This course aims to make you think critically about the world of business. It covers ideas drawn from various disciplines, including economics, accounting, law, government and politics, sociology and psychology.

It focuses on small to medium sized businesses operating within national and international markets and includes the teaching and learning of transferable skills such as calculations, interpreting and analysing data, applying knowledge to unfamiliar situations, developing arguments and making judgements and decisions.


Over the two years you will cover the following three areas:

Component 1: 

Business Opportunities and Functions Focusing on new business start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the content in this section is based around the concept of starting a new business and the issues that surround the process of planning a new business. Awareness of other types of business organisations and the markets they operate in and their various stakeholders will be covered. It also covers business functions for all types of business organisations, ranging from recently formed small businesses to well established multinational companies. These functions include marketing, finance, people in organisations (human resources) and operations management.

Component 2: 

Business Analysis and Strategy You will learn to understand, construct and analyse a range of decision-making models and investment appraisal methods used by businesses to decide on their strategy. You will develop analytical skills to investigate business opportunities and problems in a number of different contexts and evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative data to suggest possible strategic responses from businesses. This element is very numerical.

Component 3: 

Business in a Changing World Component 3 focuses on how businesses adapt to succeed in a dynamic external environment. The business world never stands still and there are continuous opportunities and threats to businesses of all sizes. You will learn that businesses operate in a global marketplace and that they need to consider a wide range of external factors that affect their day-to-day activities, decision-making and strategy. You are required to integrate the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in all three components.


Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.


There are three written papers at the end of the A Level year:

Component 1:

Business Opportunities and Functions 2 hours 15 minutes – 1/3 of qualification

Component 2:

Business Analysis and Strategy 2 hours

15 minute – 1/3 of qualification

Component 3:

Business in a Changing World 2 hours 15 minutes – 1/3 of qualification


Standard College entry requirements and a minimum of:

Grade required Subject required

Grade 5 in one subject group and Grade 4 in the other

GCSE English Language or English Literature   

GCSE Mathematics 


Grade 5 In at least one predominantly written based GCSE subject (from English Language, English Literature, History, Religious Studies or Sociology) 

Please note that it is not possible to study A Level Business alongside A Level Economics in your first year.  Students who wish to keep the option of studying both A Level Business and A Level Economics should choose A Level Economics within their first year A Level programme as they will then have the option of adding an accelerated A Level Business course to their second year.



Business encourages students to develop a wide range of skills, which are useful for employment in a wide range of fields. Students can use this qualification in order to progress onto university courses, higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.


Students should have a keen interest in businesses. They need to be able to develop an awareness of businesses by keeping up to date with current business news stories and be able to relate these to the theoretical content of the course.

Subjects that complement Business

Many Business students will also take the opportunity to pursue a Certificate/ Diploma in Finance alongside their course. The Financial Certificate is a ‘4th academic course option’ which will interest and be of value to a number of A Level Business students (see page 94). It offers a practical look at the finance we use on an everyday basis and how we can make the most of our personal finances. This is a highly useful combination and can significantly contribute to a student’s understanding of the field as well as gaining a useful number of extra ‘UCAS points’ for university entry.

Core Mathematics (Mathematical Studies) is a very useful complementary course for this subject and is recommended as a further (4th) course choice for students who are not taking A Level Mathematics or A Level Statistics options. See the Core Mathematics subject page for further details (page 92).