This subject is a single GCSE; assessment is through one piece of controlled assessment undertaken at the end of year 10 worth 25% and the rest is through two examinations in June of year 11.
This popular course is designed to give students an understanding of the dynamic environment in which businesses operate and the factors which impact upon business activity. Everyone works in a business or has contact with a business whether this is privately owned e.g. shops, hairdressers, builders, garages, solicitors; controlled by the government e.g. health, education, defence; or a voluntary organisation e.g. a charity.
During years 9 and 10, two areas of study are covered. Business Organisations (topics include: sole traders, partnerships, limited and public limited companies), and People in Business (recruitment and selection, methods of payment, motivation and employment law). After Easter in year 10 you will study marketing (market research, product, price, place, promotion, advertising constraints and consumer laws) which will be the basis of the controlled assessment task.
During the year we aim to take all students studying Business Studies to visit an organisation and we aim to have guest speakers in as well to help link the theory we learn in class to the real world around you. In the past we have visited Asda’s Distribution Centre, Kempston, The Environment Agency, Huntingdon as well as having marketing talks during visits to Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.
In Year 11, students finish the course through studying Finance (including budgets, cash-flows, Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets), Production (job, batch, flow, JIT, quality control and new technology) and the Business Environment (interest rates, recessions, taxation, stakeholders, The EU and Supply and Demand are some the topics covered).
There is no formal requirement that you should have studied Business Studies previously. If you are interested in learning about the environment you will be based in after your education, then you have the aptitude for this subject. An interest in news, current affairs and documentaries will also give a good insight into this subject. Programmes such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice are useful too.
There are three assessments which make up the OCR Business Studies GCSE, two of which are formal examinations.
Controlled Assessment: A291 Marketing – 10 hours research, 6 hours write up – 25% of final grade
Paper 1: A292 Business and People – 60 Minute exam – 25% of final grade
Paper 2: A293 Production, Finance and The External Environment – 90 Minute exam – 50% of final grade
Students will be advised to purchase revision texts. In addition, you may be asked to contribute towards costs of visits.
Although there is a lot to learn, your teacher will use a variety of methods to deliver and engage you. There will be question and answer sessions, individual task work, group work, discussions, role-play, student presentations, the use of ICT, timed exam questions and mock exams. Over the duration of the course you will carry out independent research, have a willingness to contribute to class discussions and activities, and have the drive and commitment to succeed.
The GCSE ideally leads on to Level 3 BTEC in Business which is offered in school. The GCSE course is also excellent preparation for students seeking employment and/or training. Many students who achieve a Level 3 qualification in Business go onto University and study a Business related degree course e.g. Business Management, Law, Economics or Accountancy. Further opportunities exist at University as a standalone subject or to be combined with other subjects.
Careers include both public and private sector employment opportunities in specific areas such as; marketing, IT, human resource management, planning and accountancy, and general administrative/managerial trainee posts in both the public sector and with large companies.
Business Studies is also a good platform for students who at some future point may wish to go into self-employment. It also prepares students for a whole range of higher education courses, over 89% of Business Studies graduates get jobs or going onto further education.