Business Studies

curriculum intent

We study Business and Economics to develop an awareness and natural curiosity of the Business and Economic environment around them. To have a deeper understanding of the businesses that students will work for or run, and the key driving factors and inhibitors that impact the environment. To learn how to manage your current and future financial capability in the short, medium and long term. 


The Business Studies and Economics Department introduces pupils to the dynamics of how a business is set up and organised. It enables individuals to enhance their ability to enter the world of work within a wide range of business organisations. Our courses also provide valuable opportunities to develop key skills such as ICT, Maths, team working and communication, as well as developing confidence and inter-personal skills. A large number of students who take Business Studies/Economics/Financial Studies in the Sixth Form go on to study within higher education institutions or start Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Key Stage 4

In Years 9, 10 and 11 Business Studies and Work Related Learning are optional subjects. We offer two choices of courses:

  • GCSE Business Studies – Edexcel Business.
  • VCert (vocational certificate) in Business and Enterprise – this is a vocational option with 75% coursework and 25% exams and so is an appropriate option (the preferred choice) for students who cope better with a structured coursework approach instead of 100% exam assessment.
  • BTEC Technical in Enterprise in Year 11 - vocational option with 1/3 exam and 2/3 coursework.


In year 9 students complete knowledge and skills based projects, as we consider this to be a bridging year and an introduction to those who have never studied a business or work related learning qualification before. Thus, in GCSE Business and BTEC Technical in Enterprise activities include:

  • The SUBWAY challenge – a national competition that has a new challenge every year

  • Projects on Added Value and Branding

  • A major project about customer service.The aim is for students to develop their knowledge, application, analytical, evaluative and research skills ready for the year 10 courses that will start after the February of year 9.

YEARs 10 and 11

In GCSE Business Studies (from September 2017 Edexcel Business Studies qualification)

Edexcel GCSE Business assessment is split into two exams that are sat at the end of Year 11. This course is assessed by 100% exams.  There is only one tier of entry and the course is split into two units of work.

Theme 1 - Investigating Small Businesses - worth 50% of the total GCSE - 1 hour 30 minute exam

Theme 2 - Building a Business - worth 50% of the total GCSE - 1 hour 30 minute exam

  • Unit 1 –Setting up a Business – divided into 5 sections – worth 40% of the total GCSE - 1 hour exam

  • Unit 2 – Growing as a business – divided into 5 sections – worth 35% of the total GCSE - 1 hour exam

  • Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment coursework – worth 25% of the total GCSE

  • The NCFE VCert in Business and Enterprise  is being taught to Y11 only. .It is a semi-vocational alternative to AQA Business as it has three pieces of coursework and one exam – all equally weighted. The four units are:

    • Unit 1 - Introduction to Business and Enterprise – coursework

    • Unit 2 - Marketing for Business and Enterprise – controlled assessment exam (5 hours sat in exam conditions)

    • Unit 3 - Finance for Business and Enterprise – coursework

    • Unit 4 - Plan, develop and participate in a Business or Enterprise project – coursework

Extended work placements

In Years 10 to 11 we offer the opportunity for certain students to undertake a 2-year work placement in various businesses for two hours each week. Students who choose this option will do one less GCSE qualification but will gain vital transferable skills. We strongly believe that this initiative gives students a valuable opportunity to develop the employability skills that they would find hard to experience within school, whilst at the same time building their self-confidence and TENSILE skills.

Sixth Form

With the aim of offering a wider and more comprehensive choice of courses in our Sixth Form, we offer three different A level courses. Our philosophy is to enable students to make a reasoned choice, which will then support whatever career or further study they wish to undertake.

The three courses in Years 12 and 13 are as follows:

Edexcel AS Business

The new AS Business differs from the older A levels in that it is a stand-alone qualification. Students sit the two exams and then achieve an AS qualification.  If they want to achieve the full A level, students then have to sit all three exams of the A level course and the AS exams will not contribute to the full A level.

  • Theme 1 – Marketing and people

  • Theme 2 – Managing business activities.Students will sit two exams.

Edexcel A Level Business

  • Theme 1 – Marketing and people

  • Theme 2 – Managing business activities

  • Theme 3 – Business decisions and strategy

  • Theme 4 -Global business.Students will sit three exams.

Edexcel A Level Economics Specification A

  • Theme 1 – Introduction to markets and market failure

  • Theme 2 – The UK economy – performance and policies

  • Theme 3 – Business behaviour and the labour market

  • Theme 4 – A global perspective.Students will sit three exams.

LIBF Certificate in Financial Studies

  • Unit 1 - Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short term

  • Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term. Students will sit two exams.

LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies

  • Unit 3 – Sustainability of an individual’s finances
  • Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System

Extended Learning

The Business and Economics team believe very strongly in a students’ Whole Education and so our trips and extra-curricular activities play a large part in the all-round education of students.

LIBF Student Investor Challenge: Students between 14-18 years old can take part in a nationwide competition to increase the value of their virtual share portfolio. Groups of 4 students can invest in shares and commodities with the chance to win prizes, whilst understanding the mechanics of changing share prices, and commodity prices.

Enterprise—Post 16 year 12 and 13 only

From September 2017  year 12 students will take part in the National Young Enterprise programme.  The objectives are to set up and run a real business. Students raise capital, sell products/services, run meetings and solve a range of problems a business would face.

Trips and competitions

Trips we have run previously:

Woburn Wild Animal park Whipsnade – Open to GCSE and BTEC year 10 Business Studies students. Students are given a tour of the park and attend a presentation explaining how and to whom Woburn market themselves to and how they deliver outstanding customer service.

Coca-Cola Milton Keynes – Open to any year 12 and 13 student in the department. Students learn how Coca-Cola market and manufacture their fizzy flavoured drink.

Cranfield Business Challenge – Cranfield School of business – This is a year 12 business competition that takes place in June and July of each year. We usually have two teams of five students who take part in an on-line computer simulation activity. Students pitch themselves against teams from across Milton Keynes on how to best run a fictional business. The winner is the team which makes the most profit.

YEAR 9 Subway Challenge – We begin year 9 by arranging for students to enter this exciting marketing challenge.  Students are given a topic and resources and have to market a new sub sandwich of their choosing.

Bank of England - Year 12 and 13 Business, Economics and Financial Studies students.

Revision workshops

We also offer to take students to externally run revision workshops that we hope will further enhance our students’ examination skills. We give students the opportunity to go to a set of revision workshops that were held at Star City in Birmingham. Students pay for these courses as they are organised and run by private companies but we have attended them in the past and we believe that they provide an excellent, additional experience which complements what we provide for our students in school.