Business Studies

Course Description 

The teachers in our department, always aim to demonstrate the real world to our students so that they gain a better understanding of how the local, national and international economies work and how they impact on their lives now and in the future. Our aim is to open avenues for our students and to be innovative and creative in our delivery of the concepts under study. The courses available for students are dynamic in nature. They allow students not only to develop academically and acquire many transferable skills for the future, but also gain a practical view of how things work in a wider context. Students develop their knowledge in a supportive and stimulating environment enabling virtually all to progress and achieve real success. The courses available set solid foundations for higher education as well as for the job market.

We share a keen interest in the subject, a positive approach to our work and a commitment to bring out the full potential of each and every one of our pupils. We aim to involve pupils in a variety of approaches and experiences. We encourage independence of thought yet also provide opportunity for our pupils to work in a co-operative manner, sharing ideas and developing communication skills. There is a real emphasis on making the learning of concepts fun, interactive and visual. We use many mediums to give our students understanding of topics and this is also supported by well designed, and heavily resourced, schemes of work, ensuring that the specifications and learning criteria are met fully.

Why study A Level Business Studies?

A-level Business Studies helps students:

  • develop a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value
  • be aware that business behaviour can be studied from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders
  • acquire a range of skills including decision-making and problem-solving
  • be aware of the current structure of business and business practice
  • Gain an insight into a wide range of career possibilities including Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources and Operations

What will you study?

Across the two year course you will build an understanding of the following areas:

Theme 1: Marketing and people Theme 2: Managing business activities
  • meeting customer needs
  • the market
  • marketing mix and strategy
  • managing people
  • raising finance
  • financial planning
  • managing finance
  • resource management
Theme 3: Business decisions and strategy

This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2.

Theme 4: Global business This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1
  • business objectives and strategy
  • business growth
  • decision-making techniques
  • influences on business decisions
  • assessing competitiveness
  • globalisation
  • global markets and business
  • expansion
  • global marketing

Is a business study A-level right for me?

You will be encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, to understand that business behaviour can be studied from range of perspectives and to challenge assumptions. This course will deepen your knowledge of business as well as support career choices by exploring the different areas of businesses.

Where will it take me?

  • Work based training or apprentice scheme
  • University
  • Employment

“Business and related subjects including finance and economics are among the most popular fields of study at universities worldwide, particularly at graduate level business graduates are in high demand worldwide, business touches on pretty much every aspect of modern human society, careers with a business degree are diverse and often highly paid.”

Economists study how governments, businesses and households can make the best decisions with the limited information and resources at their disposal.

The social science of economics has gained increasing prominence since the credit crunch of 2008 with resources, such as money and housing, in critical shortage and seemingly inadequate for a population with unlimited needs and wants. These pressures are evident in and around Cecil Jones as the government seeks to cut spending on health and education in an area of population growth and youth unemployment. Our department wants to make students aware of how these economic events may influence their lives.

A Level Economics has never been more popular as a course choice and the increasing presence of economics in the national media and consciousness makes this an ideal time to study the subject. At Cecil Jones we seek to make the study of economics as fascinating, accessible and challenging as possible. We hope that you, and your child, will consider studying the subject with us.


Why choose this subject?

The products and services you use every day are only available because of an increasingly complex system of global markets. Economists seek to understand how households, business and governments interact and make decisions that influence our present and future living standards.

Choose economics if you want to understand the challenging decisions that face modern political and business leaders in their attempts to manage resources more effectively (not necessarily ethically). Economics is widely respected as a challenging subject by universities and employers.


Combine this course with:          Geography, Sociology, English Literature, languages or Maths.

Essential if you go on to:             A career in financial services (banking, accountancy, stockbroking), law, politics, journalism, business consultancy or teaching.


Course Description

A Level Economics

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

An introduction to economic principles and how they influence the markets for goods and services. We will study how some markets can fail societies and what the government can do to reduce such problems.

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

This unit is based on identifying the UK macroeconomic objectives and how economic performance can be measured. You will then study the policies the government uses to meet these objectives and their impact upon living standards.

For AS students will sit 2 x 90 minute exams on each Theme. Exams consist of a mixture of multiple choice, data response and extended open response questions. You will have one exam based on each theme.

Theme 3Business behaviour and the labour market

Citizens in developed economies are dependent on the goods and services that businesses provide. You will study how a firm’s objectives, behaviours and profits are influenced by the level of government intervention and market structure in which it operates.

Theme 4: A global perspective

 This unit applies theory covered in Unit 2 to other developed countries with an additional focus on emerging and developing economies. You will identify causes of poverty and inequality and constraints on economic development and competitiveness. For the first time students will study the financial sector and its significant impact on globalisation.

The A Level will be assessed on 3 x 2 hour exams at the end of year 13. Each exam consists of a mixture of multiple choice, data response and extended open response questions.

Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour (Themes 1 and 3) 35%

Paper 2: The national and global economy (Themes 2 and 4) 35%

Paper 3: Microeconomics and macroeconomics (All themes) 30%

Recommended Reading List;

  • 50 Economics Ideas: You Really Need to Know – Edmund Conway
  • Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  • GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, Diane Coyle
  • The idea of Justice, Amartya Sen
  • Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class Owen Jones, 2012
  • Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China by Leta Hong Fincher
  • Microfinance and Its Discontents: Debt in Bangladesh by Lamia Karim
  • The Two Forms of Production Under Capitalism by Mary Inman

Further useful reading and websites include:

  • Grave New World: (Stephen King) – Former head of Econ at HSBC looks at the fracturing global economy
  • If I Could Tell You Just One Thing…: Most Valuable Advice from Remarkable People: (Richard Reed)
  • Inequality (AB Atkinson) – a superb book on one of the defining economic/political issues of the age
  • Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us (Sharman and Fishman)
  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics (Richard Thaler) – Superb biography
  • Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty (Banerjee & Duflo) – development economics
  • Positive Linking – Networks and Nudges (Paul Ormerod) – good introduction to network economics
  • Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World (Richir Sharma)

Read here for further recommended reading title’s from Tutor 2 U’s Geoff Riley.