Edexcel GCSE Business Studies is offered as an optional subject at Key Stage 4.
The course is designed to give students an insight into the ways that different types of businesses work. The course highlights business working practises which are evident in all types and sizes of businesses. If students are interested in seeing how businesses work from an academic point of view or are looking to start their own businesses when they leave full-time education this course gives a detailed analysis into the working of businesses. The course will not show students how to complete a trade or training but will show them that they can start a business using the skills acquired by completing the course. The course encourages pupils to contact local businesses and the business owners in order to be able to study their businesses.
The GCSE consists of 2 units. The first unit is based on two local businesses and information must be researched in order to complete a controlled assignment. The topics covered are – What is a business and what do businesses do; how are businesses organised; and why stakeholders are so important.
The second assignment is an examination unit. The exam can only be sat once, in the June of Year 11. The topics in the exam unit which are covered are: Investigating the flow of financial documents; investigating business payment methods; investigating the nature of financial documents; and investigating the importance of financial statements.
The controlled assignment is worth 60% of the final marks. This is completed and supervised in school under exam conditions. Students are able to bring in research and supporting materials in order to help. The controlled assignment must be completed within 12 hours in a written report format, and assessed internally by the teacher. The second unit is an examination, worth 40% of the overall marks.