Business Studies - A Level
Business Studies is concerned with the exploration and analysis of all aspects of business planning and management, product type and marketing, finances, human resources, decision-making, risk management, business expansion and strategies to maximise success. You will develop a knowledge base and set of skills, rooted in studies of real life businesses, which will equip you with an understanding of how businesses are planned, set into motion, and managed to ensure maximum productivity and profitability. The A Level focuses on contemporary business and industry and addresses topical business concerns.
Business Studies is one of the most popular subjects at Lansdowne. The A Level course is logically and methodically structured, each unit building on previous ones so that you are able to grasp both the detail and how the parts fit together as a whole.
What will I study in Business Studies?
AS Units 1 and 2
Planning and Financing a Business. The course begins with an examination of the nature of enterprise and entrepreneurial activity, the assessment of risk and potential rewards, and basic financial planning and management. For example, you will examine how entrepreneurs spot gaps in the market and develop innovative products. Further material covers the development of rational business planning, market research, raising finance, and legal issues concerned with business structure, copyright and patents, etc.
Managing a Business. Business management necessarily involves a degree of financial awareness. Unit 2 involves, therefore, an understanding of budgeting, cash flow, and the measuring of profit and profitability. As the basis of a businesses success lies in its workforce and customer base, you will also examine issues concerned with recruitment, training and workforce performance, customer service, marketing strategies and competition within the marketplace.
A2 Units 3 and 4
Strategies for Success. Building on knowledge acquired in the AS, you will examine financial strategies in more detail, investment decisions, company accounts, and the formation and fulfilment of long-term business planning concerned with human resources, business location, marketing and finance.
The Business Environment & Change. The final unit draws together material studied so far and examines more advanced business practice. You will study how businesses are affected by wider national and international economic trends, how globalisation has affected British business, how government policy, legislation and intervention influences business practise and success, and how businesses respond and effectively re-organise in response to threats or change.
How will I be assessed?
You will sit 2 exams in the AS year and 2 in the A2 based on short answer questions, data response, essays and analyses of business case studies.
Do I need to have studied Business Studies before?
You do not need to have studied Business Studies at GCSE Level; however, you should be interested in business and enjoy analysing and solving business-related problems.
Who will teach me?
Richard Howarth read Economics at Birmingham University and holds a PGCE. His teaching style puts a heavy emphasis on electronic, interactive learning. As well as teaching Economics, Richard is Head of the Economic Sciences and Mathematics Department.
Stephen Burrows read Economics at Durham University and holds a PGCE. He has taught Business Studies at Lansdowne for more than 12 years and has lectured in Economics at City University.
Ciara McPolin joined Lansdowne in 2011 having worked as a professional accountant for several years before completing her PGCE. She brings industry experience and has a particular interest in UK and European economics.
Which subjects complement Business Studies?
Best-fit subjects for Business Studies include Mathematics, Accounting, Law and ICT. As a popular and highly versatile subject, however, Business Studies is taken by many students whose main focus lies in Science and Humanities subjects.
What careers can Business Studies lead to?
Universities and employers value a good grade in Business Studies at A Level because it requires the student to develop a high level of critical thinking and analytical skills and to demonstrate the ability to present reasoned arguments from limited evidence. Potential careers include business management, banking, finance, accounting and business administration.