The King's School in Macclesfield



      The world in which we live is dominated by businesses big and small. A level Business is an exciting and interesting subject that can help you understand the world in which we live. Businesses are dynamic organisations that reflect the values of society and the people working in them. Studying A level Business will help you gain an insight into both.  Business is a flexible subject that may be combined with a wide range of subjects both at A level and in Higher Education.

      What is the difference between Economics & Business?

      Economics is a social science that attempts to explain how the actions and decisions of firms, consumers and workers and governments affect the operation of the economy.  It plays a huge role in our daily lives; it has links to international affairs and politics and is a subject that is often debated and discussed.  It requires a fair deal of analysis and includes topics such as supply and demand, growth, inflation, globalisation and exchange rates. 

      Business is more concerned with the actions and decisions taken by firms and focuses on topics such as marketing, staff in the organisation, accounting and finance, management, strategy and production methods.   Business studies students will also have to cover some Economics, as it affects how businesses operate in their external environments. 

      Although Business is not free from theory, it is less theoretical than Economics.  Out of the two subjects Economics is considered to be the more academic by employers and universities.  Business requires less understanding than Economics, but it by no means an easy subject; instead it involves more learning and therefore has more work to cover, and a great deal of new terminology to grapple with. Therefore, you might say that Economics course has more depth, with the Business course having more breadth. 

      Examination Results:

      A-level results 2019: 50% A*- A    84% A*- B    100% A*- C

      Applied General Business: Distinction = 45%    Distinction*/Distinction = 90%  Distinction*/Merit = 100%

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      Students will follow the Edexcel specification that will be examined through three exams:

      • Paper 1: Marketing, people & global business
      • Paper 2: Business activities, decisions & strategies
      • Paper 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment

      At a glance, the specification is split into four themes:

      Theme 1:

      Marketing and people

      • Meeting customer needs
      • The market
      • Marketing mix and strategy
      • Managing people
      • Entrepreneurs and leaders

      Theme 2:

      Managing business activities

      • Raising finance
      • Financial planning
      • Managing finance
      • Resource management
      • External influences

      Theme 3:

      Business decisions and strategy

      • Business growth, objectives & strategy
      • Decision-making techniques
      • Influences on business decisions
      • Analysing competitiveness
      • Managing change

      Theme 4:

      Global business

      • Globalisation
      • Global markets and business expansion
      • Global marketing
      • Global industries and companies (multi-national corporations)

      Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of Business, understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and challenge assumptions.


      Paper 1

      100 marks 35%

      Two data response case studies broken down into a number of parts, each including one extended open response question.

      Paper 2

      100 marks 35%

      Two data response case studies broken down into a number of parts, each including one extended open response question.

      Paper 3

      100 marks 30%

      A pre-release context is issued in June of Year 12. 

      Section A: focus on the broad context
      Section B: focus on a strand within the context

      In each section there will be a case study broken down into a number of parts, each including one extended open response question.

      The transferable skills underpinning these units include: carrying out calculations, interpreting data, making and presenting arguments, making and justifying business decisions, identifying problems and proposing solutions, recognising that a problem exists, conducting research and challenging assumptions.

      Business is a useful and interesting A level subject that will broaden the education of those students who might otherwise have pursued traditional academic courses.  It will be of vocational relevance and give insight into the working of the real business world.  The department uses IT in its teaching and has developed an Intranet as a useful learning resource.  There will also be the opportunity to visit industrial sites and learn from visiting speakers.

      There are no specific requirements at GCSE, though students should be aware of the fact that the course involves some numerical and statistical work.

      What is the difference between A Level Business & Applied General Business? 

      In terms of subject content, A Level Business and the Applied course share very similar content. The difference is in how the subjects are examined. The Applied course is more modular with a combination of exams and coursework elements. The Applied course has examinations in both January and June in Year 12 and Year 13 whilst the A Level has terminal examinations. In Year 12 Applied Business students will complete one piece of coursework and two written examinations, while in Year 13 there is two pieces of coursework and one examination. The grading system is also different with students graded from Distinction*- Pass. In terms of UCAS points a Distinction* is equivalent to an A* at A Level, Distinction is equivalent to an A and a Merit to a C. 

      AQA is the specification that we follow in Applied General Business, with students studying: 

      Year 12  Year 13
      Unit 1: Financial planning and analysis. (examination) Unit 4: Managing and leading people. (examination) 
      Unit 2: Business dynamics. (coursework) Unit 5: Developing a business proposal. (coursework) 
      Unit 3: Entrepreneurial opportunities. (examination)  Unit 8: Marketing commmunications. (coursework) 


      Enrichment Opportunities

      • Trips to UK manufacturers
      • Di-annual international trips to places such as China & New York.
      • Young Enterprise
      • Student Investor
      • Visiting speakers from the worlds of business, finance and manufacturing 
      • King’s of Commerce student magazine
      • Bank of England Target 2.0
      • ICEW Base
      • Manchester airport enterprise competition.
      • Student mentoring


      Nearly all jobs involve some type of business knowledge and, for those pursuing the subject at A level, the course will provide a searching and stimulating preparation for Higher Education and subsequent employment.  Business Studies and Management courses are extremely popular degrees.  The department can provide help for those students wishing to read Business at university.


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