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Key Stage 4

GCSE Business Studies provides an interesting insight into the role of businesses within society.  This new specification focuses on investigating the role of small business and how to develop business ideas. The relationship between business enterprise and other factors such as finance, marketing and human resources are investigated. As the course evolves you will become increasingly aware how relevant the theory is to real life activity.

All of us are affected by the activities of business organisations and this course provides an opportunity to prepare for the wider world beyond school.  It will encourage you to consider how to succeed in a competitive world and how to look after your interests as customers, employees and citizens affected by business activities.  Through greater understanding of the way our economy operates and how businesses behave within this economy, you will be better informed and more able to manage your private and business activities in a successful way.

There are three methods of assessment for GCSE Business Studies:

Exam Title
GCSE Weighting

Unit 1 - Introduction to Small Business
Unit 2 - Investigating Small Business
Controlled Assessment

Unit 3 - Building a Business


The course will also provide an opportunity to consider what makes businesses successful.  In particular, we will look at how to spot a business opportunity, how to put a business idea into practice and how economic conditions impact on small businesses.

Areas of study include:

  • How changing interest rates affect small firms

  • Understanding exchange rates

  • How to collect research data

  • The disadvantages of poor customer service

  • How to improve profit figures

  • How businesses affect the environment

  • The importance of motivation in the workplace

  • How to finance a business

  • Strengths and weaknesses of competitors

  • Qualities of entrepreneurs

  • Meeting customer needs

  • How to improve profit

Key Stage 5

Students are introduced to economics through building knowledge of core microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts, and by investigating economic theory through real-world businesses and the environments in which they operate.

Breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding with applications to more complex concepts and models are developed throughout the course.

Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessment and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

Course Aims

  • Develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for the subject
  • Appreciate the contribution of economics to the understanding of the wider economic and social environment
  • Develop an understanding of a range of concepts and an ability to use those concepts in a variety of different contexts
  • Use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of economics and
  • Develop an ability to think as an economist
  • Understand that economic behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives
  • Develop analytical and quantitative skills, together with qualities and attitudes that will equip them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult and working life

Theme One

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • scarcity, choice and potential conflicts
  • enterprise, business and the economy
  • introducing the market
  • the role of credit in the economy
  • market failure and government intervention
  • revenue, costs, profits and cash

Theme Two

Students will develop an understanding of:

  • business growth and competitive advantage
  • firms, consumers and elasticities of demand
  • productive efficiency
  • life in a global economy
  • the economic cycle
  • introduction to macroeconomic policy

Theme Three

This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme Two. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • globalisation
  • economic factors in business expansion
  • impact of globalisation on global companies
  • impact of globalisation on local and national economies
  • global labour markets
  • inequality and redistribution

Theme Four

This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme One. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • competition and market power
  • market power and market failure
  • market failure across the economy
  • macroeconomic policies and impact on firms and individuals
  • risk and the financial sector


Paper 1 will assess markets and questions will be drawn from Themes One and Four. [100 marks available]

Paper 2 will assess the global economic environment and questions will be drawn from Themes Two and Three. [100 marks available]

Paper 3 is a pre-release case study. [100 marks available]

Students are also encouraged to participate in a range of extracurricular activities such as:

  • Young Enterprise
  • ICAEW Base Challenge
  • IFS National Share competition
  • Hong Kong Poly U Competition
  • Financial Awareness sessions