The department offers a wide range of courses including four A Levels: Economics, Business Studies, Applied Business, Accounting and a GCSE in Personal Economics, the Certificate in Finance Studies as well as Higher Economics for the IB course. The department has twenty dedicated and experienced members of staff, with a variety of business and educational backgrounds which allows a diverse range of expertise. We draw on that experience to both deliver courses and enhance the educational experience of students. We have an open door policy that allows students to come to the workroom to ask for help when they require it. We are supportive of students in their progression choices for Higher Education or employment.

Courses Offered

AS Level Economics

This is half of the OCR modular A Level. It consists of two units: Micro Economics and Marco Economics. The assessment involves structured questions based on a case study. This may be followed by the study of AS Business Studies or Accounts in Year 2. Re-sit opportunities are possible in AS Modules in all subjects.

A Level Economics

This is an OCR modular course. You are assessed by means of examinations taken at the end of the first year for the AS, and in both winter and summer exam sessions in year two for the A level. The examinations involve data response, case study and essay questions.

These different assessment methods require a wide range of skills to be developed and Maths and English language at grade C are essential. B grades are desirable.

The course involves study of microeconomics (how prices are determined and how markets work) and macroeconomics (how the national and international economy operates and the economic policies used by governments).

The two year one modules are the AS Level. Two modules are taken in year two: Transport Economics and the Global Economy.

Economics Double Option

Students who wish to may add an A Level in Business Studies to their Economics A Level by attending two additional periods during the second year of their course. Around 50% of Economics students opt for the double option, entrance onto the course is dependent on receiving a recommendation from your Economics teacher.

Students may also add an AS in World Development by attending three additional periods during the second year.

AS Level Business Studies

This is half the Edexcel Modular A Level. It consists of two units covering areas of marketing, finance, human resources, operations management, decision-making and external environment. The assessment involves multichoice questions and a case study, with longer questions.

In year two may take a one-year AS accelerated course in Economics (just 4 periods per week), Equally you may opt to take AS Accounting or AS Economics in the ‘normal’ 6 periods per week.

A Level Business Studies

This is an Edexcel modular course. Units are assessed entirely by examination. The AS is taken at the end of the first year. If students have not performed well on the earlier modules they may re-sit, at their own expense.

The course requires you to have high levels of numeracy and literacy. We therefore require at least C grade passes in English and Maths. Knowledge of the main IT applications is also helpful, though not expected.

AS Accounting

This is an AQA modular course consisting of two data response units. Unit 1: Introduction to Financial Accounting covers double-entry procedures as applied to the accounting systems of sole traders, Unit 2: Financial and Management Accounting, develops the knowledge and understanding of Unit 1 and introduces some ways in which financial accounting can provide valuable information for measuring and monitoring business performance and for planning business operations. The successful completion of this course offers the opportunity to progress to A level in year 2 and combines well with AS Economics in Year 1.

A Level Accounting

Again, a modular AQA course, this 2 unit course is available to those Year 2 students who have successfully completed the associated AS in Year 1. This course is again in two units, Unit 3: Further Financial Accounting and Unit 4: Further Aspects of Management Accounting. This course combines particularly well with A Level Economics and the accelerated A level in Business Studies.

GCE AS/A Level in Applied Business

This is the equivalent of one A Level, is completed over a two year period and will take up 6 periods per week on your timetable. Our students study the EDEXCEL syllabus. You complete 6 units of work. Each of the units deals with a key aspect of business; marketing, human resources, accounting, administration, business planning. There are no final exams, only unit tests. Student centred approach. You complete the course by building up a portfolio of evidence based on contact with firms and work in College. Incorporates experience of work as an important aspect of working with business. This course is suitable for those going into employment at 18 or onto Business related degree courses. Students are encouraged to consider adding AS Accounting to their programme in year 1, which also allows for the opportunity of progression to A level Accounting in year 2.

Certificate in Financial Studies (Double Option)

This is recommended for students taking Economics, Business Studies, Accounts or Applied Business as a fifth subject. It complements these courses and so can be taken in just one period per week. The qualification, which is awarded the same UCAS points as AS Level, consists of three papers, the first two of which are entirely multiple choice. In the second year, student may choose to take the Diploma in Financial Studies, which is awarded the same UCAS points as A Level.

GCSE Personal Economics and Financial Studies

This is taken in six periods a week for the first term (and four periods in the second term) as part of a three or four GCSE course. This course consists of a half GCSE in Economics and a Certificate in Financial Studies (which is valued the same as an AS Level). Students who pass every unit first time, will have completed the course by early March.

Please see the Course Details box on this page for links to downloadable subject information sheets.


In the Business and Economics Department we try to ensure that students have a variety of support throughout their time of study. All subjects have a Moodle virtual learning environment (VLE) which can be accessed in and out of college. The sites contain information such as core class notes, revision guidance, past exam papers etc. Students can also make arrangements to see their teacher outside of lessons for help.

The department organises trips to relevant exam board revision conferences. Applied Business uses Thorpe Park (AS students visit the park in the 1st term) and Soft View as case studies for coursework units. Accounts has progression links with the accountancy firms Grant Thornton and PKF.

Useful Resources

General business education websites:

Economics Students:

  • Economists Do It With Models is a site designed for students of economics at all levels. It’s funny but also very useful – has online tutorials and a good blog by an academic but designed to be accessible to students.
  • The Bank of England’s website will give any prospective student all the information they would ever want or need about monetary policy
  • HM Treasury website is the other ‘must’ for students of economic policy as it looks at the other ‘key’ tool – fiscal policy. So if you want to know why the Chancellor of the Exchequer is doing what he is, this is the site for you. You can peruse the coalition government’s various (disastrous) Budgets!
  • The European Central Bank’s (ECB) €conomia: The Monetary Policy Game – see if you can control interest rates in the Eurozone to achieve economic growth, low inflation and low unemployment. BE AWARE you’ll get kicked out of the game if you manage the economy badly!
  • The CIA (yes the US Central Intelligence Agency) publish The World Fact Book. It has economic and other data about most countries in the world.
  • A blog by Robert Peston (BBC Business Editor). Excellent commentary on current events for the lay person. Requires no special knowledge of economics or business – just an interest in finding out more.

Accountancy professional sites: