business transactions and, this in turn, leads to the generation of financial information which can be used as the basis of good financial control and planning. Inadequate record keeping and a lack of effective planning ultimately lead to poor financial results. It is vital that owners and managers of businesses recognise the indications of potential difficulties. Remedial action can then be taken.

Management Accounting:

Whether an organisation is successful and long established or a business start-up, one of the most important aspects of its management is effective financial planning and control. This is known as management accounting and it builds on historical accounting information provided by financial accounts. A sound understanding of costs and cost accounting is an essential part of managing finances.

Creative Product Promotion:

The promotional side of marketing is probably the one most people are familiar with. We are exposed to marketing communications many times every day and they have become part of our environment. Within the marketing mix, the promotional aspects are concerned with this communication between the customer and the producer. This unit introduces learners to the basic concepts which are applied in the promotions industry.

Market Research in Business:

The aim of this unit is to develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts that underpin why businesses collect data about their market, how they collect and interpret it and how it can be used to affect marketing decisions. You will have the opportunity to plan and carry out some simple market research activities and to interpret their findings.

Recruitment and Selection:

The aim of this unit is to introduce you to recruitment and the importance of ensuring that the best people are selected to work in organisations. You will study selection and recruitment techniques and will set up and take part in a selection interview.

An Introduction to Employment Law:

The aim of this unit is to introduce you to employment law as it applies to businesses. You will do this through application of the law to employment situations and will consider the meaning and effect of contracts of employment.

Development Planning for a Career in Business:

In this unit you will plan their career in business by exploring career options and building a career plan supported by research, self-assessment and realistic targets.

Developing Teams in Business:

This unit aims to encourage you to understand the importance of effective team working and to develop skills and knowledge for working in team situations as both a leader and a team member.

Aspects of Contract and Business Law:

A business can only make money legitimately by making contracts with other businesses and customers. Businesses want to make the terms of these contracts the most favourable to themselves. All those involved in a contract need to know the exact terms on which it is based so that their rights and obligations are clearly understood and appropriate action can be taken if the contract is not implemented satisfactorily. Many businesses try to minimise their responsibilities under a contract, and the law attempts to balance the customer’s interests and gives consumers, in particular, rights in relation to business sellers and service providers.

Website Design Strategies

Now that almost all organisations have a web presence and the use of online transactions is rapidly growing, people in business need to understand how to contribute effectively to the design and content of websites. This unit aims to equip you with sufficient understanding of the requirements of a business website to enable them to procure a website or work with technical specialists.

Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business is an ambition for many people. The business idea could be almost anything such as a coffee shop, a courier service, a hairdresser, a motor vehicle repair workshop, a DJ service, a painting and decorating business, an equipment hire operation, or an organic smallholding producing fruit and vegetables.

However, starting a small business can be fraught with difficulties and the idea may not always be successfully realised. Those setting out on this venture need to consider the business idea, where funding will come from, the potential market, the competition and a host of other issues that must be addressed if the business start-up is to be successful.

Business and the Economic Environment

Businesses operate in an environment shaped by the government. Government seeks to control the general level of prices (inflation), employment levels, economic growth and the balance of payments. A range of techniques is used to influence these variables but changes made by the government have a direct impact on individual businesses. Raising interest rates may reduce demand as it becomes more expensive for consumers to borrow. This means that businesses will have to reduce output and possibly make staff redundant. The cost of borrowing to pay for new investment goes up so implementing newer technologies might be delayed, reducing an organisation’s competitiveness. Changes in the business environment will impact on individual organisations.

Business Markets and the Economy:

This unit aims to encourage you to consider the structure of the UK economy and to explain how business markets operate and shape the behaviour of business activity. You will look at how potential problems may arise when markets are unregulated and how these are managed.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English and Maths, or equivalent (or Merit or Distinction in a related subject at Level 2)

•A good reference

•A satisfactory interview


You will need to spend time outside formal classes completing assignments and undertaking preparation for classes.

All nine units are assessed by coursework which you will do in a variety of ways including presentations, role plays and time limited exercises.

The final qualification will be a BTEC Level 3 90 Credit/Extended Diploma in Business.

There is usually a full day induction event that a contribution is asked for of around £30.

Future opportunities

Upon successful completion of the Level 3 course, you could progress onto further study at University level in areas such as Marketing, Finance, Business Studies, Human Resources and much more.

You will be ready to start a career in a variety of occupations from marketing, accountancy, sales, customer service and human resources within different organisations. Past students have found work in:

•County or District Councils

•Local and national companies

•Accountancy and personnel firms

•Financial services providers

•Web based businesses

•Marketing firms

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 24 June 2016

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