As the name suggests, the course studies how businesses function and looks at the work that various departments, such as marketing, finance, human resources, and production carry out. The course also looks at how outside activities affect businesses, and in turn, how businesses react to these; for example, the effect of changes in government policy, competition and demand, and also ethical issues – such as ‘green trading’. In addition, the A level draws together the business functions and the external environment to study the objectives and strategies that businesses adopt.
You will learn about the important decisions that businesses face in modern, competitive, and often global, environments. Topics such as:
- ‘How businesses advertise and price their goods’
- ‘The production method that best suits the product’
- ‘Why a call centre may relocate to China’
- ‘Marketing strategies a company should use’
- ‘Why firms might merge’
- ‘The characteristics of a good manager’
- ‘How a firm’s final accounts are compiled’
- ‘How a firm could increase its cash flow’
Although the course is very broad it does not teach you how to run your own business or to become the next Richard Branson! However, it will equip you with the knowledge to appreciate how modern, successful companies operate.
Why study Business?
The subject content enables learners to investigate different types and sizes of organisations in various business sectors and environments, drawing on local, national and global contexts, including data which relates to the Welsh business environment. Learners will develop a holistic understanding of business and enterprise and be aware of the opportunities and threats of operating in a global marketplace. Learners will also be expected to be familiar with current issues in business and be able to investigate, analyse and evaluate contemporary business opportunities and problems in a wide range of contexts, whilst recognising how businesses adapt to operate in a dynamic business environment.
They will gain an understanding of the important role played by small businesses in the economy of Wales and the rest of the UK. In addition, learners will identify the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of established business and not-for-profit organisations in providing goods and services. As well as broadening knowledge and understanding, learners will be required to apply a number of analytical techniques, including decision-making models, investment appraisal tools and ratio analysis, to investigate business opportunities and problems to determine business strategy in a range of contexts.
There is also a numeracy element in which learners will be expected to use a range of numerical skills and make justifiable decisions using both quantitative and qualitative methods and applying them in a business context.