AS Course Outline
What is Business?
The focus of this subject is on commercial activity, which is the successful buying and selling of goods between organisations and the general public. It is a topic that impacts on everyone in society, as business & commerce is all around us; from the high street shops people visit, to the branded items used on a daily basis that change the way we live, to the internet and the world of employment.
The course will explore how to run and work in a successful modern age enterprise, by studying the main functions of a business; leadership, finance, marketing, operations and personnel. As the course progresses into the second year more advanced themes are investigated, such as assessing the overall performance of a business, business strategy, the impact of the PESTEL external environment and managing change in a firm.
Who should study this course?
- Learning about how an organisation operates will be useful for any A level student when eventually moving from education into the world of employment.
- Anyone who is interested in the commercial world should also consider studying the course.
- Business is also a favoured A level for students that intend to study a management related degree course at university.
- Studying business may be the beginning of your own successful venture, as the course explores themes a start-up entrepreneur should consider when starting a venture.
What skills will students develop when studying Business?
- Knowledge and traits an entrepreneur would require to start a business and to ensure the success of a business in the commercial world, such as the production of a business plan.
- Leadership traits required to run and manage a business, such as leadership styles, motivational theories, strategic modelling, financial forecasting and investment appraisal.
- Calculation skills vital for any up and coming entrepreneur, such as calculating profit, market share and productivity.
- Problem-solving skills by applying your knowledge to real life case studies on businesses such as Amazon, Google, Ford and Levi jeans.
- Through the practice of mock examinations, you will also learn how to assimilate information and present it in a clear and concise way.
BUSINESS (AQA) Summary of Content at AS
Why AS Business?
In economically challenging times, studying business will provide knowledge and skills many employers are seeking from prospective candidates applying for jobs; from producing a balance sheet, to motivating a team. The course will mix theory with real life scenarios, as taught concepts are often contextualised with real life examples. We investigate how entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Steve Jobs have developed successful innovative ideas into real life businesses. We will study how businesses such as Tesco and Amazon have survived through challenging times. The course will also explore business failure and why successful businesses can end up closing, such as Blockbuster video and the Arcadia group.
- What is business?
An introduction to the course, which explores why business exist, entrepreneurship, ownership types and the transformation process
- Managers, leadership and decision making
Themes explored include an introduction to management, leadership styles and calculating decision trees
- Decision making to improve marketing performance
Themes explored include market research, segmentation, understanding markets and data, the marketing mix, elasticities, the Boston matrix and the product life cycle
- Decision making to improve operational performance
Themes explored include production methodologies, quality concepts, operational metrics, innovation, inventory management and operational efficiencies
- Decision making to improve financial performance
Themes explored include calculating profit, cash flow forecasting, break-even, budgeting variances, accounting ratios and sources of finance
- Decision making to improve human resource performance
Themes explored include job design, recruitment, training methods, HR metrics, motivational methods, organisational structures and maintaining healthy employer / employee relations
Branson R. “Finding my virginity: the new autobiography”, Virgin books, 2018.
Wolinski J; Coates C. “AQA A Level Business 1 Third Edition”, Hodder education, 2019.
Lester D. “Starting Your Own Business”, Crimson Publishing, 2007.