Subject Overview

The Business Studies department is committed to preparing students to play an active and effective role in a rapidly changing world.
We aim to do this by providing pupils with the opportunity to:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject.
  • develop independent learning skills, which are highly valued by employers and further education.

At Key Stage 4 pupils follow the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Business course 

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Business

The Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Business course consists of two themes:

  • Theme 1: Investigating small business (Year 10)
  • Theme 2: Building a business (Year 11)

Theme 1, pupils will develop an understanding of  business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business such as business operations, finance, marketing and human resources. They will explore businesses in local and national contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions.

Theme 1 consists of 5 topics:

Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship – pupils will investigate how and why business ideas come about and the role of entrepreneurship.

Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity – pupils will investigate how small businesses identify opportunities through understanding customer needs, conducting market research and understanding the competition.

Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice – pupils will investigate how business ideas happen through identifying aims and objectives and effective planning.

Topic 1.4 Making the business effective – pupils will investigate the impact of factors such as location, the marketing mix and the business plan on the success of the business.

Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business – pupils will investigate the role of stakeholders, technology, legislation and the economy in the success of the business.


Theme 2, pupils will develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business activity through between business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, as well as the relationship between the business and the environment in which it operates.  Pupils will consider how these functional areas influence business activity and how interdependencies and relationships between them underpin business decisions. Teaching approaches to the content must reflect this.

Theme 2 consists of 5 topics:

Topic 2.1 Growing the business – pupils will consider methods of growth and how and why business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve. The impact of globalisation and the ethical and environmental questions facing businesses are explored.

Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions – pupils will explore how each element of the marketing mix is managed and used to inform and make business decisions in a competitive marketplace.

Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions – this topic focuses on meeting customer needs through the design, supply, quality and sales decisions a business makes.

Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions – pupils will explore the tools a business has to support financial decision making, including ratio analysis and the use and limitation of a range of financial information.

Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions – this topic focuses on growing a business.  It looks at decisions relating to organisational structure, recruitment, training and motivation that need to be made to influence business activity.


(Reviewed: October 2019)