Handbook for A Level Business Studies

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2 Handbook for A Level Business Studies Introduction A Level Business Studies is made up of two parts: A/S Level and A 2 Level. A Level is comprised of 50% of A/S and 50% A2. You achieve a qualification at A/S Level at the end of Year 12. You may then choose to continue to A2 in Year 13 in order to achieve the full A Level. You will learn: About business situations enabling you to think about what is happening in the business world To develop a critical understanding of organisations and markets To develop an understanding of business behaviour How to make decisions, solve problems and evaluate solutions to business situations Having completed this course, you will apply a different perspective to your understanding of local, national and international events You do NOT need to have studied GCSE Business Studies at GCSE. If you have done so, it is expected that you have achieved at least Grade C. If you have not studied Business Studies before, it will not affect your final grade. You are expected to have at least 5 Grade C s or above with competent Maths and English. English will be needed to develop your written answers and Maths is needed to make financial calculations. Breakdown of A/S Assessment A/S Business Studies is made up of two Units: Unit 1 Planning and Financing a Business 1 hr 15 min examination Short answer questions and extended responses based on a mini case study. Unit 2 Managing a Business 1 hr 30 min examination Compulsory, multi-part data response questions. There is no coursework in A Level Business Studies. Uniform Mark Scheme requirements for each unit. Unit 1 Planning and Financing a Business - 40% 0f total uniform marks available for A/S Unit 2 Managing a Business - 60% 0f total uniform marks available for A/S In all subjects the uniform marks needed to achieve different grades at A/S and A Level are the same. These are given below. Total (%) A (%) B (%) C (%) D (%) E (%) Uniform Marks However the actual marks you need to achieve, in order to attain different Uniform Mark Grades, varies from subject to subject. The actual marks in Business Studies you need to achieve vary form unit to unit and year to year.

3 Content of A/S Units Unit 1 Planning and Financing a Business Starting a Business Enterprise enterprise and entrepreneurs the importance of risk and rewards such as profit the notion of opportunity cost motives for becoming an entrepreneur government support for enterprise and entrepreneurs. Generating and Protecting Business Ideas sources of business ideas the identification of a product or market niche franchises copyright, patents and trademarks. Transforming Resources into Goods and Services inputs, outputs and the nature of the transformation of resources into finished products adding value. Developing Business Plans the purpose and contents of business plans sources of information and guidance. Conducting Start-up Market Research methods of primary and secondary market research qualitative and quantitative research size and types of samples factors influencing the choice of sampling methods. Understanding Markets the nature and types of markets the importance of demand types of market segmentation market size, growth and share. Choosing the Right Legal Structure for the Business sole traders, partnerships, private limited companies and public limited companies not-for-profit businesses. Raising Finance sources of finance available to start businesses. Locating the Business factors influencing start-up location decisions. Employing People types of employees used in small businesses using consultants and advisors. Financial Planning Calculating Costs, Revenues and Profits fixed, variable and total costs price, total revenue and profit. Using Break-Even Analysis to Make Decisions contribution and contribution per unit calculation of break-even output construction of break-even charts analysing the effects of changing variables on break-even charts. Using Cash Flow Forecasting the nature of cash flow how to forecast cash flow the structure of a cash flow forecast why businesses forecast cash flow. Setting Budgets income, expenditure and profit budgets the process of setting budgets problems in setting budgets. Assessing Business Start-ups objectives of business start-ups strengths and weaknesses of a business idea and/or plan why start-ups can be risky why start-up businesses may fail.

4 Unit 2 Managing a Business Finance Using Budgets the benefits and drawbacks of using budgets the calculation and interpretation of favourable and adverse variances using variance analysis to inform decisionmaking. Improving Cash Flow causes of cash flow problems methods of improving cash flow. Measuring and Increasing Profit the calculation and understanding of net profit margins the calculation and understanding of return on capital methods of improving profits/profitability the distinction between cash and profit. People in Business Improving Organisational Structures key elements of organisational structure workforce roles how organisational structure affects business performance. Measuring the Effectiveness of the Workforce methods of measuring workforce performance. Developing an Effective Workforce: Recruitment, Selection, Training the recruitment process internal and external recruitment selecting the best employees how recruitment and selection can improve a workforce methods of training. Developing and Retaining an Effective Workforce: Motivating Employees using financial methods to motivate employees improving job design empowering employees working in teams theories of motivation. Operations Management Making Operational Decisions operational targets calculating and managing capacity utilisation operational issues dealing with non-standard orders and matching production and demand. Developing Effective Operations: Quality the meaning of quality the distinction between quality control and quality assurance systems of quality assurance quality standards. Developing Effective Operations: Customer Service methods of meeting customer expectations monitoring and improving customer service the benefits of high levels of customer service. Working with Suppliers choosing effective suppliers the role that suppliers play in improving operational performance. Using Technology in Operations types of technology in operations management issues in introducing and updating technology. Marketing and the Competitive Environment Effective Marketing the purpose of marketing niche and mass marketing. Designing an Effective Marketing Mix influences on the marketing mix the importance of an integrated marketing mix. Using the Marketing Mix: Product influences on the development of new goods and services unique selling points (or propositions) product portfolio analysis product life cycle. Using the Marketing Mix: Promotion elements of the promotional mix influences on the choice of promotional mix. Using the Marketing Mix: Pricing pricing strategies pricing tactics influences on pricing decisions.

5 Using the Marketing Mix: Place choosing appropriate outlets/distributors types of distribution channels. Marketing and Competitiveness the possible impacts of market conditions and degree of competition determinants of competitiveness methods of improving competitiveness Unit Deadlines Units 1and 2 will be taught throughout Year 12 and it is aimed to complete them by the end of March. Mock examinations will be taken in each unit at the end of March. Which skills will be developed by you on the course? You will: Understand the nature of decision making and problem solving within organisations How to see business problems through different perspectives How to manage information How to identify business problems, plan appropriate investigations and make justifiable decisions How to suggest solutions to problems How to discuss problems in group situations and debate points What kind of additional experience will you gain (e.g. field trips, visits)? You will study real world situations, examining local and national companies by carrying out investigations and analysis. What kind of Bibliographical Information will you use? You will be provided with textbooks and case study books by staff when necessary. You will be provided with pre-printed notes and questions by staff when necessary. You will be expected to carry out individual research on a range of areas using the learning resource centre. You will be expected to use relevant information in learning resource centre in The Business Studies Review magazine, Newspapers and the Internet. Advice and Guidance on wider research. You will be expected to read business related articles in a quality newspaper on a regular basis, and view business related television programmes as background material. In addition the internet is expected to be used to research support work across the units. What sort of further courses and careers will this subject prepare me for? The vast majority of students who have studied A/S Business Studies at Kingsley College continue their studies at A2 Level to attain the full A Level in Business Studies. The A level qualification provides a firm foundation for degree courses in Business Studies or related courses e.g. Accountancy and Law. This course supports students who wish to pursue careers in the business or commercial sphere including Marketing, Human Resources, Retailing, Accountancy, Banking, Insurance or Financial Management. Destinations of past students Having followed a course in A/S Level or full A Level in Business Studies students have gone on to many different universities to study Business Studies or related subjects. Students have also entered the job market to pursue careers in management training in a wide range of areas including Retailing and Commerce.

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