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Business Studies AQA A Level at St Bernard's High School

Course description

This course takes a holistic approach to Business, it demonstrates the interrelated nature of business using models, theories and techniques to support the analysis of contemporary business issues and situations.

Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions – skills that are key whether pursuing further study or employment.

Course content

An introduction to key business areas: marketing, operations, finance and human resource management. This includes a special focus on decision making – particularly how decisions made in one area can affect the rest of the business.

Year 12:

  • Topic 1 – What is business?
  • Topic 2 – Managers, leadership and decision making
  • Topic 3 – Decision making to improve marketing performance
  • Topic 4 – Decision making to improve operational performance
  • Topic 5 – Decision making to improve financial performance
  • Topic 6 – Decision making to improve human resource performance

Year 13:

An investigation of the strategic decisions that all businesses have to make.

  • Topic 7 – Analysing the strategic position of a business
  • Topic 8 – Choosing the strategic direction
  • Topic 9 – Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  • Topic 10 – Managing strategic change

Entry requirements

  • Grade B in GCSE Business Studies or Point 6 in GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics.


  • The assessment consists of three 2 hour written exams taken at the end of the two-year course.
  • Each exam will be worth a third of the A level.
  • All three papers will draw on material from the whole course, and will feature a range of question styles including multiple choice questions, short answer questions, essay questions, data response questions and case studies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Bernard's High School directly.

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

Key information


  • More information
    • In line with current educational thinking, all Key Stage 5 courses have fully integrated the full range of Thinking Skills.  These ensure that our students develop life-long transferable skills, become independent and resilient learners and are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.  These enable all students to be independent enquirers and creative thinkers who can be focused team workers and effective participators because they can be self-managers of their workload and thus reflective learners.

      All courses emphasise opportunities to develop the core skills of communication and ICT, with many also placing emphasis on application of number.  In addition, the process of learning is enhanced through a problem-solving approach to the curriculum which facilitates students in improving their own learning and performance. These skills dovetail with the development of independent learning, so crucial for a successful Sixth Form student. Students will have the opportunity to broaden their skills by participating in either of the following as part of their core curriculum: AS Citizenship, AS Government & Politics or an AS Critical Thinking Programme. These provide students with an additional AS qualification and increased UCAS points for university entry.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to undertake an Extended Project Qualification should they desire.  This is designed as a ‘stretch and challenge’ opportunity and is highly regarded by major universities and potential employers. All Sixth Form students also undertake a general RE course which focuses on transferable skills of research, debate and presentation.

      In order to support a healthy lifestyle, students also have the opportunity to continue with a range of PE and sporting activities.

      A full tutorial programme is offered which focuses on the needs of young adults as they make the transition from the school environment.  In addition, the ‘Gifted, Able and Talented’ Programme will offer the opportunity to attend external conferences, as well as Easter and Summer Schools.

      Work Experience and work shadowing can be arranged and are a valuable preparation for the next stage of a student’s career.