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Why Business?

Fancy yourself at the head of a successful business? Got some great ideas for a new product or service? Or maybe you want to work for a large company by working in marketing or management. No matter what your vision, the Business A Level course gives you an incredibly powerful start to launch you on to becoming a business person. All the key topics of starting and running a business are covered. Armed with this knowledge maybe you could be giving the ‘Dragons’ a run for their money in a few years’ time.

Summary of content

This specification introduces learners to the dynamic business environment and the importance of entrepreneurial activity in creating business opportunities and sustaining business growth. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of essential skills required for higher education and employment.

The focus of the specification is to nurture an enthusiasm for studying business using contemporary contexts, allowing learners to develop an appreciation of the strategic, complex and inter-related nature of business issues from a local to global perspective.

Learners will have the opportunity to develop awareness of contemporary business issues relevant to the Welsh business environment.


Unit 1 - AS - Business Opportunities

Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes
15% of A level qualification (37.5% of AS qualification)
This unit focuses on new business start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The content in this section is based around the concept of starting a new business and the issues that surround the process of planning a new business. In addition to covering the main concepts of setting up a new business, learners should be aware of other types of business organisations and the markets they operate in and their various stakeholders.

Learners will need to study the content areas below:

  • Enterprise
  • Business plans
  • Markets
  • Market research
  • Business structure
  • Business location
  • Business finance
  • Business revenue and costs

Unit 2 - AS - Business Functions

Written examination: 2 hours
25% of A level qualification (62.5% of AS qualification)

Unit 2 will assess the full AS content.

This unit broadens the context for learners and will include all types of business organisations, ranging from recently formed small businesses to well-established multinational companies. Learners need to understand that, in order to succeed in a competitive market, all businesses have to consider the core functions of business.
Learners will need to study the content areas below:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • People in organisations (human resources)
  • Operations management

Unit 3 - A2 - Business Analysis and Strategy

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes
30% of qualification
Unit 3 builds on the theory introduced in Units 1 and 2. As the title suggests, the emphasis in this unit is on understanding and using analytical techniques and developing appropriate business strategies.
Learners need to understand, construct and analyse a range of decision-making models and investment appraisal methods used by businesses to decide on their strategy.
Learners need to develop analytical skills to investigate business opportunities and problems in a number of different contexts and evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative data to suggest possible strategic responses from businesses.
Learners will need to study the content areas below:

  • Data analysis
  • Market analysis
  • Sales forecasting
  • Analysing financial performance
  • Analysing non-financial performance
  • Aims and objectives
  • Strategy and implementation
  • Decision-making models
  • Investment appraisal
  • Special order

Unit 4 - A2 - Business in a Changing World

Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes
30% of qualification

Unit 4 will assess the full A level content.
Unit 4 focuses on how businesses adapt to succeed in a dynamic external environment. Learners need to understand that the business world never stands still and there are continuous opportunities and threats to businesses of all sizes.

Learners need to understand that regardless of size, businesses now operate in a global marketplace and they need to consider a wide range of external factors that affect their day-to-day activities, decision-making and strategy.

Learners are required to integrate the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in all four units to display an holistic understanding of business activity and the environment in which they operate.
Learners will need to study the content areas below:

  • Change
  • Risk management
  • PEST factors
  • Ethical, legal and environmental factors
  • International trade
  • Globalisation
  • The European Union

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