Business Studies

Business Studies

Welcome to the Business Studies and Finance Department

Business Studies and Finance is a thriving Department that attempts to balance the twin objectives of introducing pupils to the world of Business, Entrepreneurship and Finance, with the requirements of the exam specifications.
In recent years the Department has been very successful in broadening its curriculum both at GCSE and A level, offering a range of vocational and general subjects. Have a look at our sections for further information.


The aims of the Business Studies Department are to encourage students to develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the study of business and the economy. We are constantly surrounded with stories about the economy, the credit crunch, rogue bankers, the environment and climate, oil prices, the housing market, supermarket dominance, Europe, the impact of new technologies to name but a few. This reminds us how important business is to all of us. Business is one of the more varied and diverse subjects and complements all other subject combinations. A business qualification can open many doors, and even help budding entrepreneurs to find their way!

In the classroom we are taking advantage of the exciting developments in educational technology and e-learning. Students studying GCSE are able to exploit the opportunities that this affords. Students can access materials both in school and at home. The blended approach of face to face teaching and distant learning gives students so much more opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding.

The Department also values our links with industry. Business and Finance is best enjoyed when applied to the real world and we seek to exploit any opportunity to make industrial visits or invite local speakers into the school. We continue to enjoy our strong links with the school’s alumni with many past pupils returning to share their stories about their journey in the world of work.

Extras curricular opportunities are provided through our close affiliation with The Young Enterprise charity. Our year 10 students have the opportunity to join the Quick Start Programme – a great opportunity to set up and own a real company. Entrepreneurial Masterclasses are also offered to new year 11 and year 13 Business Studies students.

 

 

Head Of Department:

Mrs C Gillespie

Course Outline:

This course is very relevant to today’s business world. It helps students understand the changing role of ICT in business activities. It also helps students understand the ways in which market environments are changing because of ICT, for example the rise of e-business. This course helps students develop practical ICT and business skills that are useful in a diverse range of employment roles. It also prepares students for studying business and ICT at a more advanced level.

Our GCSE in Business and Communication Systems is divided into three units, studied over 2 years:
  • Use of ICT;
  • The Business Environment; and
  • E-Commerce.

Assessment:

  • Unit 1: External computer based exam – test ICT skills in a business context - YEAR 12
  • Unit 2: External written exam based on the Business Environment - YEAR 11

Coursework:

Controlled Assessment - Year 12
Students have an overall limit of 30 hours in which to design a website and explain its business rationale through a PowerPoint presentation. This involves the following six tasks:
  • Task 1: Project Planning - (2 hours)
  • Task 2: Research of E-Business and E-Commerce - (4 hours)
  • Task 3: PowerPoint Presentation - (4 hours)
  • Task 4: Evaluation of Existing E-Commerce Sites - (4 hours)
  • Task 5: Development of Website - (8 hours)
  • Task 6: Evaluation - (8 hours)

Study/Homework Requirements:

Homework is set on a regular basis. A minimum 30 minute session 2/3 times per week.

Key Points To Success:

Pupils are expected to show a high level of commitment. Homework and research tasks must be completed on time and to the highest standard. As this course studies the business environment it is important that students keep up-to-date with developments in the business world to enhance their understanding of the subject. We would encourage students to read a quality newspaper and/or watch suitable business type TV programmes.

 

Head Of Department:

Mrs C Gillespie

Course Outline:

In today’s economic climate, Applied Business Studies is an important and worthwhile qualification. No matter what you decide to do when you leave school, the chances are you will be involved in some way in a business.

What Will I Study?

  • How a business starts up and the role of entrepreneurs
  • Production – manufacturing businesses and best production methods
  • Finance – sources of finance, cashflow forecasts, breakeven
  • Marketing – research, marketing mix, international marketing
  • People – recruitment and selection
  • Business growth and business planning.

Assessment:

There is one external examination worth 40% and one controlled assessment with three tasks worth a total of 60%. Exam: 1 hour exam based on the theory learnt over the 2 year period.

Coursework:

Controlled Assessment (60%) - Year 11/12
You have three tasks to complete. Each task is worth 20%.
You will be applying the theory of this course to a ‘real life’ scenario.

Study/Homework Requirements:

Homework is set on a regular basis. A minimum 30 minute session 2/3 times per week.
Students will have access to materials on their Samsung tablet and should fully utilise these.

Key Points To Success:

Pupils are expected to show a high level of commitment. Homework and research tasks must be completed on time and to the highest standard. As this course studies the business environment it is important that students keep up-to-date with developments in the business world to enhance their understanding of the subject. We would encourage students to read a quality newspaper and/or watch suitable business type TV programmes.

 

Aims:

Are you the next Bill Gates or Richard Branson? Have you got an innovative mind that might help you to earn millions? If not, consider this exciting course and learn some new skills, knowledge and attributes that many great entrepreneurs possess! By studying Business Studies you will gain a broader view of the world of business, its functions, behaviour and the problems and issues that face it.

The Course Is Suitable If:

You would like to understand more about how and why businesses operate in the way that they do, then this course will help you achieve this.

What Will I Study?

AS Unit 1
"The Competitive Business"
You will gain an understanding of the central purpose of business activity and the different forms of business organisations. You will also study markets, demand and supply, the role of marketing, quality and productivity.

AS Unit 2
"Managing Business Resources"
You will learn about organisational design, communication, motivation, management and leadership styles, and investing in people. This unit will also cover the role of accounting and financial information and how this aids decision-making and financial control for businesses.

A2 Unit 1
"Making Business Decisions"
This will include looking at business strategy, business plans, why a business may encounter a crisis and the need to develop a contingency plan. Students will further their knowledge and application of accounting and financial information.

A2 Unit 1
"The Changing Business Environment"
You will study the external environment, including how businesses are affected by globalisation. The unit also includes the area of change – its causes and effects, resistance to change and how to manage it effectively.

How Will I Be Assessed?

External

AS Level

  • AS 1: The Competitive Business, 25% of A-Level
  • AS 2: Managing Business Resources, 25% of A-Level

A2 Level

  • A2 1: Making Business Decisions, 25% of A-Level
  • A2 2: The Changing Business Environment, 25% of A-Level
AS1 and AS2 are assessed externally in June of year 1, A21 and A22 are tested June of year 2.

What Skills Will I Gain Studying This Subject?

The course will also help you acquire a range of skills:
  • Decision-making, problem solving, interpreting and managing information;
  • Creating solutions to problems and issues;
  • Good communication, organisational, and negotiating skills;
  • Working under pressure and to deadlines.
These are skills which are highly sought after and can be taken forward to any future employment.

Some Careers Where This Subject Is Useful:

Business Studies can open up a wide range of opportunities for further and higher education and career choices in a wide range of jobs e.g. accountancy, law, banking and finance, insurance, retail, hotel and tourism, marketing, media, setting up your own business, and much more.

Where Can I Find Out More?

 

Aims:

Enhance your financial capability. Learn about the many financial products you will require over a lifetime and help you make the right choices from the wide range available within the financial services marketplace.

The Course Is Suitable If:

You have an interest in understanding financial matters. This qualification is not just for people who want a career in financial services, it is for anyone who wants to make better-informed choices when managing their money.

What Will I Study?

Year 13 - Certificate in Financial Studies leading to Year 14 - Diploma in Financial Studies.
AS Unit 1: Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term:

This unit highlights the importance of financial capability in meeting immediate and short-term financial needs.
  • It introduces students to the financial services industry by focusing on the interaction between money, personal finance and the financial services market place.
  • tudents will gain an understanding of cash flow to meet immediate and short-term financial needs through balancing income against expenditure.
  • Students will gain an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for savings and the key features of interest and charges on borrowing.
  • Students will understand their key responsibilities in terms of earning, income tax, National Insurance and other personal financial considerations depending on the stage of their life cycle.
  • Students will gain an appreciation of why money is important through focusing on what money is, attitudes to it, and how it can affect life choices.

AS Unit 2: Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term:

This unit highlights the importance of planning for medium and long-term financial needs, with particular reference to the importance of the need to budget for future aspirations and life events.
  • It introduces students to the features of risks and reward in managing personal finances.
  • Students will consider the changing priorities attached to needs, wants and aspirations as individuals progress through the personal life cycle and the role of financial services in assisting lifelong financial planning.
  • Students will gain an understanding of the personal approaches that individuals take towards risk and rewards and the impact of foreseen and unforeseen influences on financial budgeting.
  • Students will understand the features of different types of financial services product, how to make informed choices about these financial services products, and when, where and how they can get financial help and advice.
  • Students will gain an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for investment and borrowing, and the charges attached to them.
  • Students will consider the validity of data and information as a means of assisting in the financial decision-making process.

How Will I Be Assessed?

All units will be assessed by a written paper made up of the following components:
  • Multiple-choice questions;
  • pre-release case study requiring essay responses to 5 questions.

Certificate in Financial Services (CeFS) is equivalent to a GCE AS Level qualification.
Diploma in Financial Services (DipFS) is equivalent to a GCE A2 Level qualification.
The qualification carries the same UCAS points.

What Skills Will I Gain Studying This Subject?

The qualification will encourage students to:
  • Analyse financial information, financial services products and services and begin to make judgements about suitability for people in different circumstances;
  • Understand financial concepts and terminology;
  • Analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect;
  • Demonstrate numeracy skills including the ability to manipulate financial and other numerical data;
  • Select appropriate data and information to make arguments;
  • Structure and communicate ideas logically and coherently; and
  • Increase their ability to work and learn independently.

Some Careers Where This Subject Is Useful:

This course provides a route to higher education and to a career in finance.

A number of past pupils have gone on to pursue higher level education in related and unrelated areas.

These have included: Finance, Economics, Financial Services, Business Studies, Hotel and Tourism, Real Estate Management, Accounting, Marketing, Banking, Environmental Studies and Urban Planning.

Specific finance jobs could include: Insurance, Banking, Financial Advisor, Tax Planning, Accountancy, Consultancy, Mortgage Adviser, Asset Management, Sales.

Where Can I Find Out More?

 

Aims:

The Applied Business course aims to provide candidates with a broad introduction to the business sector and to encourage candidates to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in realistic business contexts, such as discovering the problems and opportunities faced by local businesses and organising an enterprise activity.

This Course Is Suitable If:

You like the ‘hands on’ approach. Having a vocational emphasis, the course is based on the belief that a better understanding of business is achieved through active participation in the business environment. For this reason students will have the opportunity to experience the business environment through links with local employers, case studies on, or research into, local businesses. This practical approach will enable pupils to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of the practices and techniques required in realistic business contexts, as well as develop skills as entrepreneurs, managers or employees.

What Will I Study?

AS Unit 1:
The Enterprising Business
Emphasis on investigating actual businesses in NI and the action they should take in response to customer needs and competition.

AS Unit 2:
The Enterprising Manager
Overview of how the manager uses Finance and people effectively. Students will base their work on an enterprising manager from the locality.

AS Unit 3:
External Influences on the Business Enterprise
The emphasis will be on investigating the impact of external conditions on businesses and their responses to changes in economic and market conditions, environmental issues, social and ethical issues and legal and self regulatory constraints.

A2 Unit 1:
Finance
The focus of this unit will be the preparation and interpretation of final accounts, investment appraisal, break even, budgeting and sources of finance.

A2 Unit 2:
Quality Management
The focus of this unit will be on the production of goods and services. Candidates will investigate how a business ensures that its production process deliver quality results. A visit to a firm is included.

A2 Unit 3:
Enterprise in Practice
This practical unit will be delivered through the planning and running of a mini-enterprise.

How Will I Be Assessed?

  • AS 1: Internal (coursework) - 16% - January-May
  • AS 2: Internal (coursework) - 16% - September-December
  • AS 3: External Exam - 16% - 1.5 hrs-Summer (year 1)

  • A2 1: External Exam - 16% - 2hrs-Summer (year 2)
  • A2 2: Internal Coursework - 16% - January-May
  • A2 3: Internal Coursework - 16% - September-December

What Skills Will I Gain Studying This Subject?

  • Practical skills: personal organisation and time management; ICT skills;
  • Presentational skills: producing a business report; making a presentation;
  • Personal skills: initiative; creativity; perseverance; willingness to learn and progress;
  • Interpersonal skills: working in teams; discussing problems or issues; leading a team;
  • Cognitive skills: investigative and research skills; problem solving; decision making;
  • Using theory to analyse a real organisation; planning a project.

Some Careers Where This Subject Is Useful:

This type of Business course will also open up opportunities for further and higher education and career choices in a wide range of jobs. Areas could include marketing, personnel, banking, insurance, quality, accountancy, retail, management and much more.

Where Can I Find Out More?