A-level Business Studies

If you are thinking about or have already chosen business studies as an option for your A-level then this page is for you. Below are details of what you will be studying and how you will be assessed. If you would like any more information please see any of the Business Studies department in L-Block.

New AS/A Levels from September 2015

AS Level
  • The AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level is a stand-alone qualification examined at the end of the first year.
  • The grade you achieve for this qualification will not count towards your final A level grade.
  • An AS pass is awarded a grade from A to E
A Level
  • The A level qualification is examined at the end of the second year.
  • You will be tested on the work covered in the AS qualification (if relevant) as well as the work you cover in your second year.
  • It is possible to take an AS qualification without going on to complete the full A Level
  • A small number of A levels have a coursework element.
  • An A level pass is awarded a grade A* to E

Business AQA 
About the Course
We follow the market leading AQA specification. The A level course runs over 2 years while a separate AS qualification can also be gained at the end of the first year.

Year 1

  1. What is Business?
  2. Managers, leadership and decision making
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance
As you can see the first year is all about understanding types of businesses and the key functional areas within a business: marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Students will take their AS exam at the end of the year although the grade does not count towards the final A level in year 2.

Year 2

  1. Analysing the strategic position of a business
  2. Choosing strategic direction
  3. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  4. Managing strategic change
The second year looks more at overall business strategy eg. should a firm start selling to China? Should a firm take over another? It builds upon the first year knowledge to consider wider business issues like ethics and globalisation. The second year examination tests the full 2 years of study.

AS-Level Assessment
Assessment is by two one-and-a-half hour written exams at the end of year one. Each exam counts 50% towards the AS qualification.
  • Paper 1: Two compulsory sections including multiple choice, short answer questions and data response questions
  • Paper 2: One compulsory case study consisting of seven questions.
A-Level Assessment
Assessment if by three two hour written exams at the end of the course. Each exam counts 33.3% towards the A-level grade.
  • Paper 1: Multiple-choice questions, short answer and two essays.
  • Paper 2: Three compulsory data response questions.
  • Paper 3: One compulsory case study consisting of six questions.
Quantitative Skills
Both the AS and A-level assess quantitative skills, making up a minimum of 10% of the overall marks. The skills tested include ratios, averages, fractions, percentages and calculation of profit or loss.

Find out more by visiting the exam boards website here - AQA A-Level Business