Business Studies
KEY STAGE 4.
This course deepens candidates’ understanding of the way in which businesses operate in a dynamic, changing and competitive environment. This understanding is rooted in current business theory and practice and reflects the integrated nature of organisations and their decision-making processes.

The course comprises of a Written Paper 75% (2 hours) 100 marks. There is one paper which will be targeted at the full range of GCSE grades [A* - G]. There will be compulsory short-answer questions and compulsory questions based on stimulus material. Some of the questions will require extended writing.

The controlled Assessment is worth 25% - 60 marks. WJEC set a different task each year, with 6 weeks to collate the research material and 3 hours to write up the task under examination conditions. The pupils will need to analyse and evaluate and prepare a project up to 2000 words.

Unit 1 – The Business Framework: Why and How Businesses Start, Business Organisations and Busines aims and objectives.

Unit 2 – Businesses and their Customers: The importance of market research, market segmentation, the product life cycle, the marketing mix and marketing contraints and pressure groups.

Unit 3 – Producing goods and services: The difference between goods and services, methods of production, stock and quality control, break-even analysis, internal and external growth, the factors affecting location, international trade - the pros and cons, and membership of the European Union.

Unit 4 – Human Resources: The process of recruiting staff, training and re-training, employers and employees responsibilities, trade unions, organisational charts, communication, motivating employees and gross and net pay.

Unit 5 – The External Environment: The activities of competitors, the changing use of ICT, sustainibility, culteral and ethical issues, government legislation, the macro-economic environment and unforeseen events.

Unit 6 – Business Finance: Internal and external finance, the importance of the business plan, how to interpret cash flow, profit and loss accounts and balance sheets.

KEY STAGE 5.
This is a new course from September 2015. It is now called Business rather than Business Studies. This specification is divided into a total of 4 units, 2 units in year 12 [AS] and 2 units in year 13 [U2].

The learners are encouraged to develop an enthusiasm for studying business and to gain a holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts. They are also introduced to critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants. After completing the course students will acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision-making and problem-solving. They will also be able to apply numerical skills in a range of business context. Students will also be introduced to the dynamic business environment and the importance of entrepreneurial activity in creating business opportunities and sustaining business growth. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of essential skills required for higher education and employment. The focus is to nurture an enthusiasm for studying business using contemporary contexts, allowing learners to develop an appreciation of the strategic, complex and inter-related nature of business issues from a local to global perspective.

It is not essential that the student has studied Business for GCSE level.


Outline of AS and A2 courses:
AS:-
Unit 1– Business Opportunities: Enterprise, Business plans, Markets, Market Research, Business Structure, Business location, Business Finance and business revenue and costs.
Unit 2 - Business Functions: Marketing, Finance, Human resources and Operations management.

A2:-
Unit 3 – Business Analysis and Strategy: Data Analysis, market analysis, sales forecasting, aims and objectives, analysing financial performance, strategy and investment appraisal.
Unit 4 - Business in a Changing World: Change, risk management, PESTEL, ethics, international trade, globalisation and the European Union.


The work will be assessed as follows:
AS:-
Unit 1: Written Exam - 1hr 15mins - 15%.
Unit 2 : Written Exam - 2hrs - 25%.

A2:-
Unit 3: Written Exam - 2hrs 15mins - 30%.
Unit 4 : Written Exam - 2hrs 15mins - 30%.

The student will be assessed through essays, short data response questions and extended data response questions as well as tests.