At KS5 the Department currently offers two courses: Edexcel A level Economics B and OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Business. The Economics course is 100% externally examined and is more suited to someone who wants to work for a business. On the other hand, the Level 3 Business Diploma is 75% coursework based and is more suited to someone who wants to own their own business.
Edexcel A level Economics B
A level Economics and Business is a popular choice for sixth formers. No previous study of Economics or Business is required and it is a course that complements a wide variety of subject choices. This contemporary course integrates key concepts of Economics and Business in a coherent and innovative manner highlighting the inter-relationships between Economics and Business. An interest in news and current affairs will be useful.
THEME 1: Markets, Consumers and Firms
Students will see how new business ideas are developed and implemented and they will investigate the characteristics that are needed to develop and build a business. Students will study the market economy and how market forces shape how entrepreneurs meet consumer demand. They will investigate market failure and how governments try to intervene. They will also study some aspects of macroeconomics such as inflation and unemployment.
THEME 2: The Wider Economic Environment
This theme helps students explore how firms become more competitive and how they continually seek to improve efficiency. It seeks to explain how consumers react to changes in price and income. The unit then expands into an explanation of national issues such as the economic cycle and the tools the government use to manage this cycle and global issues. Students will study the cost and benefits of international trade and globalisation.
THEME 3: The Global Economy
This theme builds on some of the content in Theme 2. Students will investigate the growing economic powers of emerging markets such as China and the potential opportunities presented by Africa. Students will explore the role of multinational corporations and why firms relocate around the world. Certain aspects of the supply chain are studied as well as poverty, inequality and wage determination.
THEME 4: Making Markets Work
This theme considers the level of competition in markets and how governments try to seek improvements in the functioning of markets and the economy. It focusses on the use of regulation to control or reduce the market power of producers and increase the protection given to consumers. Students will also explore aspects of economic management such as supply side policies and demand management. Finally students explore the topic of market failure and the impact of the recent financial crisis.
The assessment comprises 3 separate written papers that covers topics from Year 12 and Year 13.
Paper 1: Written paper that covers Themes 1 and 4. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 35% of the total qualification.
Paper 2: Written paper that covers Themes 2 and 3. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 35% of the total qualification.
Paper 3: Written paper that covers Themes 1,2,3, and 4. Duration 2hrs. Contributes 30% of the total qualification.
Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Business
The Applied Business alternative has always been a popular choice for students wishing to study Business in the sixth form. The course provides you with an alternative route as it is a combination of external exams and coursework. This is a better option for students who are well motivated and who have proved to be at a sound academic level, but find it difficult to perform in exam conditions and learn better through project work, rather than more traditional teaching methods.
Students will study a total of 10 units:
- The business environment (Written exam paper – 120 mins)
- Working in business (Written exam paper – 90 mins)
- Business decisions (Written exam paper – 90 mins)
- Customers and communication (Internally assessment assignment)
- Change management (Written exam paper – 90 mins)
- Principles of project management (Internally assessed assignment)
- Delivering a business project (Internally assessed assignment)
- Marketing and market research (Internally assessed assignment)
- Marketing strategy (Internally assessed assignment)
- Marketing campaign (Internally assessed assignment)
The coursework units will involve an element of practical assessment. For example in the Customers and Communication unit, students are assessed on their verbal and non-verbal communication skills when delivering customer service. This will involve presentations and role plays. For the Marketing Campaign unit students need to be creative and develop a marking campaign for a real business. They then have to “pitch” the idea to the business owners; the quality of their pitch forms part of their final grade.