Curriculum - Business Studies

A Level Business

A Level Business (Examination Board: AQA) is a dynamic subject that engages students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society. They will study key contemporary developments such as digital technology and business ethics, and globalisation is covered throughout the topics. Students also develop real life skills such as those needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed  decisions – all skills that are needed for further study and employment. With a focus on helping students become good decision makers, they will learn essential managerial skills, alongside techniques to help them become analytical problem  solvers. These skills are all highly sought after and valued in a wide range of careers.

Assessment is wholly by examination, and the question papers use a variety of assessment styles including multiple choice, short answer, data response, essay and case studies so that students feel more confident and engage with the questions. Real life case studies will be used wherever possible to make it easier for students to relate to and apply their knowledge and skills developed throughout the course.

Year 12:

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making

Decision making to improve:

  • Marketing performance
  • Operational performance
  • Financial performance
  • Human resource performance

Year 13:

  • Analysing the strategic position of a business (A Level only)
  • Choosing strategic direction (A Level only)
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies (A Level only)
  • Managing strategic change (A Level only)


Assessments take place at the end of Year 13, and students must undertake all the assessments for the award of the A Level qualification. Assessment is 100% external examination; there is no coursework  element.

For students interested in studying business, finance or management  at University, A Level Business provides an excellent foundation. For example, knowledge of motivational theory will help students to work well with others and help them achieve their potential. Marketing and finance topics will be particularly useful for students interested in starting their own business.


Applied General in Business

This AQA Exam Board course is ideal for learners keen to broaden their knowledge of a particular sector. They are developed with the support of higher education. The one year Level 3 Certificate in Applied Business (equivalent to 50% of an A Level) focuses on 4 themes: people, markets, operational delivery. and finance. The qualification is split into units to address these themes so that content is coherent and joined up. Over two years this can be converted into a Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Business (equivalent to one full A Level). Students gain a broad understanding of business topics and consider how to plan and deliver a product  or a service.


Final assessment involves a mix of external examination, external (AQA set) assignment and centre set assignment to ensure learners’ practical experience is maximised and assessed appropriately.

These courses:

  • Provide a broad understanding of business knowledge and skills to support progress to higher education and can be studied alongside A Levels and/or other Level 3 vocational qualifications
  • Prepare learners to work in business and entrepreneurship after achieving the qualification or via University or College
  • Are strongly entrepreneurial to provide a focus for the structure and content of the qualification
  • Synoptic character ensures applied learning is broad, practical and realistic
  • Are supported by HE business schools and HE business enterprise departments