Examination Board: Edexcel
Business A-level will enable you to understand how businesses make decisions and the challenges they face. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of all areas of business including finance, strategy, marketing, human resources and production, as well as the economic environment in which businesses operate. Business A-level will develop your decision-making and problem-solving skills and enable you to tackle complex business decisions, considering a wide variety of factors, in a structured manner. You will learn about many topical issues affecting a wide range of companies.
To succeed in the Business A-level, you need to be very comfortable with numbers, data and graphs. Students should be at ease with ratios and percentages as these calculations and relationships are at the core of analysing the financial success of companies. This subject suits students who enjoy discussion and have an interest in business and an entrepreneurial spirit.
A-level Business lends itself to many degree courses including Marketing, Management or Business Administration. Alternatively, the course provides a useful bridge for those students thinking of working in their gap year or going straight into the world of work. Business develops students’ analytical and decision-making skills, which are useful in a wide range of practical and academic fields.
At the beginning of the course, you will learn about how businesses start, what is required to get going, some of the legal parameters and some of the decisions new business owners need to make.
As the course progresses, you will study more about how to make a business successful; through managing its employees, work processes and finances successfully; and choosing the right marketing strategy based on all the information you have gathered about the company, its customers and its competitors. You will develop a toolkit of understanding and analytical skills. This will enable you to assess more and more sophisticated scenarios involving businesses; whether very small or very large firms. In the final part of the course, you will examine global businesses, incorporating your understanding of trade, exchange rates, economics, global trends and international relations in your analysis of the business. You will make well-justified recommendations about their overall business strategy, making specific reference to their existing accounts and other detailed information given in the case study. In these extended pieces of writing, top marks go to those who can combine detail taken from the case study with an understanding of the wider business environment, recommending well-considered and well-supported ideas for enhancing businesses in a wide variety of market settings.
Theme 1: Marketing and People
Students will develop an understanding of how firms go about meeting customer needs, their marketing mix and strategy. The management of people includes discussions of how to get the best out of employees and what is meant by an entrepreneur or a leader.
Theme 2: Managing Business Activities
Students will develop an understanding of raising finance to start a business or support its growth, financial planning, managing finance, managing resources and external influences on all these factors.
Theme 3: Business Decisions and Strategy
This develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2, including business objectives and strategies, business growth, decision-making techniques, influences on business decisions, assessing competitiveness and managing change.
Theme 4: Global Business
This develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1, including an understanding of globalisation, global markets and business expansion, global marketing and multinational corporations.
Business is examined through three 2-hour papers.
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