BUSINESS STUDIES AT KEY STAGE 4
This is a useful subject to choose at GCSE as many of the topics covered are of direct relevance to you in later life, such as wages and your rights - both as a consumer and as an employee. Business Studies is a very practical course based on the use of up to date technology, case studies and projects to introduce students to the ways that ICT is used in business. It will provide you with an insight into the business world; you will develop skills such as analysis and problem solving and you will learn to apply your business knowledge to a range of situations. All kinds of techniques are used to highlight the demands of modern Business such as surveys, simulations, data analysis, electronic communication and using ICT to display and interpret business information. All lessons are taught in an ICT room and use of ICT is an integral part of the Business Studies course. Students will be expected to use information technology throughout their coursework and classwork, as and when appropriate.
The course covers five areas:
- Starting a Business & Business Organisation – the issues involves in identifying a business opportunity, starting a business and the methods of expansion.
- Marketing - this is about selling the product, identifying and satisfying customers’ needs in changing and competitive environment, market research price, promotion, advertising, and distribution.
- Finance - for a business to be successful it must keep control of its finances, students will study costs and revenues and find out how to interpret financial accounts
- People in Business - no business can function without people; students will examine how businesses recruit motivate and retain their staff.
- Managing a Business - the way organisations use and manage resources to produce goods and services effectively and how technology can support this.
To achieve success at Business Studies GCSE, it is important that students are able to organise their work and ideas. It is also a good choice if they are interested in following business related courses after Year 11 - such as A level Business Studies or Economics in the Sixth Form.
The final assessment will be two modular external examinations (75%) and a controlled assessment task (25% of the final marks)
GCSE Applied Business
The aim of the in Applied Business (Double Award) specification is to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of business through the investigation of a range of business organisations. Applied Business enables students to acquire the knowledge, understanding and relevant business skills which will equip students with what they need to start in work or go on to further education or training. This course will suit students who have an interest in Business. It is vocationally based which means that students will be investigating real businesses. Established visits include Birmingham International Airport and the Makita factory in Telford.
The qualification is divided into three units:
- Unit 1, Investigating businesses, looks at different types of businesses, how businesses organise themselves, how they compete and use ICT and legal issues;
- Unit 2, People and business, looks at how businesses recruit and train their staff and responsibilities, communications in business and customer services;
- Unit 3, Business finance, is about how businesses deal with costs, income and profits, how they control cash flow, the value of property and borrowing.
Unit 3 is assessed through an external examination. The examination can be taken in January of Year 11 so students can concentrate on other exams in June. Units 1 and 2 are assessed through coursework. Much of the course is delivered using ICT and through student centred activities.
GCSE in Applied Business will provide opportunities to learn about:
- how businesses organise themselves in order to meet their aims and objectives;
- how they are arranged in different departments, their purposes and the activities they undertake;
- issues relating to rights and responsibilities of employers and employees;
- working arrangements such as how they recruit, retain and develop staff;
- customer care policies and how they are put into practice;
- how they keep track of money;
- how information technology is used to manage finances and plan ahead;
- financial documents and how they are used to make financial decisions.
Further information from: Mrs Fee and Mr Morgan