Menu

Business

Exam Board

AQA

Assessed by

Written examinations

 

Overview

In this AQA course, students will have the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work.  Students apply their knowledge and understanding to different business contexts ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts.

 

The course is assessed via two externally assessed examinations in the Summer of Year 11:

 

Paper 1: Influences of operations and HRM on business activity

+

Paper 2: Influences of marketing and finance on business activity

What’s assessed

  • Business in the real world
  • Influences on business
  • Business operations
  • Human resources

 

What’s assessed

  • Business in the real world
  • Influence on business
  • Marketing
  • Finance

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 90 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

 

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 90 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions

  • Section A has multiple choice questions and short answer questions worth 20 marks.
  • Section B has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 34 marks
  • Section C has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 36 marks

 

Questions

  • Section A has multiple choice questions and short answer questions worth 20 marks.
  • Section B has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 34 marks
  • Section C has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 36 marks

 

Business Specification

Business in the Real World

 

  • The Purpose and Nature of Business
  • Business Ownership – Sole Traders / Partnerships / Private and Public Limited Companies / Non-Profit Organisations such as Social Enterprises
  • Typical Aims and Objectives E.g. Profit / Growth / Market Share / Customer Satisfaction / Shareholder Value
  • Stakeholders – Role, Influence and Stakeholder Conflict
  • Business location – Influences on Where to Set Up and Importance of Getting It Right
  • Business planning – Components, Benefits and Problems of Writing a Business Plan
  • Expansion – Reasons for Growth / Methods of Growth– Organic vs Inorganic / Mergers and Takeovers / Economies vs. Diseconomies of Scale

Influences on Business

 

  • Technology – E-Commerce / M-Commerce / Digital Communications
  • Ethical and Environmental Considerations – Ethical Behaviour / Social Responsibility / Sustainability vs. Profit / Green Washing
  • Economic Climate – Interest Rates/Consumer Spending/Employment/ Inflation
  • Globalisation – Impact of Exchange Rates
  • Legislation – Employment Law E.g. National Minimum Wage/Living Wage and The Equalities Act / Health and Safety Law and Consumer Law
  • The Competitive Environment – Enterprise / Risk and Uncertainty

Business Operations

 

  • Production Processes – Job and Flow Production / Lean Production
  • Managing Stock – Just In Time (JIT) and Just In Case (JIC)
  • Factors Affecting Choice of Suppliers
  • Quality – Importance of Quality / Total Quality Management (TQM) / Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance/ Outsourcing
  • Customer Service – Benefits and Problems with Good/Bad Customer Service / How to Provide Customer Service / Role of Websites, E-Commerce and Social Media in Customer Service

Human Resources

 

  • Organisational Structures – Chain of Command / Hierarchy / Span of Control / Delegation / Delayering / Flat vs. Tall Structures / Centralisation vs. Decentralisation
  • Recruitment and Selection of Staff – Importance of an Effective R&S Process / Internal vs. External / The Recruitment Process / Job Descriptions vs. Person Specifications / Job Analysis / Job Adverts / Selection Methods E.g. Analysing Application Forms, Short Listing Candidates, Interviews and Assessment Centres / Contracts of Employment such as Part Time vs. Full Time, Permanent vs. Temporary, Job Sharing and Zero Hour Contracts
  • Motivating Employees – Benefits of a Motivated Workforce – Productivity and Staff Retention / Financial Motivation E.g. Salaries, Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Share Ownership / Non-Financial Motivators E.g. Praise, Recognition, Achievement, Challenge and Management Styles
  • Training – Importance of Training / Induction / On the Job and Off the Job Training

Marketing

 

  • Purpose and Methods of Market Research – Primary and Secondary Research
  • Market Segmentation and Establishing a Target Market
  • The Marketing Mix
    • Product – Product Differentiation / Unique Selling Points / Product Portfolio / Product Life Cycles & Extension Strategies / The Boston Matrix
    • Price – Importance of Setting the Right Price / Pricing Strategies such as Skimming, Market Penetration, Cost Plus & Loss Leaders
    • Promotion – Advertising / Sales Promotions / Public Relations / Direct Selling / Sponsorship / Celebrity Endorsement and Social Media / Role of Promotion and Factors that Influence the Promotional Mix
    • Place – Channels of Distribution / Retailers / Wholesalers / Agents / E-Commerce and M-Commerce

Finance

 

  • Sources of Finance such as Bank Loans, Overdrafts, New Share Issue, Trade Credit, Retained Profit and Hire Purchase
  • Cash Flow – The Importance of Cash / Cash vs. Profit / Preparing and Interpreting Cash Flow Forecasts / Cash Flow Problems and Solutions
  • Financial Calculations – Total Revenue / Fixed and Variable Costs / Total Costs / Calculating Profit and Loss / Calculating Average Rate of Return
  • Break Even Analysis – Importance of Break Even / Interpreting Break Even and Margin of Safety
  • Analysing Financial Performance – Income Statements / Calculating and Interpreting Profitability / Total Profit vs. Profit Margins / Gross and Net Profit margins / Assets and Liabilities
 

The course lends itself to a practical approach, developing the skills necessary to identify, study and analyse a business opportunity or idea.  Students will develop a good all-round understanding of how a business operates and the course is ideal preparation for those interested in choosing A Level Business.

 

Students will undertake problem-solving activities and analyse case studies with a clear focus on the role of decision making in a range of different contexts.   

 

The specification requires students to draw on knowledge and understanding to:

  • use business terminology to identify and explain business activity
  • apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • develop problem solving and decision-making skills relevant to business
  • investigate, analyse and evaluate business opportunities and issues
  • make justified decisions using both qualitative and quantitative data