Business studies

Business BTEC

Through studying this course, you will gain a broad understanding of the challenges faced by businesses and how they affect you both as a current consumer and as a future employee. After studying a business related course in the sixth form, students typically progress onto a degree course at university, or move into an apprenticeship or other employment.

Curriculum overview

Year 12  
Course content

In Year 12 you will study two mandatory units:

Exploring business. This is internally assessed based on an extended assignment which you will complete after a period of teaching input. This is worth 25% of the marks for the course, and is assessed internally.

Developing a marketing campaign – this is assessed through an externally set assignment based upon a case study that you will receive two weeks before the examination. Students will spend two weeks completing independent research on the case study, before spending three hours under supervised conditions to complete the assessment. This is also worth 25% of the marks for the course, and work is sent away to be marked.

Exploring business

This unit provides a broad overview of what businesses are and do. You will cover:

  • Types and purposes of business, their size and scope, and factors that contribute to their success.
  • The stakeholders of businesses, internal/external and stakeholder conflicts, and how stakeholders influence business activities.
  • Effective business communication.
  • How businesses are organised, and the aims and objectives of different businesses.
  • The external environment of business – how taxation, exchange rates, interest rates and the state of the economy affect a business.
  • The impact on business of technology, environmental factors, and the law.
  • How competition affects a business, and the ways in which it can achieve, and sustain a competitive advantage.
  • How a business can assess a market opportunity.
  • How the structure of a market affects business behaviour, and the features of different market structures, and how market structure affects pricing decisions.
  • How market forces affect business behaviour and how the forces of supply and demand influence market prices.
  • The role of innovation and enterprise, and the risk/benefit trade off.
Developing a marketing campaign

This unit will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to undertake research and develop a marketing campaign. You will cover:

  • The principles and purposes of marketing, and the aims and objectives of marketing.
  • How to identify target markets through market research, primary and secondary research methods, situational analysis and interpretation of research findings.
  • The marketing mix – price, place, promotion, and product.
  • Developing a promotional campaign through choosing and evaluating appropriate media, and mix.
  • Influences on media selection, timelines and monitoring.

This unit will be of particular interest to students who are interested in career in sales or marketing.

Year 13  
Course content

In Year 13, students will study a further two units. The mandatory, externally examined unit is on Personal and Business Finance, and this is worth 33% of the marks for the course. This will provide students with detailed knowledge of financial products such as types of bank accounts, saving and investment products and insurance. Students will also be introduced to techniques businesses use in planning their finances, and recording and analysing their financial performance over time. This unit will be of particular interest to any students considering a career in finance or accountancy.

The final unit is an optional unit, worth 17% of the course, and is likely to look an investigation into how businesses can deliver excellent customer service.

Your final grade

You will receive a grade for each of the four units you study over the duration of the course. The grades are converted into points, and these are then aggregated into a final points score to determine your final grade, which can be a distinction star, distinction, merit or pass. Where necessary, you have the opportunity to re-sit the two externally assessed units.

Potential career paths and further study

After completing an Extended Certificate in Business, students have a number of progression choices in business. If they wish to continue in full time education they could apply to university for a degree course, as most universities accept BTECs in their admission criteria, provided that it is combined with other subjects. You could also progress onto a Foundation Diploma, or Higher National Diploma course offered by a FE college in a general or specific area of business.

Alternatively, you could apply for a job or a Higher Level Modern Apprenticeship – or even, after the expertise you will have gained, consider starting up in business yourself!

Business studies