Why study Business?


Studying Business gives students a great understanding of how the modern world functions, as all organisations, from schools to political parties, will be concerned with internal factors such as leadership, marketing, human resources and finance. Furthermore, they need to consider the external environment such as the economy, political and legal change, along with social and technological change. All of these topics are covered in A-level Business, and encourage students to think critically about the challenges that businesses face, and to make informed decisions about the best methods by which a business can overcome these issues and become successful. Overall, studying Business enables students to analyse and evaluate information and opportunities and decide upon strategies that will lead to success – an important skill for any young adult trying to decide on how to succeed in the modern world.

Why study Business at Solihull Sixth Form College?

All of the Business team are trained Business specialists who are passionate about the subject. We ensure that what is taught is seen outside of the four walls of the classroom and so focus much of learning on trips and visits; in the last year, Business students visited Gymshark, Innocent Smoothies, Morgan Motors and the Sky Garden. There were also talks from local entrepreneurs who share their journey, enabling students to get valuable insights into the skills needed to succeed. We use up-to-date and relevant case studies that incorporate contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation. We study growing businesses such as Apple, Tesla and Innocent, and also examine business failures to help students understand the complexities of the changing business environment.

Course Outline

This is a two-year Advanced Level course that looks at business in a variety of contexts such as large/small, UK focused/global and service/manufacturing. In these contexts students will consider:
• The importance of decision making.
• How business activities are interrelated and how they affect competitiveness.
• The markets in which businesses operate.
• How functional decisions and plans (e.g. a marketing campaign), are influenced by ethical and environmental issues.
• Factors determining whether a decision is likely to be successful e.g. the quality of data.
• How technology is changing the way businesses operate and compete.
• The impact on stakeholders and their reaction to functional decisions.
• The use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making including index numbers, ratios and percentages.
Students will use the internet, newspapers, magazines, television programmes and video clips, which all help to bring the subject alive by using topical material to illustrate key concepts. In addition to these opportunities, a variety of classroom strategies for learning are used alongside teacher-led subject teaching, such as group work, presentations and independent study.


No coursework
There will be three 2-hour exams each worth 100 marks
Paper 1 will assess marketing, people and global businesses. Questions will be drawn from local, national and global contexts.
Paper 2 will assess business finance and operations, business decisions and strategy
Paper 3 will assess content from all four themes and will be based on a pre-released context, enabling students to develop their research skills.
Examining Board – Edexcel.

Special Entry Requirements

You will need to produce extended written answers so your standard of English is important. If GCSE Business has been taken then students must achieve a minimum of grade 4. In addition, the College’s standard A level entry requirements apply.

Prohibited Options

None. Business combines well with many subjects. Business combines well with most social science courses and complements Information Technology. Students can also study Business with Economics or Law. Science and Maths students also like to combine these subjects with Business to give some variety to their programmes.

What do our students go on to do?

The majority of students on this course progress to university. Past students have gone onto courses like Business Management, Human Resources, Law and Accountancy or courses with another related subject e.g. Business and IT. Sponsored degree programmes and Higher Apprenticeships are also an option and are highly valued by employers. These include places on the prestigious KPMG 360 Accounting programme and the PwC Flying Start programme, both of which include sponsored places at university.

This information is correct for September 2020 entry.

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Case Studies

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