What is it?
Have you ever wondered how companies like Apple, McDonalds and Facebook came to be as successful as they are? Or why is it that we continually buy from the same brands time and time again? A Level Business will give you an insight into the inner workings of these successful businesses and look at what makes them tick.
Why study this subject at Blackpool Sixth?
If you are looking for a subject that is dynamic and offers you the chance to generate your own ideas and views about real life business examples and be able to discuss them in class in a range of different interactive ways then A Level Business is for you. Everything you look at in A Level Business are real life scenarios that businesses has gone through for example looking at the causes of the collapse of Thomas Cook and Intu and could it have been prevented or will Brexit be good or bad for businesses? By using real life scenarios, you will be able to get a sense of what is happening in the real word and use this to further you knowledge of the subject. It is safe to say you will never be bored when it comes to business and no two lessons are ever the same.
What skills will I develop?
- A broad and general knowledge of the business world.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking.
- Research skills
- Communication and presentation skills
- Teamwork and collaborative problem-solving
- Independent study skills
- Quantitative skills
How will I be taught?
Within the classroom you will be asked to work both independently and in groups to complete tasks around the topics you will be learning about. You will also be asked to complete small presentations to the class. Outside of the classroom, you will be asked to conduct research tasks and read around the subject using different sources such as news channels and websites as well as blogs, newspapers and social media to formulate your opinion and use this in class for discussions and debates.
How will I be assessed?
- Paper 1: Marketing, people and global businesses (35% of the total qualification)
- Paper 2: Business activities, decisions and strategy (35% of the total qualification)
- Paper 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment (30% of the total qualification)
Throughout the two years you will also complete smaller in class assessments to check progress through the course.
Danny Topping spent 8 years working in industry as an IT developer in financial services and as a financial advisor overseas before re-training as a teacher. Dan Reeds has, in the past, helped support and manage family-run businesses in Blackpool including a restaurant and has been interviewed to appear on the TV show The Apprentice. He has also worked for 3 years as an A Level Business examiner. Robin Smith previously worked in the banking sector before becoming a teacher and now has over 15 years experience of teaching Business and IT, as well as, being an examiner and BTEC Standards Verifier.
Field trips, projects and employability opportunities
Throughout your two years studying Business, you will have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the subject. We offer a range of international and UK based trips which include a trip to New York City, where you will experience the major landmarks that has made the city one of the biggest business districts in the world. You will experience Wall Street, Times Square and take part in a talk with a former student who is now a managing director at Perella Weinberg, a global financial company, where he will give you an insight into how to make it in the business world. We offer you the chance to interact with real life business people and gain an insight into the challenges they have faced and how they built up their businesses. In the past this as included former Dragons Den Investor Piers Linney, who gave a well-received talk on his business successes and the hurdles he had to overcome to get to where he is today. As a department, we also offer a range of employability opportunities to enhance your skills to gain the career you want to aim for. This includes the Career Ready programme which is a national program designed to match you up with business mentors and gain work experience with national and international companies to further develop your aspirations for the future.
Where does it lead?
In the past, we have had students go onto to study a range of business related courses that fit in with their overall career path. These have included Business Management, International Business, Business and Marketing but also Business and Fashion, Business with Accountancy and Business and Tourism. Students have been accepted to some of the most prestigious universities in the UK including Durham, Nottingham, Lancaster, Manchester and Cambridge. Students have also gained access to some highly prestigious apprenticeships which have included KPMG, JP Morgan, Ernst Young, Champion Accountancy, Victrex and BAE just to name a few.
Students will require a calculator.
- Grade 4 in GCSE English and maths. Grade 4 or BTEC Pass in business (if studied at school). You do not need to have studied GCSE Business to study A Level Business.
What will I study?
Theme 1 – Marketing and People Have you ever looked at the likes of Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Karen Brady and wished that you had their success? In this theme, you will explore what makes an entrepreneur a success and how to turn a simple idea into a commercial success through looking at the importance of market research, deciding on a target audience to creating an effective marketing plan. You will then act as business leaders and look at the best ways to motivate your staff and the importance of keeping them happy.
Theme 2 – Managing Business Activities Have you ever wondered how Coca Cola can make 1.8 billion drinks a day or what led to the collapse of some of our most loved brands like Woolworths and Toys R Us? In this theme, you will explore the importance of finance and whether a bank loan is the best source of finance to why some businesses decide to create a mass amount of products at a time whereas others only create a select number.
Theme 3 – Business Decision and Strategy Have you ever stopped and thought about the brands that you wear/buy and think ‘where did this come from?’ You will be surprised just how many brands have a bit of a ‘dark side’ to them. From Primark and the poor health and safety of workers to Nike and their use of sweatshops. In this theme, you will look at what makes an ethical business, the methods business use to help decide on their next strategy and the importance of managing your workforce to help achieve your strategic aim.
Theme 4 – Global Business Ever wondered how Apple, Google, Ford and many other massive companies achieved their global success? In this theme, you will explore those avenues from the targeting of growing economies around the world, to China becoming the global manufacturer for many of the goods we buy today. You will also look at how governments are trying to take back a bit of control where you will look at BREXIT and whether Donald Trump’s policies will have any effect on making America great again.