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Business Studies A-level

You’ll have the opportunity to investigate different types of organisations in different business sectors, identify business problems, and make decisions.

We want you to develop an enthusiasm for studying business and gain a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s wants and needs. You’ll acquire a range of relevant skills, including decision making, problem solving, as well as challenging assumptions, quantifying and managing information.

What do I learn?
A Level Business will give you an insight into the dynamic world of business. It is not just a theoretical subject, it is about real life. The combination of academic challenge and practical focus that makes the prospect of studying A Level Business highly appealing.

You will learn about businesses and the way they operate in today’s society. You will investigate problems which real businesses are facing and use your initiative to develop possible solutions.
What do I gain?
You will develop the skills necessary for further academic study such as strong report writing and study skills including presentation skills.

You will also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course you will have benefited from individual support, including advice about Higher Education and careers.
What do I need?
All A-level students must have six C grades in academic subjects at GCSE, including English and maths, at grade 5 but excluding PE, Dance, IT i.e. subjects with a large practical component.

For this subject you will also need GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature at grade 5 and GCSE maths grade 5.
What do I gain?
A Level Business is an excellent base for a university degree, especially degrees in business, management, human resources, accountancy, law, finance, philosophy, politics and economics, sociology and psychology. Careers with a business degree are diverse and have a high earnings potential.

A range of career possibilities including banking, insurance, advertising, distribution, sales, accounting, law, education, central or local government and business consultancy. Business skills, which touch upon every part of modern society, are in high demand worldwide and are often well paid.

Studying Business will support you in the development of your business ideas, becoming an entrepreneur, and working towards securing the benefits of running your own business.

You could also progress to the Business and Enterprise Foundation Degree and BA (Hons) programmes at our City of Oxford College campus, accredited by Oxford Brookes University.
What else do I need to know?
Formal assessment is through examinations.

For AS Business there will be two 1 ½ hour papers covering: The Local Business Environment (50% of the total AS level), and, The Wider Business Environment (50% of the total AS level). The content of AS Level Business includes: Business objectives and strategic decisions, External influences facing business, Marketing and marketing strategies, Operational strategy, Human resources, and Accounting and financial considerations.

The AS now constitutes 40% of the full A-level value for university applications.
Any achievement made at AS does not carry over to determine the full A Level result. However the subject material studied at AS Level forms approximately 50% of the total full A Level content.

To achieve the full A Level in Business three 2 hour papers each worth 33.33% of the total A-level have to be successfully taken at the end of the second year of study.

These second year papers will cover: Operating in the local business environment, The UK business environment and, The global business environment. The content of the full A Level will include all topic areas identified above for AS Level Business the content of which will be further extended and developed, with the addition of a topic known as The global business environment.

Each question paper will be based on the case studies of real businesses (one small/local, one medium/national and one large/international).

There will be a wide range of question types including multiple choice, short answer and extended writing. You will have the opportunity in these papers to demonstrate your quantitative, reflective and decision-making skills to solve business problems.

Course code :

Mode :

Location :

OXALE01D0 Full-time Oxford City Centre


Duration :


Start Date :

Monday 10 September 2018

End Date :

Sunday 21 June 2020
2 Years 16 to 18 EU tuition fee:£‎40.00
19 to 23 Concession EU tuition fee:£‎40.00
24+ Loan EU tuition fee:£‎1,987.00

Please note – Fees may be subject to change


case study

Chinese student Qi Wang (known as Emma) was living in Australia when she decided that a UK education would help her towards her future career. 
Having done her research, Emma realised that the UK education system was more rigorous academically and a better fit for her future ambition of studying maths or statistics at the University of Cambridge. She is now studying the Science A-levels Pathway (Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths) at Reading College, part of Activate Learning.  
Emma found out about Reading College through her agent. She was impressed by the list of universities that previous students had gone to, such as Oxford, Cambridge and UCL, combined with the lively atmosphere and the excellent transport links to London and Heathrow Airport.
Emma said: “My teachers are really knowledgeable and helpful, especially my tutor Anna. They are very organised, too. We do lots of mock exams, which is helpful. I ask a lot of extra questions after class and they are always very patient and help me.”
“The A-level managers and staff helped me to apply to the UCL summer schools and advised me about how best to write my statements – I got a place! The library staff are also really helpful. I like the quiet study room and spend quite a bit of time there when I am not in lessons.”
During her time at Reading College, Emma has also got involved with the Students’ Union and volunteered at open events. She said: “I had the opportunity to talk to lots of different people, which I enjoy. It helps me with my English, as well as learning more about British culture.” 
She also won several awards at the A-level Star Awards, including the Further Maths and Physics Awards. Her Physics tutor said: “Emma's thirst for knowledge, her self-motivation to improve and achieve her maximum potential and her work ethics are outstanding. Emma achieved a Silver Award on the AS Physics Olympiad Challenge. Just two marks off a Gold!” Emma also won an award for ‘biggest contribution to college life’.
Coming to live and study in England away from her parents has helped Emma become more independent, preparing her for life at university. She lives with a host family who are very friendly. She has learnt to do things like open a bank account and learnt about British culture and everyday life.
Emma said: “I would recommend Reading College. Living in an English environment and meeting English people every day is far better than being at a language school. If you want to come abroad to study, an Activate Learning college will give you more opportunities to improve your English.”
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