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Business Studies A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

The course will also help you develop numerical and literacy skills in an applied setting through class work and assessments. Perhaps most importantly the course will require you to reflect upon the commercial world around you and how it impacts your daily life and future.

You will start off by exploring how a variety of different businesses interact with their consumers and competitors and how they make many of their everyday decisions. You will then go on to look at people within the workplace and how a business can get the best out of its employees. Within the second half of your first year you will consider many of the more operational and financial decisions facing businesses. This will help build on your understanding of what it takes to manage a business, the importance of the everyday decisions facing a business and how it is critical to consider a business’ finances.

Within the second year you will begin to adopt a more holistic approach to business decisions and consider all internal elements of the business together and how a business will develop a strategy from these. You will gain a greater appreciation of the choices businesses face every day and how having a future focus is critical. During the final stages of your course you will consider the global environment that businesses now operate within and how a business’ strategy must consider technological, social, environmental and ethical consequences. 

Course content

Year 1 Study

Theme 1 – Marketing and People

In this theme you are introduced to the market, exploring the marketing and people functions and investigating entrepreneurs and business start-ups. You will gain an understanding of how businesses identify opportunities and explore how businesses develop competitive advantages and interact with customers. You will develop an understanding of how businesses need to adapt their marketing to operate in a dynamic business environment. You will also consider people, exploring how businesses recruit, train, organise and motivate employees, as well as the role of enterprising individuals and leaders. Finally you will investigate different types and sizes of organisation in various business sectors and environments, and in local, national and global contexts.

Theme 2 – Managing Business Activities

You will explore the finance and operations functions, and investigate external influences on the business. You will gain an understanding of raising and managing finance, and measuring the performance of a business. The theme outlines the importance of using resources efficiently within a business to ensure that goods or services can be delivered effectively and efficiently, and to a high quality. You will consider the external influences that have an impact on businesses, including economic and legal factors. Once again you will investigate different types and sizes of organisation in various business sectors and environments, and in local, national and global contexts.

Year 2 Study

Theme 3 – Business Decisions and Strategy

You will build on your understanding of many of the concepts introduced within Theme 2 and explore how these influence business strategy and decision making. This theme bridges the gap between the role of functions and the strategy of the business. You will analyse corporate objectives and strategy against financial and non-financial performance measures and how businesses grow, developing an understanding of the impact of external influences. The theme covers the causes and effects of change and how businesses mitigate risk and uncertainty.

Theme 4 – Global Business

You will develop upon your understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 1 and explore business activity in a global context. You will investigate businesses that trade on a global scale and explore their reasons for doing so. You will develop an understanding of the globally competitive environment and consider the ethical and moral dimensions of global business activities. 

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is five GCSEs at grade C. It should be noted that the nature of assessment on the course has an emphasis on essay writing, building arguments and numerical content. 

Specific entry requirements: 

GCSE Mathematics C AND English Language C


AS Qualification: 2 examinations of 1 ½ hours. Each worth 50% of qualification. Paper 1 – Marketing and people, Paper 2 – Managing Business Activities.

A2 Qualification: 3 examinations of 2 hours. Paper 1 - Marketing, people and global business worth 35% of qualification, Paper 2 – Business activities, decisions and strategy worth 35% of qualification, Paper 3 – Investigating businesses in a competitive environment worth 30% of qualification.

NB: Content is covered over AS and A2 years but assessed as a standalone qualification at the end of the first year. Students then progressing on to A2 will be reassessed on content from AS year as part of the bigger qualification.

Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance, punctuality, effort and further research/reflection.

  • You will be assessed regularly on written work conducted in class and as homework. You will be provided with feedback on your understanding, structure and use of key terminology.
  • You will be assessed with regular formal classroom assessments to develop examination technique as well as understanding. These will also include feedback on your understanding, structure and use of key terminology.
  • You will review your own performance in 1:1 sessions with your lecturer.
  • You will undertake formal mock examinations in advance of your final exams.

Future opportunities

A qualification in Business Studies is equally versatile within academic or vocational progression. Many universities highly value the qualification and it works well as a stepping stone to Higher Education courses in related topics such as Business Administration, Economics, Marketing and Accountancy. It is also a very complementary course to study on a combined honours programme with a language or Media for example. The course also provides an initial grounding into many of the initial business concepts which will assist you within the world of industry whether running your own business or as an employee within a larger organisation. 

Further information

You are encouraged to take a wider interest in current affairs and industry and to reflect upon what you hear in the media pertaining to industry and external factors. It is also recommended that you undertake part-time work or work experience as many of the industrial concepts can be understood to a greater extent when experienced first-hand.  There is a wide range of information available to you within core text books and online resources as well as making use of the mass media. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

Key information