BUSINESS - A Level
EXAM BOARD: AQA
COURSE CODE: 7132
COURSE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Grades 9 - 6 in English and in Mathematics
OVERVIEW OF COURSE CONTENT
This A-level Business qualification introduces students to the dynamic world of business and provides a solid foundation for further academic study, apprenticeships or work. With a focus on developing decision making skills, they will learn essential management skills, alongside techniques to help them become an analytical problem solver. These skills are all highly sought after and valued in a wide range of careers.
The content of this A level demands a high standard of numeracy and literacy in order to successfully tackle quantitative methods and models as well as to develop detailed analysis and evaluation in essays.
Students are required to follow and use current business issues as reported in the news.
In year 12, students cover the key business areas of marketing, operations, finance and human resource management. This involves a focus on decision making as students learn to assess business decisions from different perspectives; such as customers, managers, suppliers and employees. Students will construct and use quantitative data such as breakeven cash flow, decision trees, and capacity utilisation to support business decisions. Students consider the impact of decisions on other business areas and the influence of the external environment on their decisions.
In year 13, students progress to a deeper level of understanding of how businesses assess their current position and how they develop strategies to achieve their objectives. The external environment, including the economy, technology and competition, is explored in greater detail to assess the challenges and opportunities presented and how these may shape the strategy a business adopts and affect the likely success of their strategies. Students will learn how to calculate and use financial ratios and investment appraisal techniques to assess business performance and make justified recommendations.
Key considerations include:
- the importance of the context of business in relation to decision making
- the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect competitiveness
- the competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate
- the influences on functional decisions and plans including ethical and environmental issues
- the factors that might determine whether a decision is successful.
- how technology is changing the way decisions are made and how businesses operate and compete
- the impact on stakeholders of functional decisions and their response to such decisions
- the use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making (including the interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages).
The final assessment consists of three x 2 hour written exams taken at the end of the two year course. Each exam is worth a third of the A-Level. All three papers will draw on material from the whole course. Each exam paper will feature a range of question styles including multiple choice questions, short answer questions, essay questions, data response questions and case studies.
Business has equal status with other A levels as an entrance qualification to higher education and is highly desirable for business/management degree courses. There is an enormous variety of courses with business or management content ranging from French to forestry, manufacturing to marketing and tourism to textile design. It also provides practical skills and knowledge of value to most employment opportunities.
Many university courses give students the opportunity to specialise in one particular area of business studies, such as marketing or marketing and finance. Business studies students have a wide range of career opportunities available to them, from financial management to marketing and commerce and human resources management.
- Practical application of business concepts and understanding of theories and concepts
- Data analysing skills: ability to manipulate data in a variety of forms and to interpret results
- Presenting skills: ability to present arguments, making judgements and justified recommendations
- Problem solving and decision making using appropriate business tools and methods
- Planning work, taking into account the demands of the task and the time available to complete it
- Conducting research into a specific theme in preparation for one or more tasks