GCSE Business Studies

GCSE Business Studies at KS4 is extremely popular with an average of 90 students opting for it each year. The OCR course is taken by students and is assessed through two exams at the end of Year 11 and a controlled assessment that is completed in Year 11.

The OCR course aims to:

  • encourage candidates to be inspired, moved and changed by studying a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study
  • allow candidates to gain an insight into related sectors such as economics and accounting
  • prepare candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices
  • appreciate the range of perspectives of different stakeholders in relation to business and economic activities.
  • engage actively in the study of business in order to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish facts and opinions, to build arguments and make informed judgements
  • develop and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to contemporary issues in a range of local, national and global contexts
  • consider the extent to which business and economic activity can be ethical and sustainable
  • appreciate diversity and recognise similarities and differences of attitudes and cultures in society

Unit 1- Marketing and Enterprise- 25% of qualification

This unit is assessed through controlled assessment that is marked by Business Studies teachers and then moderated externally. The exam board provide a case study each year for the piece of work to be based upon. Students have 16 hours to complete the task - ten hours limited supervision and six hours formal supervision.

The content of the unit covers marketing of a business and business planning. The topics covered include:

  • How would a business carry out market research?
  • How a business segments the market and reasons for doing so
  • Different elements that make up the marketing mix
  • How businesses use e-commerce?
  • The effects of ethical issues on businesses
  • What is the role of the entrepreneur?
  • Where do entrepreneurs go for support for their business?
  • The need for planning for business success

Unit 2 - Business and People - 25% of qualification

This unit is assessed through an external exam lasting one hour and is taken at the end of Year 11.

The content of the unit covers the structure of business activity and the workforce in a business. The topics covered include:

  • Why do businesses exist?
  • How businesses respond to objectives of stakeholders?
  • What are the aims and objectives of a business and how they may change over time?
  • The changing nature of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors and how they are interdependent
  • How are businesses owned? And what are the benefits and limitations of different types of ownership?
  • What makes businesses locate in an area?
  • How do businesses recruit their staff?
  • How do businesses retain their employees?
  • How are businesses organised?
  • What methods of communication are used by businesses and why is ICT so important?

Unit 3 - Production, Finance and the External Business Environment - 50% of qualification

This unit is assessed through and external exam lasting 1.5 hours and is taken at the end of Year 11.

The content of the unit covers using and managing resources in order to produce goods and services, financial information and external influences on business activity. The topics covered include:

  • How do businesses produce products? Why do they used particular methods?
  • What costs are involved in producing goods and how does a business decide on their scale of production?
  • Where would a business go to access finance? Why would they use these methods?
  • How does a business calculate their financial performance?
  • How competitive are markets businesses are in?
  • What environmental and ethical influences affect businesses?
  • What role do the government play in business activities?
  • How does the UK economy affect businesses?
  • How has globalisation impacted upon businesses?