Business Studies

Business (AQA)

Businesses impact on our day to day lives. They supply the goods and services we buy, provide employment for millions of people and even deliver many public services such as refuse collection and care for the elderly.

To the untrained eye, businesses can appear to behave in slightly peculiar ways.

  • Why have Cadburys decided to pay more for Fair Trade cocoa beans?
  • Why have Apple released two versions of the same phone?
  • Why has Hotel Chocolate opened a second ‘bricks and mortar’ outlet in Manchester when e-commerce is becoming more popular?

The answers to these questions will provide an insight to the strategies of some of the most successful organisations in the world. A level Business Studies is not only a qualification; it’s a handbook for anyone thinking of entering the complex world of commerce.

Course Content & Assessment

The first year course will provide an introduction to key business areas: marketing, operations, finance and human resource management. This includes a special focus on decision making – particularly how decisions made in one area can affect the rest of the business. The legal status of the business will also be considered, as will the reasons why businesses exist in the first place.

In the second year, the focus shifts to an investigation of the strategic decisions that all businesses have to make. This will involve:

  • the impact of technology on strategic decision making
  • the influences of Corporate Social Responsibility, ethical and environmental issues on strategic decisions
  • the difficulties in forecasting future trends
  • the importance of assessing feasibility  and risk when making strategic decisions
  • the impact on stakeholders of strategic decisions and their response to such decisions

In both years the course will be taught using examples from the world of business including large/small, UK focused/global, service/manufacturing.

This course is assessed by three papers taken at the end of Year 13:

Business 1

(33% 2 hours 100 marks)
The exam is split into three sections: Section A contains 15 multiple choice questions.
Section B comprises short answer questions worth 35 marks
Section C requires 2 essays worth 25 marks each.

Business 2

(33% 2 hours 100 marks)
Three compulsory data response questions worth 33 marks each.

Business 3

(33% 2 hours 100 marks)
One case study followed by approximately 6 questions.

Each exam tests the entirety of course content. Given that the course has been designed to focus on strategic decision making, evaluation is a key skill you will need to develop during the two years.

The ability to weigh up the pros and cons of a course of action in a given context is the key to success in this subject.

All three papers test quantitative skills such as the use and understanding of ratios and functions, percentages and percentage changes, index numbers, and the interpretation of standard graphical forms.


The classes will involve a range of different teaching approaches.

You will be asked to present your own research to the class and to take part in whole group and small group discussions. Keeping up to date with current business stories will be essential and lesson time is often devoted to discussing issues arising from them.

Your Future

It goes without saying that Business qualifications are held in high esteem by businesses.

Universities also offer a wide range of business related courses which are often combined with a complementary specialism; a good example would be Marketing and Chinese.

Apply Now
Footer TriangleFooter TriangleFooter TriangleFooter TriangleFooter TriangleFooter Triangle

The Blue Coat Sixth Form is proud to be part of the Cranmer Education Trust

Cranmer Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and an exempt charity registered in England. Company registration number: 07687709. Registered Office: Cranmer Education Trust, c/o The Blue Coat School, Egerton Street, Oldham OL1 3SQ. The website address is and the phone number 0161 785 5082.