Business Studies covers how businesses work, from their money management to their production lines. The subject has topics that will be relevant to jobs in all areas of the workplace, whether it is in the public or private sectors. Managers in the National Health Service use many of the techniques we study, just as do managers in profit-making businesses.
Discussions range from how News Corporation International is affected by the current phone hacking scandals to what a small local retailer can do to boost sales in a time of recession. A recent Year 12 trip visited a major transport and logistics operator. Students find they gain more from this A Level if they are prepared to read newspapers and watch business-related documentaries; this enables them to relate their studies to current events and provide topical examples when writing about key theories.
The course teaches students how businesses operate, from very small start-up businesses to major public companies. This course takes an academic approach to the theory of business life while applying this to a number of real situations. Students enjoy the subject’s relationship to current events that they see in the daily news.
In Year 12, the basics of setting up a business and the challenges of expanding to a larger business are studied. Financial, Human Resource Management, Marketing and Operational issues are all considered and students start learning about external issues that affect businesses, such as exchange rates and inflation.
In Year 13, the first half of the year is spent looking at similar topics to those of AS but applied to the more complex world of large public limited companies and international business operations. Students learn to understand the basics of a business’s published financial accounts and the implications of industrial action and conciliation to the success of businesses.
The second part of the year is spent considering the impact on business of major topical issues and the strategies available to survive successfully in the commercial world.