At GCSE level students follow the OCR ‘Business Studies’ specification. This involves the study of ‘Production, Finance and the External Business Environment’, leading to an exam (50% of the GCSE total) based on pre-released case study stimulus material. In addition to this there is another exam (25%) on the topic of ‘Business and People’. The remaining 25% of the course comprises a piece of controlled assessment that centres on ‘Marketing and Enterprise’.
The GCSE in Business Studies is available for study as a two year course starting in year 10 and is untiered, covering all of the ability ranges from A* to G.
GCE level OCR ‘Applied Business’ is available for study in years 12 and 13. An exam (‘Understanding the Business environment’) plus two coursework portfolios (‘Creating a marketing proposal’ and ‘Recruitment in the workplace’) result in an AS in one year. This is weighted as 33% exam and 67% coursework.
After successful completion of their AS, students may then continue to A2 level in which they complete another two portfolios (including ‘A business plan for the entrepreneur’) plus an exam (‘Strategic decision making’).
Students must carry out more independent research for their ‘A’ level than for a GCSE and work in far greater depth and detail. It is therefore not possible to attempt an AS without already having a GCSE.
All taught Business Studies courses prepare students for careers in business as well as helping them understand everyday financial matters and the mechanics of how businesses operate.