The specification is structured into two themes, taking students from how entrepreneurs start businesses (Theme 1) through to growing and global businesses (Theme 2). There are two equally weighted exam papers, focusing on each specification theme.
Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.
In this theme students will be introduced to local and national business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. Local contexts refer specifically to small businesses or those operating in a single UK location and national contexts relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK.
Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.
In this theme students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. National contexts build on those in Theme 1 and relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK. Global contexts relate to non-UK or transnational businesses.
GCSE Business is useful in preparing for further study in subjects such as A Level Business Studies, Law or Economics. It is also a good preparation for Applied A Levels in Business, Travel and Tourism or Leisure and Recreation.
Business is a very good ‘general’ subject to take for those students who do not yet have a definite career plan after school. It is accepted alongside other subjects for college and university courses and is recognised by employers as being useful to prepare young people for employment.
Students who have taken GCSE Business Studies, with other subjects, have progressed to courses such as Business Management, Business and Information Systems, Marketing, Law, Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology and Economics.