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Business Studies

Staff
Mr D. Wood
Mrs J. Dukes
Mrs. E Roberts

Curriculum Content

For full details of the GCSE and A Level Business Studies course contents, click on the links below:

Business Studies Unit Content Information

Business Studies Unit Content Information A Level and GCSE

AQA Level Business – Y12

3.1 What is business

3.1.1 Understanding the nature and purpose of business
• Why businesses exist
• Relationship between mission and objectives
• Common business objectives
• Why businesses set objectives
• Measurement and importance of profit

3.1.2 Understanding different business forms
• Reasons for choosing different forms of business and for changing business form
• The role of shareholders and why they invest
• Influence on share price and the significance of share price changes
• The effects of ownership on mission, objectives, decisions and performance

3.1.3 Understanding that businesses operate within an external environment
• How the external environment can affect costs and demand

3.2 Managers, leadership and decision making

3.2.1 Understanding management, leadership and decision making
• What managers do
• Types of management and leadership styles and influences on these
• The effectiveness of different styles of management and leadership

3.2.2 Understanding decision making
• The value of decision making based on data (scientific decision making) and on intuition
• The use and value of decision trees in decision making
• Influences on decision making

3.2.3 The role and importance of stakeholders
• The need to consider stakeholder needs when making decisions
• Stakeholder needs and the possible overlap and
• conflict of these needs
• Influences on the relationship with stakeholders
• How to manage the relationship with different stakeholders

3.3 Decision making to improve marketing performance

3.3.1 Setting marketing objectives
• The value of setting marketing objectives
• External and internal influences on marketing objectives and decisions

3.3.2 Understanding markets and customers
• The value of primary and secondary marketing research
• The value of sampling
• The interpretation of marketing data
• The value of technology in gathering and analysing data for marketing decision making
• The interpretation of price and income elasticity of demand data
• The value of the concepts of price and income elasticity of demand to make marketing decisions
• The use of data in marketing decision making and planning

3.3.3 Making marketing decisions: segmenting, targeting, positioning
• The process and value of segmentation, targeting and positioning
• Influences on choosing a target market and positioning

3.3.4 Making marketing decisions: using the marketing mix
• The elements of the marketing mix (7p’s)
• The influences on and effects of changes in the elements of the marketing mix
• Product decisions
• Pricing decisions
• Decisions about the promotional mix
• Distribution (place) decisions
• Decisions relating to other elements of the marketing mix: people, process and physical environment
• The importance of an influences on an integrated marketing mix
• Understanding the value of digital marketing and e-commerce

3.4 Decision making to improve operational performance

3.4.1 Setting operational objectives
• The value of setting operational objectives
• External and internal influences on operational objectives and decisions

3.4.2 Analysing operational performance
• Interpretation of operations data
• Calculation of operations data
• The use of data in operational decision making and planning

3.4.3 Making operational decisions to improve performance: increasing efficiency and productivity
• The importance of capacity
• The importance of efficiency and labour productivity
• How to increase efficiency and labour productivity
• The benefits and difficulties of lean production
• Difficulties increasing efficiency and labour productivity
• How to choose the optimal mix of resources
• How to utilise capacity efficiently
• How to use technology to improve operational efficiency

3.4.4 Making operational decisions to improve performance: improving quality
• The importance of quality
• Methods of improving quality
• The benefits and difficulties of improving quality
• The consequences of poor quality

3.4.5 Making operational decisions to improve performance: managing inventory and supply chains
• Ways and value of improving flexibility, speed of response and dependability
• How to manage supply to match demand and the value of doing so
• Influences on and the amount of inventory held
• Influences on the choice of suppliers
• How to manage the supply chain effectively and efficiently and the value of this
• The value of outsourcing

3.5 Decision making to improve financial performance

3.5.1 Setting financial objectives
• The value of financial objectives
• The distinction between cash flow and profit
• The distinction between gross profit, operating profit and profit for the year
• Revenue, costs and profit objectives
• Cash flow objectives
• Objectives for investment
• Capital structure objectives
• External and internal influences on financial objectives and decisions

3.5.2 Analysing financial performance
• How to construct and analyse budgets and cash flow forecasts
• The value of budgeting
• How to construct and interpret break-even charts
• How to calculate and illustrate on a break-even chart the effects of changes in price, output and cost
• The value of break-even analysis
• How to analyse profitability
• How to analyse timings of cash inflows and outflows
• The use of data for financial decision making and planning

3.5.3 Making financial decisions: sources of finance
• Internal and external sources of finance
• Advantages and disadvantages of different sources of finance for short and long term uses

3.5.4 Making financial decisions: improving cash flow and profits
• Methods of improving cash flow
• Methods of improving profits and profitability
• Difficulties improving cash flow and profit

3.6 Decision making to improve human resource performance

3.6.1 Setting human resource objectives
• The value of setting human resource objectives
• Internal and external influences on human resource objectives and decisions

3.6.2 Analysing human resource performance
• Calculating and interpreting human resource data
• The use of data for human resource decision making and planning

3.6.3 Making human resource decisions: improving organisational design and managing the human resource flow
• Influences on job design
• Influences on organisational design
• Influences on delegation, centralisation and decentralisation
• The value of changing job and organisational design
• How managing the human resource flow helps meet human resource objectives

3.6.4 Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement
• The benefits of motivated and engaged employees
• How to improve employee engagement and motivation
• The value of theories of motivation
• The use of financial methods of motivation
• The use of non-financial methods of motivating employees
• Influences on the choice and assessment of the effectiveness of financial and non-financial reward systems

3.6.5 Making human resource decisions: improving employer-employee relations
• Influences on the extent and methods of employee involvement in decision making
• How to manage and improve employer-employee communications and relations
• Value of good employer-employee relations

AQA Level Business – Y12

3.7 Analysing the strategic position of a business
3.7.1 Mission, corporate objectives and strategy
To learn about influences on the mission of a business.
To learn about internal and external influences on corporate objectives and decisions.
To understand the distinction between strategy and tactics.
To learn about the links between mission, corporate objectives and strategy.
To learn about the impact of strategic decision making on functional decision making.
To understand the value of SWOT analysis.
3.7.2 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: financial ratio analysis
To learn about how to assess the financial performance of a business using balance sheets, income statements and financial ratios.
To understand the value of financial ratios when assessing performance.
3.7.3 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: overall performance
To learn about how to analyse data other than financial statements to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a business.
To understand the importance of core competences.
To learn about assessing short- and long-term performance.
The value of different measures of assessing business performance
3.7.4 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: political and legal change
To learn about the impact of changes in the political and legal environment on strategic and functional decision making.

3.7.5 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: economic change
To learn about the impact of changes in the UK and the global economic environment on strategic and functional decision making.
To understand reasons for greater globalisation of business.
To learn about the importance of globalisation for business.
To learn about the importance of emerging economies for business.

3.7.6 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: social and technological
To learn about the impact of the social and technological environment on strategic and functional decision making.
To learn about the pressures for socially responsible behaviour.

3.7.7 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: the competitive environment
To learn about Porter’s five forces, how and why these might change, and the implications of these forces for strategic and functional decision making and profits.

3.7.8 Analysing strategic options: investment appraisal
To understand financial methods of assessing an investment.
To learn about the factors influencing investment decisions.
To learn about the value of sensitivity analysis.

3.8 Choosing strategic direction
3.8.1 Strategic direction: choosing which markets to compete in and what products to offer
To understand factors influencing which markets to compete in and which products to offer.
To understand the reasons for choosing and value of different options for strategic direction.

3.8.2 Strategic positioning: choosing how to compete
To learn about how to compete in terms of benefits and price.
To learn about influences on the choice of a positioning strategy.
To learn about the value of different strategic positioning strategies.
To understand the benefits of having a competitive advantage.
To understand the difficulties of maintaining a competitive advantage.

3.9 Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies

3.9.1 Assessing a change in scale
To understand the reasons why businesses grow or retrench.
To understand the difference between organic and external growth.
To learn about how to manage and overcome the problems of growth or retrenchment.
To learn about the impact of growth or retrenchment on the functional areas of the business.
To assess methods and types of growth.

3.9.2 Assessing innovation
To learn about the pressures of innovation.
To understand the value of innovation.
To learn about ways of becoming an innovative organisation.
To learn about how to protect innovation and intellectual property.
To learn about the impact of an innovation strategy on the functional areas of the business.

3.9.3 Assessing internationalisation
To learn about reasons for targeting, operating in and trading with international markets.
To understand factors influencing the attractiveness of international markets.
To learn about reasons for producing more and sourcing more resources abroad.
To learn about ways of entering international markets and value of different methods.
To learn about influences on buying, selling and producing abroad.
To learn about managing international business including pressures for local responsiveness and pressures for cost reduction.
To understand the impact of internationalisation for the functional areas of the business.

3.9.4 Assessing greater use of digital technology
To learn about the pressures to adopt digital technology.
To understand the value of digital technology.
To learn about the impact of digital technology on the functional areas of the business.

3.10 Managing strategic change
3.10.1 Managing change
To learn about causes of pressures for change.
To understand the value of change.
To understand the value of a flexible organisation.
To understand the value of managing information and knowledge.
To learn about barriers to change.
To learn how to overcome barriers to change.
3.10.2 Managing organisational culture
To understand the importance of organisational culture.
To learn about the influences on organisational culture.
To learn about the reasons for and problems of changing organisational culture.
3.10.3 Managing strategic implementation
How to implement strategy effectively
The value of leadership in strategic implementation
The value of communication in strategic implementation
The importance of organisation structure in strategic implementation
The importance of network analysis in strategic implementation

3.10.4 Problems with strategy and why strategies fail

Difficulties of strategic decision making and implementing strategies
Planned v emergent strategy
Reasons for strategic drift
The possible effect of divorce of ownership and control
The value of strategic planning
The value of contingency planning

AQA A Level Applied General (Extended)Certificate in Business

The course is taught in conjunction with St Aidan’s
There are 6 Units taught overall.

Y12
1 Financial planning and analysis – external examination
2 Business dynamics – internally centre assessed
3 Entrepreneurial opportunities – synoptic assessment unit

Y13
4. Managing and leading people – external examination
5 Developing a business proposal – internally centre assessed
6. Marketing communications – internally centre assessed

St John Fisher only teach 2 of the modules – Unit 2 and Unit 6