KS4 Business Studies

GCSE Business Studies

Examining body: Edexcel

Theme 1: Investigating small business

Assessment; Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 50% of the qualification, 90 marks

Content overview

  • Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity
  • Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice
  • Topic 1.4 Making the business effective
  • Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business

Theme 2: Building a business

Assessment; Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes, 50% of the qualification, 90 marks

Content overview

  • Topic 2.1 Growing the business
  • Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions
  • Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions
  • Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions
  • Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions

Course outline:

Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business. In this theme, students will be introduced to local and national business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. Local contexts refer specifically to small businesses or those operating in a single UK location and national contexts relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK.

Students must develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business activity through interactions between business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, as well as the relationship between the business and the environment in which it operates. Students must understand how these interdependencies and relationships underpin business decisions.

Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Theme 2 also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows. In this theme, students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. National contexts build on those in Theme 1 and relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK. Global contexts relate to non-UK or transnational businesses.

Students must develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business activity through interactions between business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, as well as the relationship between the business and the environment in which it operates. Students must understand how these functional areas influence business activity and how interdependencies and relationships between them underpin business decisions.

Prior knowledge & experience:

It is unlikely that students will have studied business before taking this course, but that does not matter. There are no specific requirements that students must have but they should enjoy communicating and explaining their ideas; thinking creatively and making decisions; working with numbers to solve business problems; learning about the world of work through research and investigation as well as practical tasks. Students might have an interest in business and want to start their own business one day.

Students should have an enquiring mind and be interested in learning about the world around them, how businesses are set up, and what it is that makes someone a great entrepreneur.

Future pathways:

Qualifications: A level & BTEC business, A level economics.

Possible Careers: Accountancy, law, marketing, sports management or the leisure and tourism industry, teaching.

Other information:

Full details of the course & specification can be found at https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/business-2017.html

Programmes that are useful to watch include ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragon’s Den’ and will give some insight into business related topics and highlight skills that may be learnt.

5 ways I can help my son/daughter
1 Talk to your child about what they have been studying in school. Ask them to explain key concepts to you. Their GCSE business book has lots of information that you could use to guide you. A level students have notes and should be developing their glossary.
2 Debate topical issues about business & the wider economy, demonstrating a balanced argument.
3 Watch the news and read news articles about business and the wider economy with your child asking them questions that check they have understood the report and ask them to give their opinions.
4 Encourage them to read around the subject.
5 Talk to them about their progress and attainment.