The Business department offers a range of courses for Key Stage 4 and 5. There are two different courses for Key Stage 4: Applied Business and Business Studies. Both courses require students to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers, with enquiring minds. Students apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to contemporary issues in a range of local, national and global contexts and appreciate the range of perspectives of different stakeholders in relation to business activities.

At Key Stage 5, the options that are offered are: Economics, BTEC Personal Finance and Applied A Level Business.

Key Stage 4


This course consists of two units: 

Unit 1

Investigating how businesses work (controlled assessment, 60% of the course)

Students investigate the meaning of enterprise and the skills required to be successful in business. They then consider business activity, how and why businesses set aims and objectives, and the factors which decide the most appropriate form of business ownership, and also ethical issues. Students investigate how businesses are organised and explore the reasons why different businesses have different functional areas. They also investigate stakeholders and their importance to the business. Students use this material and their knowledge to apply to two selected, real businesses - one local and one national or international.

Unit 2

Financial records (exam, 40% of the course)

Students investigate the role, construction and importance of a range of financial documents: including purchase orders, invoices and credit notes, and statements. Students investigate the nature, advantages and disadvantages of business payment methods, both cash and credit, and also the range and categorisation of business costs. They also investigate the use, structure and content of financial statements, profit and loss and balance sheets in business. 



Exam board

Exam code


Applied Business 




Year 10

Term 1

Financial Documents & Payment Methods

Term 2

Financial Statements

Term 3

Financial Ratios

Year 11

Term 1

Controlled Assessment

Term 2

Controlled Assessment

Link to specification:


This course consists of three units: 

Unit 1


Introduction to small business (exam, 25% of the course)

This unit concentrates on the key issues and skills involved in enterprise. It provides a framework to consider the marketing, financial, human and operational issues involved in starting and running a small business. 

Unit 2

Investigating small business (controlled assessment, 25% of the course)

Contains the content of Unit 1/Unit 6: Introduction to small business. In this unit, students will use the content to research, analyse and evaluate a selected task on enterprise issues.

Unit 3

Building a business (exam, 50% of the course)

This unit builds on Units 1 and 2 and examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on practical methods used to build up a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, customer service, financial and people management. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the success or failure of a business.

Students need to appreciate that organisational success requires an understanding of the business as a whole: the interactions between departments and the relationship between the business and outside forces.

Key Stage 5


There are currently four modules.  At AS Level, students take two unit exams which feature a combination of multiple choice and data response questions.  At A2 Level in the second year, there are two further exams which feature data response and essay questions.



Unit 1: Markets and market failure

The basic economic problem is that everyone wants more and more, but resources are scarce.  This unit looks at how people and firms try to make the best of this problem!

Unit 3: Business economics

This unit looks at businesses and how they make decisions about prices, wages, and profit.  Students will look at how firms compete with one another.

Unit 2: The national economy

This unit looks at the UK’s finances and how it is doing.  Students will learn about inflation, unemployment and the growth of the economy.

Unit 4: Government policy and the national and international economy

Finally, students will look at how the government tries to run the economy to make people better off financially. Students will also learn how Britain depends on the international environment.


BTEC qualifications are equivalent to A Levels but are different in the way they are taught and assessed. This course features:

  • 100% coursework (which means no exams).
  • Six projects – graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.
  • Business links for every project - either visits out or speakers in school to offer expertise.
  • Career Academy.




Financial services for individuals

This is an overview of the wide range of financial products available to individuals.  Students will learn about bank accounts, life assurance, mortgages, loans, ISAs, shares, pensions and investments and recommend products for people at different stages of their lives.


Business financial performance

This is an introduction to how businesses do their accounts. Students will learn about how businesses make profit and what they need to publish in their accounts. In studying two contrasting businesses, students will compare and contrast how they have performed.


Financial services to support business

Whether it is a small business just starting up, or a large business wishing to expand, all firms require financial or legal advice. Students will learn about the different sources of finance available to a firm and how firms are helped to stay afloat in difficult periods or changing times.


Financial service regulation, ethics and trends

In recent years, some areas of finance have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. This important unit looks at the laws and ethical codes that exist to protect consumers from financial institutions and examines why the banking crisis has happened and how it can be avoided in the future.


Preparing for work and careers

In this unit students will prepare for their internship. They will need to complete a skills audit, job applications, CVs and interviews.


Learning from employment

An assignment will need to be completed during the internship. Students will need to keep a log of what they have done and conduct research about the company and job role.


This course provides students with a broad introduction to the business sector and will encourage them to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in realistic business contexts, such as discovering the problems and opportunities faced by local businesses and/or organising an enterprise activity. It provides opportunities for students to develop a sufficient depth of understanding to inform their choices between further study and training. There are currently six modules. At AS Level students take one exam and two pieces of coursework. Each unit has a weighting of 16 2/3%. At A2 Level students take one exam and two pieces of coursework.  Each unit has a weighting of 16 2/3%. 



Unit 1: Investigating business

Students will study the aims and objectives that profit and not-for-profit businesses try to achieve. They will explore how the external environment, such as changing social values and competition, affects the ability of businesses to achieve their aims and objectives.

Unit 8: Business planning

Students have the opportunity to produce a structured business plan for a business proposal. A business plan is the essential document that is required to evaluate whether a business proposal will work. The business proposal could be for a new business or an existing business that wishes to expand or diversify its product range (goods or services).

Unit 2: People in business

Students will study the roles and responsibilities of people in business and investigate the qualities that employers look for in their employees. Students will also investigate the training and development opportunities available to individuals and why motivation is vital in retaining staff.

Unit 10: Promotional activities

Students will look at how promotional activities, such as advertising and personal selling, are carried out by profit and not for profit businesses.  Students will investigate how businesses combine promotional activities into a promotional mix and how this choice is vital to the success of a promotion campaign.

Unit 3: Financial planning and monitoring

Students will investigate the different legal types of business that exist and the sources of finance open to them. They will also investigate the reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs draw up business plans, including effective control of resources and how software can be used in this process.

Unit 12: Managing people

Students will explore the characteristics of different organisational structures and how these factors affect the managers and employees that work in them. Students will also study the role of management and the skills that a manager should possess and the different types of decisions that managers have to make.