What makes a successful entrepreneur? Is it something that can be taught or is it innate? How can the UK maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly global world? Will Apple continue to prosper and how does Facebook generate money? These are some of the questions we will explore on the A Level Business course.

Course Overview

A Level Business involves all elements of managing a business and decision-making related to it. The breadth of subject knowledge gained includes accounting, human resource management and issues of motivating staff, operational management and marketing: transferable skills that also allow you to market yourself well.

On the course you will learn to design market research and create a marketing strategy tailored to ensure a product is successful in its market segment. Improving manufacturing using a variety of production methods, Japanese ‘kaizen’ and the recognised quality standards is also covered.

In terms of human resources, you will find out how to recruit, inspire and lead employees using techniques based on psychological theory, such as Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory. You also find out what makes an effective team, according to Belbin.

The financial performance of a business is analysed, using key financial ratios and investment appraisal techniques are used to decide between capital projects. Lessons involve lively discussions focused on businesses and products which are in the news. Everyday calculations, such as percentage change, are used to support arguments in essays.

Unit Guide

You will study the following units on A Level Business:

  • What is Business?
  • Managers, Leadership and Decision Making
  • Decision Making to Improve Marketing Performance
  • Decision Making to Improve Operational Performance
  • Decision Making to Improve Financial Performance
  • Decision Making to Improve Human Resource Performance
  • Analysing the Strategic Position of a Business
  • Choosing Strategic Direction
  • Strategic Methods: How to Pursue Strategies
  • Managing Strategic Change


You will take three exams at the end of two years of study, consisting of multiple choice, case-study analysis and essay-based papers.

Special Features

In the first year we cover issues facing firms pre-trading such as forecasting cash flow to manage day-to-day finances, compiling budgets, market research to identify potential customers and formulating business plans. We go on to cover the realities of trading and monitoring finances, marketing, operational issues and human resource management. You will be involved in discussions on current business affairs, pair work, research and presentations, as well as individual problem-solving. The second year has a more strategic focus, where the four main functions of business namely marketing, finance, human resources and operations are explored with a view to achieving corporate objectives.


Business fits in with most other A Levels and is accepted by all universities. Business students often go on to study for degrees in business management, finance and accounting and engineering, sometimes specialising in marketing or human resources, or combining business with a language.

Last year, A Level Business students progressed onto a wide range of degree programmes including –

University Degree
Leicester University Psychology
Oxford Brookes University Planning and Property Development
Portsmouth University Business Management and Entrepreneurship
Royal Holloway, University of London Management with International Business
Sheffield Hallam University Real Estate

Exam Board