Key Stage 4: GCSE
Business Studies is an exciting and fast moving subject that looks at the way in which businesses operate to satisfy customer needs and to make profits for investors.
Why Study WJEC GCSE Business Studies?
Studying Business Studies will allow students to play their part in the economy. A very popular subject, it achieves above average results and includes study of the following:
- Business Organisation – forming a company, multinational businesses, franchising
- Marketing – finding out what people want and how to satisfy them in terms of product design, price, promotion and where to sell the product
- Finance – sources of finance, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, how to judge the financial health of a business and make investment decisions
- Production – where and how to produce goods and services, computerisation, stock control
- People – how to motivate, organise, select, train and reward workers
- Business Environment – the nature of markets, e-business, business law, the economy
What do the lessons include?
Very often a business event reported in the news is used to illustrate the topic being taught. A wide range of interactive ICT techniques are used as well as excellent handbooks, especially written for the course. Internet websites provide an increasingly important source of information for lessons.
The department makes full use of moodle, an interactive learning web site. Students can access this from home and use it to help with homework and revision. http://www.brecon-hs.powys.sch.uk.
Visits to firms and outside speakers supplement the teaching and textbooks. We have visited many famous firms, such as Cadburys Schweppes, and outside speakers from Zest Food and Welsh Brew Tea have addressed students.
At the end of the course there is a two hour written examination (75%) and coursework (25%) based on a pre-released controlled assessment.
KS5: A Level
Business Studies is a successful and popular GCSE subject and leads naturally to A Level in the subject. It provide candidates with a critical understanding of the business world; the major topical issues that generate change and provides students with the business skills that future employers will look for. The course equips students with a range of career-enhancing, work-related skills, including:
- Data analysis and research techniques
- Presenting arguments and making judgements
- Making decisions using appropriate business .
The course encourages the practical application of business concepts and promotes active rather than passive understanding. The Business Studies syllabus focuses on contemporary world business, e.g. entrepreneurship, globalisation, etc. and learning is consolidated through the use of external speakers. In previous years we have had speakers form the both the business world (Barclays Bank International) and master class lectures from specialists at the business schools of Glamorgan, Swansea and Lampeter. In addition special Enterprise Days are offered.
The majority of past Business Studies students have gone on to follow degrees in Economics, Business Studies, Law, Accountancy, Marketing, and Human Resource Management or have gone directly into employment.
Unit 1: The Business Framework
The aim of this unit is to give ALL candidates an introduction to business studies. It is not a requirement for candidates to have studied previously GCSE business studies and this unit provides the core knowledge of what businesses are and do in order to progress with confidence to unit 2.
Unit 2 Business Functions
The aim of the second unit is to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained in unit 1, including core business functions such as:
- Accounting and Finance
- People in Business
- Operations Management
Unit 3 Business Strategies
The aim of this unit is to provide an overview of business strategy. Candidates will need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of business operations and how they should respond to threats and opportunities, including:
- Business Objectives and strategies:
- Differing stakeholder and organisational objectives
- Strategy and tactics in the decision making process
- Growth and change
- External influences
Unit 4 Managing Change
The aim of this unit is to focus on how business objectives are to be achieved once they have been decided. The unit requires students to focus on the methods that a business can use in order to meet their objectives. The methods are broken down into functional areas:
- Business objectives and strategy such as contingency planning and data analysis.
- Marketing and sales forecasting business analysis
- Finance and accounting business analysis such as investment appraisal and budgetary control.
- Human resource analysis such as performance management systems
- Operations management analysis such as critical path analysis, cost benefit analysis, decision trees, etc.
- BS1 ( 20%) 1hr15 Written Paper
- BS2 (30%) 1hr45 Written Paper
- BS3 (25%) 2hr Written Paper
- BS4 (25%) 2hr Written Paper