Study option                                   Exam board                         Specification code

A Level two-year course              Edexcel                                                9BS0

Why choose business?

Are you fascinated by ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’? Have you seen how firms like Blockbuster Video, Comet and HMV were unable to adapt to the changing global business world, while LoveFilm, Apple and Aldi have flourished?  Business is front page news and is a dynamic subject that will engage you with the world of work and the world around you. You will learn to critically appreciate business behaviour and understand how a business operates and what can influence its success. This subject combines well with all other subjects due to its relevance to so many careers and everyday life.

Where can it lead?

As many higher education courses relate to the business world, it is no surprise that many A Level business pupils continue to take business-related courses at university.  If you wish to pursue a specialist career in any aspect of business – finance, marketing, customer relations or business strategies, for example – you will find this course provides a valuable foundation.  Equally, if you have an interest in how businesses actually work or want to go on to study business, management, finance, accounting, marketing or economics individually or in combination at degree level, this is an ideal subject to choose for A Level.

Many pupils use A Level business as a stepping stone into another field, perhaps a totally unrelated course like physical education or the arts. These students have chosen A Level business studies because it provides an interesting and alternative subject to contrast with science and creative-based choices.

What and how will I study?

You will build knowledge of core business concepts and applications and be encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, through the study of a range of themes, outlined on the next page. You will also be expected to read extensively around the subject using a variety of sources such as textbooks, newspapers, industry journal articles and case studies as well as following relevant posts on professional social media.

Theme 1: Marketing and people

Develop your understanding of meeting customer needs, the market, marketing mix and strategy, managing people, entrepreneurs and leaders.

Theme 2: Managing business activities

Learn about raising finance, financial planning and managing finance and resources and the external influenced affecting business finance.

Theme 3: Business decisions and strategies

Gain deeper knowledge of business objectives and strategy, business growth, decision-making, influences on business decisions and assessing competitiveness.

Theme 4: Global business

Develop an understanding of globalisation, global markets and business, expansion and multinational businesses.

How will I be assessed?

You will have three exams of two hours each. Paper 1 will assess marketing, people and global businesses. Questions will be drawn from themes 1 and 4. Paper 2 will assess business finance and operations, business decisions and strategy. Questions will be drawn from themes 2 and 3.  Paper 3 will be pre-released research context and will assess content across all four themes.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

You do not need to have taken business GCSE to study this A Level; however, it is recommended that you have at least a Grade C in English and in mathematics.