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A-Level Business

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Why study Business?

Exam board and specification codes: Edexcel (9BS0)

The A level Business Studies specification centres on an enterprise theme, with a focus on entrepreneurial skills and global perspectives.

The specification promotes a holistic understanding of business, encouraging analytical skills, critical approaches and methods of enquiry, and introducing students to international business, equipping them either to work in or to manage a business in an international context.

What is covered by the course? 


Theme 1: Enables students to understand how businesses identify opportunities and to explore how businesses focus on developing a competitive advantage through interacting with customers. Students develop an understanding of how businesses need to adapt their marketing to operate in a dynamic business environment. This theme also considers people, exploring how businesses recruit, train, organise and motivate employees, as well as the role of enterprising individuals and leaders.

Theme 2: Enables students to develop an understanding of raising and managing finance, and measuring business performance. The theme outlines the importance of using resources efficiently within a business to ensure that goods or services can be delivered effectively and efficiently, and to a high quality. Students also consider the external influences that have an impact on businesses, including economic and legal factors.


Like AS the A2 component is also made up of 2 themes.

Theme 3:  Moves from functions to strategy, enabling students to develop their understanding of the core concepts and to take a strategic view of business opportunities and issues. Students analyse corporate objectives and strategy against financial and non-financial performance measures and how businesses grow, and develop an understanding of the impact of external influences. The theme covers the causes and effects of change and how businesses mitigate risk and uncertainty.

Theme 4: Students investigate businesses that trade on a global scale and explore their reasons for doing so. Students develop an understanding of the globally competitive environment and consider the ethical and moral dimensions of global business activities.

How is it examined?

At the end of the course students will sit 3 exam papers. Each of which is 2 hours in length

Paper 1 - drawn from topics across Themes 1 and 4

Paper 2 -drawn from topics across themes 2 and 3

Paper 3 - focuses on the broad context provided by a pre-released document issued in the November prior to the summer exams

Related university courses and careers

There is an extremely large number of courses linked to business at various universities. This course will assist with entry onto them.

Suggested reading

The core textbook for the course is Edexcel AS/A level BUSINESS 5th edition. However, keeping up with current affairs is vital so reading publications such as The Economist and business sections of broadsheet newspapers is highly recommended.

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