Business Studies - Key Stage 4

Course Details:

The GCSE Business Studies course provides students with the opportunity to learn about the processes and activities that all businesses, regardless of their size, have to engage in.  Students will learn about the main aspects of business activity and will make use of real life case studies and scenarios to develop their understanding.



Section 1: Small and medium sized businesses  

1 hour written examination and is worth 40% of the GCSE marks. (60 marks)


Unit 1 covers ideas and issues relating to setting up a business, including;

  • Starting a business – aims, planning, location decisions, legal issues

  • Marketing – market research, the Marketing Mix

  • Finance – sources of finance and advice, profit and loss, cash flow

  • People in Businesses – recruitment, motivation, legal issues

  • Operations management – production methods, customer service


Section 2: Large  businesses

1 hour written examination and is worth 35% of the GCSE marks. (60 marks)

Unit 2 builds upon the work of unit 1 and considers the differences between business activity for larger organisations.  The unit covers:

  • expanding a business – risks, benefits, methods, legal structures, aims, location decisions

  • marketing –Using the Marketing Mix -  Product, Price, Place, Promotion

  • finance – sources of finance, financial statements, interpreting accounting information

  • people in businesses – Organisational charts, recruitment, training, appraisal, motivation

  • operations management – production methods, growth, quality assurance


Unit 1 and 2 examinations include a range of questions, based upon short case study material within the exam paper.  This material is not released before the examination. 


Section 3  – Controlled Assessment Task and is worth 25% of the GCSE marks. (40 marks)

The controlled assessment will consist of a business investigation based upon pre-released material from the exam board.  The controlled assessment requires students to:

  • Be thoroughly prepared in relation to their understanding of the course content

  • Engage in 8 hours planned research to gather sufficient information to support the final task

  • Produce a final presentation in the form of a written report.

The production of the final written report will be completed in strict exam conditions and work cannot be redrafted or taken away for completion.


Quality of written communication is assessed in all units of the course, including the terminal examinations and controlled assessment tasks.  Written work must be legible, well organised, appropriately presented using accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.


Pupils can achieve a GCSE grade ranging from an A* to G.


Skill Development:


Students  will:

  • develop and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to real business situations in a range of  local, national and global contexts.

  • analyse and critically reflect upon data and information, learning to distinguish between fact and opinion, build arguments and make informed, reasoned judgements.

  • engage in the study of business to develop themselves as effective, independent learners who are able to research, participate in discussion and present their ideas effectively in a variety of different ways.

  • evaluate evidence and present appropriate conclusions, demonstrating sound understanding of business concepts.

  • consider the social, moral and ethical aspects of business activity, taking into account the perspectives and opinions of different groups in relation to business activity.

  • apply numeracy and literacy skills to real life situations and case studies.

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