Business Studies and Economics

The Economics and Business Studies Department aims to provide pupils with a sound knowledge of economic and business principles in order that they can understand better the world in which they live and develop their ability to think as entrepreneurs.

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Business Studies and  Economics Department aims to:

  • develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of business and economic concepts and theories through a critical consideration of current issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life;
  • develop pupils’ familiarity with the methods of economic enquiry and the economist’s way of thinking, hence providing knowledge, understanding and skills which will be of value in adult life;
  • enable pupils to critically examine the aims, objectives and practices of business organisations from their economic, environmental and social perspectives; and
  • enable pupils to understand and interpret information in verbal, numerical and graphical format, and present their findings through written communication and with the use of ICT.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, Financial Capability is delivered over one lesson per fortnight.

The aims of each of the programmes of study are to develop pupils’ ability to manage finances and to become confident, questioning and informed consumers of financial services.

YEAR 8, 9 AND 10 CURRICULUM

In Years 8, 9 and 10, pupils will study the following topics:

  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Managing Daily Spending
  • Income, Employment and Self Employment
  • Money Maths
  • Financial Services/Financial Organisation
  • The Credit Crunch
  • Current Economic Climate

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the Business Studies and Economics Department offers Business Studies at GCSE Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. Business Studies is delivered over six lessons per fortnight.

Unit 1: Business Start Up (35%)

This unit aims to focus pupils on business start up and the importance of the role of the entrepreneur. This unit looks at business organisations, how they access finance, what they produce and how their product is marketed.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 11. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Business Development (Exam 40% Controlled Assessment 25%)

This unit aims to focus pupils on management accounting techniques and how this knowledge helps an entrepreneur to make decisions. It also focuses on how human resources are managed and how a business may develop and grow.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination and a Controlled Assessment task. Pupils will have 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete the written examination for this unit. The written examination will be completed at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

The Controlled Assessment task will be completed in Year 12.  Pupils will have 6 weeks to undertake research for the Controlled Assessment task. Assessment will take place in class over three 1 hour sessions. The assessment is in the form of a report. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the Economics and Business Studies Department offers Business Studies, Applied Business and Economics at AS and A2 Level.

Students follow the CCEA specification for Economics and Business Studies. Students follow the AQA specification for Applied Business.

At AS and A2 Level, these subjects are delivered over eleven lessons per fortnight.

At AS Level, students must successfully complete two modules for Business Studies, two modules for Economics and three modules for Applied Business. A further two and three modules respectively must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS ECONOMICS

Unit 1: AS 1 Markets and Prices (50%)

In this unit, students explore the nature of the basic economic problem and the role of markets and prices in resolving this problem. The unit outlines how and why markets fail and why the government may intervene. It also highlights why government intervention may sometimes be counter-productive.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: AS 2 The National Economy (50%)

This unit aims to introduce students to macro-economic issues in the domestic context of the United Kingdom economy. It offers insight into the nature and causes of contemporary economic problems and investigates different views as to how these problems could be resolved.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.  Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 ECONOMICS

Unit 3: A2 1 Business Economics (50%)

The aim of this unit is for students to examine in depth the decision making processes of firms in the short term and long term. It explores various market models and their usefulness in explaining market behaviour. It investigates current influences on firms’ behaviour such as globalisation, environmental considerations and the growth of the internet.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: A2 2 The Global Economy (50%)

The aim of this unit is to deepen and extend understanding of policy issues examined in AS 2. It includes trade barriers and participation in international organisations and agreements. Issues arising from UK membership of the EU are investigated and the problems that arise from increasing globalization are examined.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination.Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

AS BUSINESS STUDIES

Unit 1: The Competitive Business (50%)

In this unit, students acquire a critical understanding of the central purpose of business activity and become familiar with the different forms of business organisations that exist. Students are also expected to acquire a critical understanding of the marketing and operations management functions within business organisations.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Managing Business Resources (50%)

In this unit, students acquire a critical understanding of the impact of various management and organisation structures for a business and its employees. They also study the role of accounting and financial information as an aid to decision-making and financial control.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 BUSINESS STUDIES

Unit 3: A2 1 Making Business Decisions (25%)

The aim of this unit is to ensure students can recognise potential conflict between the objectives of different stakeholder groups and suggest and evaluate resolutions to such conflict. They must also appreciate the role of accounting and financial information as an aid to decision making and financial control.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place in January of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: A2 2 The Changing Business Environment (25%)

The aim of this unit is to ensure that students understand the macroeconomic and international framework within which businesses operate. It acknowledges the unique culture of each organisation, yet recognizes that they are all bound by the same social responsibilities and ethics. This unit examines how businesses are affected by and react to this dynamic environment, taking particular account of the relationship which exists between the various stakeholders of the business.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

AS APPLIED BUSINESS (SINGLE AWARD)

Unit 1: Investigating Business (33.3%)

In this unit, students explore the aims and objectives of businesses, the needs of their customers and how these are met through the use of the marketing mix.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written portfolio. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 2: People in Business (33.3%)

In this unit, students study the roles and responsibilities of people in business. Students are required to undertake a practical recruitment exercise.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written portfolio. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 3: Financial Planning and Monitoring (33.3%)

In this unit, students are assessed on their ability to calculate business costs, revenues and hence profits and are required to know how managers use this information in decision making.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 APPLIED BUSINESS

Unit 8: Business Planning (33%)

The aim of this unit is for students to produce a structured business plan for a new product or service. The plan should be suitable to present to an external lender, such as a bank, or to an internal stakeholder such as a senior manager.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written portfolio. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 12: Managing People (33%)

The aim of this unit is for students to demonstrate that they understand how different types of management style impact upon the way in which a business operates and upon the staff who work in it.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.  Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 16: Managing Resources (33%)

The aim of this unit is for students to investigate the resources that businesses need to carry out their activities and how they can be used as efficiently as possible to create a competitive organisation.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written portfolio. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

EXTRA- CURRICULAR PROVISION

The Business Studies and Economics Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular Activities include:

  • Mini-Enterprise activities for Year 11 and Year 13 pupils;
  • Institute of Director’s 'shadowing’ placements for two high achievers in Year 13;
  • Work experience placement with Morgan Stanley Bank in association with the organisation Co-operation Ireland;
  • Industrial visits to organisations such as Wrightbus, F.G. Wilson and Coca Cola; and
  • Opportunities to enter various competitions, including local and national share competitions.

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

The Business Studies and Economics Department has two rooms, one of which has a suite of computers.

CAREERS INFORMATION

Our students have progressed into many different career pathways such as:

  • Finance
  • Actuary
  • Accounting
  • Pensions
  • Banking and Investment
  • Insurance
  • Teaching
  • Statisticians