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Business Studies at Gateshead College

Course description

Studying business allows you to develop a broad understanding of business organisations and provides you with subject-specific knowledge in areas such as markets, customers, finance, operations, communications, and business strategy.

You will develop an understanding of organisational behaviour and structure, analytical and critical thinking as well as decision-making techniques. You will also be given the opportunity to develop your own communication style.

What is Business A Level about?

  • Should Marks and Spencer move all of its operations online?
  • Is it better to pay high dividends to shareholders or invest profits?
  • What should Tesco do to reposition itself in the market?
  • How can Crush Candy ensure its long term growth?
  • Should Amazon pay more tax in the UK?
  • Should tobacco companies plan to exit this industry?
  • What’s the best way to design a job that motivates?
  • How can a construction business ensure its cashflow is healthy?

These are the types of issues you might consider when studying Business at A level.

Essentially the course is about debating and decision-making in a business context and as such it develops invaluable skills whatever you want to do next.

You need to learn and understand the theory but then apply it to a context. The “right” answer will depend on the problem in front of you and you need to be able to think issues through logically, put together well reasoned arguments and make recommendations. It involves analysing situations, making  and justifying choices.

Course content

The subject is based around the concept of choice and decision making. Students need to consider factors such as objectives, risk, costs, returns, constraints and ethics to decide what to do in any situation.

Decisions will include:

  • Marketing decisions such as what markets to target, how best to position the business, how to communicate effectively and distribute in a digital world.
  • Financial decisions such as how to raise finance, how to manage cashflow and how to increase profitability.
  • Operations decisions such as how to increase efficiency, how to improve quality and how to improve productivity.
  • Human resource decisions such as how to manage employees, how to motivate and build employee engagement.
  • Strategic decisions such as how to compete abroad, how to compete digitally, whether to act socially responsibly and how to manage growth.

Entry requirements

  • 5 x GCSEs Grade A*- C at B grade average (including English Language and mathematics)

Future opportunities

The A level provides a good ground in many subject areas and provides a breadth which enables students to go on to a range of degree courses including Marketing, Public Relations, Sociology and Law.

Many of our students enjoy the subject so much they want to read it at university. Last year's Business Studies students went on to a variety of Business, advertising and PR courses at the universities of Westminster, Aberystwyth, Northumbria and Edinburgh

Further information

How is Business Studies taught at Gateshead College Sixth Form?

Our lessons are highly interactive because we want to know what you think.

Everyone has a chance to air their views and defend them.

Perhaps most importantly we help you to develop a critical approach to business issues – to think why something happened, to consider what really matters and to look for the best solution in any given situation.

There are lots of opportunities to speak to local business people and go on external trips and visits.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 April 2016

Key information


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    • Gateshead College's Baltic Campus is located on the Gateshead quayside, just minutes from Newcastle City Centre and its attractions.

      The College is situated behind the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.

      The College has its own car park, but at busy times alternative parking is available nearby.

      There is a charge for parking. Students can apply for a permit to allow free parking during study time.