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Business Studies and Economics

Business at KS4 is a popular option.  Despite not having studied the subject at KS3, students are drawn to the subject for a range of reasons and some of those are as a result of the profile of Business Studies in the school. This profile is maintained in the following ways:

  • Enterprise Events throughout the year
  • Business Summer Fair each year in June
  • GCSE Business residential to Manchester United Football Club and Cadbury World

We currently offer the following courses in the Department

  • GCSE Business Studies
  • A Level Economics (As & A2)
  • A Level business Studies (AS & A2)
  • A Level Applied Business

Traditionally results have been some of the best in the school.  The 2013 A Level Business results had one of the highest contextual value added schools in the sixth form with many students performing above their target grades.  With rising numbers taking Business at KS4 in 2014, the department is also looking to develop Economics at this level.

Key Stage 4

Topics covered in the GCSE Business Studies include:

  • Understanding business activity
  • Marketing  
  • Operations management
  • People in business
  • Financial information and decisions
  • External influences on business activity


There are two externally assessed written exams; each worth 50% of the total marks.

Paper 1 is a 90-minute exam and consists of four questions requiring a mixture of short answers and structured data responses.

Paper 2 is also 90 minutes and consists of four questions based on a case study (provided as an insert with the paper).

Key Stage 5


A-level Economics helps students to develop an interest and enthusiasm for economics and its contribution to the wider political and social environment.  The method of study will enable students to develop an enquiring, critical and thoughtful 'economist's mind' allowing them to acquire the practice skills, qualities and attitudes which will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life. It is not necessary for students to have studied GCSE Economics before starting work on this specification and no prior knowledge of economics is necessary.

Topics covered in the microeconomic section include:

  • The economic problem
  • The allocation of resources in competitive markets
  • Production and efficiency
  • Market failure
  • Government intervention in the market

In the macroeconomic section topics covered include:

The measurement of macroeconomic performance

  • How the macro economy works:
    AD/AS analysis, the circular flow of income, and related concepts
  • Economic performance
  • Macroeconomic policy


There are 2 exams at AS level; each worth 50% of the total grade.

  • Markets and Market Failure
  • The National Economy

There are a further 2 exams at A Level

  • Business Economics and the Distribution of Income
  • The National and International Economy


A-level Business Studies helps students to develop a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. The course is designed to enable students to acquire a range of skills including decision-making and problem-solving.  Although not an entry requirement, this course is particularly suitable for students who have studied GCSE Business Studies as this specification builds on the concepts and skills they have already learned

Students will study topics on

  • Starting a business
  • Financial planning
  • Finance
  • People in business
  • Operations management
  • Marketing and the competitive environment


At AS Level there are 2 externally assessed written papers.

1. Planning and Financing a Business - short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study.

2. Managing a Business - compulsory, multi-part data response questions.

Successful completion of the AS exams provide 100% of the AS marks and 50% of the A Level marks.

At A Level there are 2 externally assessed written papers; each worth 25% of the award

1. Level Strategies for Success

Questions requiring extended answers based on an unseen case study drawing upon knowledge from AS units.

2. The Business Environment and Managing Change

Pre-release research tasks leading to the first section of a two section examination. Second section will consist of choice of essays. All questions will be essay style.

Applied Business

In the first year this specification introduces students to the challenges and issues of the business environment, including people at work, investing in business and marketing.   These key fundamentals in any business provide a sound introduction to all whether business has been studied at KS4 or not.

In the second year, the specification considers a wider range of business concepts.  These build upon those studied in the first year enabling students to gain a firmer grasp of fundamentals of business.  A combination of the units studied and the applied nature of the course ensures students are able to exercise their entrepreneurial skills.


In Year 12, students will be expected to complete 2 coursework assignments which are internally set and assessed and externally moderated.  There is also an externally sat exam.

Year 13, students have a controlled assessment, a 2 coursework assignments . These are all internally set and assessed, externally moderated