Entry requirements

Click the button to read our faculty brochure or read more about the course below:

  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

What is Business?

Applied Business is an exciting dynamic subject that involves studying how and why business decisions are made. You will explore the main functions of a business (such as finance, human resources and marketing) and look at how businesses might be affected by the external environment. It is one of the most varied and interesting subjects available and is very well regarded by both employers and universities. Business would be a great course choice for any student considering a professional career or running a business.

Exam board: OCR

What will I study?


A Level Business includes a broad range of topics from enterprise to business finance to marketing. You will begin by learning about business start-ups and SME’s then learn about how in order to survive in a competitive market all businesses have to understand the core functions of business.


This involves looking at how business use, construct and analyse a range of decision making models used by business to decide upon their strategy. You will study topics such as financial performance, investment appraisal, market analysis and aims and objectives. Finally you will learn about how businesses must adapt to survive in a dynamic business environment.


Method of Assessment: 

Unit 1 – Written Exam, 2 hours (33%)

Unit 2 – Written Exam 1hr 30 minutes (17%)

Three Units: Coursework assessment (50%)


You will develop an understanding of how organizations operate and will develop strong oral and written communication skills. In addition, you will develop analytical and critical thinking skills; problem solving; decision making; logical thinking; presentation and report writing skills. 10% of the course is quantitative, so numerical skills are developed throughout the course.


Our students often progress to careers in business management, accounting and finance, marketing and advertising, the financial services, public relations or management consultancy.

Many of our students go on to study Business related courses at degree level. Institutions such as The University of Manchester, The University of Leeds, The University of Liverpool and Lancaster Universities are common choices.


Is there any coursework for this subject?

In the Business department, we offer two courses: Applied and A Level Business. For A level Business, there is no coursework and for Applied Business it is a mix of coursework and exams.

I didn’t take GCSE Business; does that mean I can’t study it at A Level?

Yes! Most of our students at A Level have never studied Business before – maybe because it wasn’t offered at their school. This is fine! We assume you have no prior knowledge of Business and start right at the beginning with such knowledge as ‘What is a business?’ and ‘what are the key characteristics of an entrepreneur?’

Is the course right for me?

You need a genuine interest in businesses and the world outside of education. You need to be able to work individually or in groups to research into or discuss a particular business situation, questioning at every opportunity. Business complements all subjects because every student will be an employee at some point, whether as an
engineer, a dancer etc, so will benefit from learning more about businesses.

What other subjects are good with l Business?

A level Business is suitable to take with a wide variety of other A levels and / or BTECs. We attract many students who also take Sociology, Psychology, Law, Economics or Accounting but also a lot that take Maths or even creative subjects such as Textiles! For some, they feel it is complementing their current subject choice and may aid their university choice and for others they take the subject because it is a little different to the other subjects they are studying. In the end, we recommend to students that they take the subjects that they think they will enjoy!

Where could studying Business take me?

A level Business covers a broad range of topics. Many of our students go on to study Business at university. Business graduates work in various fields, such as advertising, public relations, accounting, banking, finance, Human resource management and many more. Even if entering a different field, employers will
appreciate that you have a good idea of how a company works due to studying A Level Business, which should put you in an excellent position to be a top candidate for the job. Apprenticeships (including degree level apprenticeships) are is another area where A Level Business students can be successful.

Is A Level/Applied Business similar to GCSE?

A lot of the content that you may have studied in GCSE Business will also be covered in the first year of A Level Business – but in a lot more detail and depth! There is a lot more focus on analysis and evaluation skills in A Level business. In the second year, the course gets broader with an international focus including topics such as strategy, change management and contingency planning. There will be loads more content covered! The key assessment objectives focus more on analysis and evaluation as the two years progress as well.

Do you have any trips?

Yes, normally in Business we have a wide range of extracurricular activities including enterprise events and competitions, trips to local and national businesses, residential trips and speakers from the world of Business and Higher Education.

What support is available in the department?

We have a large team of highly supportive staff, we have dedicated student support sessions as well as drop in sessions where students can seek additional help. In addition, we have tailored course materials and assessments so students can track
their own progress.