Business Studies

Business in Northern Ireland, if it is to flourish, needs more people who have well developed inter-personal and decision-making skills. Business Studies provides students with a unique insight into the world of work.  Through its study, students discover how businesses operate and learn about their key elements and business functions.  Employers need professionals who not only have skills in finance, marketing, human resource management and the external business environment, but who can also apply the managerial skills of teamwork, communication, creative problem solving and effective decision making in order to achieve results.

The subject of Business Studies is delivered in such a way as to give pupils the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the features and dynamics of business activity.  Pupils are also encouraged to utilise ICT and develop an awareness of its significance within the business world.

How will Business Studies help Pupils develop other skills?

Although Business Studies is an academic subject, it is also practical, applied and exciting. Over the two years (GCSE and/or A Level), boys will work both as individuals and as part of a team.  They will take part in role-plays, business investigations and simulations, all of which are designed to develop communication, problem solving, enterprising and decision making skills.  They will also learn through the use of ICT how to, for example, produce a spreadsheet and create their own CV.  Mathematical skills will be further enhanced through the completion of the finance topics within GCSE, General A Level and Applied courses.

We recognise the pupil as an independent learner and we aim:

  • To maintain and stimulate pupil curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Business Studies
  • To enable pupils to be familiar with a body of business knowledge, principles, skills and vocabulary
  • To enable pupils to see Business Studies in the context of a wider body of knowledge and skills
  • To employ teaching and learning strategies that allow all pupils to have equal access to Business studies and experience success

We encourage our boys to:

  • Develop a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of, business subjects
  • Become inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study
  • Use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish facts from opinions, to form arguments and make informed judgements
  • Actively study business to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • How will Business Studies help students in the future?

Employers look for graduates who have an all round understanding of Business and the environment within which it operates and Business Studies will encourage boys to develop the skills, knowledge and qualities required for life and work in the 21st Century. It offers an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue careers in Management, Clerical, Advertising, Journalism, Accounting, Human Resources and many others. For those wishing to continue their studies at A Level, Business Studies is a popular option. The general A Level in Business Studies supports progression into further and higher education.  Courses include; Honours Degrees in Business Studies, Level 4 NVQ's in Administration or Management and BTEC National Diploma in Business or related subjects.

The Business Studies department is situated on the bottom floor of the Middle School building.  Each member of staff has their own classroom equipped with a data projector and there is a range of paper resources that can be used by students within the department.  We have access to a shared ICT suite.


Ms G Lamont BEd, MSSC (Head of Department)

Mr N McGarry BA, PGCE, Dip Ind Studies

Miss J Reid LLB, MA, PGCE

GCSE Business Studies

In all aspects of modern day life the application of Business Studies has become increasingly relevant and in recent years, TV programmes such as ‘The Dragons Den’, ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Risking it All’ have encouraged many to set up their own business.  GCSE Business Studies is designed to help pupils understand the main aspects of running or working in a business and, since it is topical, they will be able to relate what they study in the classroom to real life. To ensure an awareness of local business issues within the wider context we follow the Northern Ireland specification.  Students will be encouraged to utilise input from local businesses where appropriate, to help bring the core topics of marketing, finance, production and managing people to life.


During the first year of the course, pupils may have the opportunity to visit Tayto Castle.  This first-hand experience of production techniques will complement that which is taught in the classroom and will provide an insight into potential career opportunities.

Subject content is also enriched through visiting speakers and participation in YENI events such as Project Business, Leran to Earn and many more.




A grade will be awarded from the following scale A* - G, A* being the highest.

The table below summarises the structure of GCSE Business Studies:


Content Assessment


Unit 1: Starting a Business

  • Creating a Business
  • Marketing
  • Business Operations

External written exam

1 hour 30 minutes

Short structured questions

and extended writing

40 %

Unit 2: Developing a Business

  • Finance
  • Managing People
  • Business Growth

External Written Exam

1 hour 30 minutes

Short structured questions

and extended writing

40 %

Unit 3: Planing a Business (Synoptic)

  • Business Plan

Controlled Assessment

Students complete the following:

Booklet A: Panning

Booklet B: Communicate Findings

Marked by teacher


GCE A Level Business Studies

Studying A level Business Studies will provide students with the knowledge, information and experience needed to understand business, whilst developing the appropriate skills to enable them to make an effective contribution to an organisation.  

The tables below summarise the structure of A Level Business Studies:

Subject Content: AS Level

Content Assessment Weighting
Unit AS1: Introduction to Business
  • External written exam
  • 2 compulsory data response questions
  • 1 hour 30 mins

50% of AS

20% of A Level

Unit AS2: Growing the Business
  • External written exam
  • 2 compulsory data response questions
  • 1 hour 30 mins

50 % of AS

20% of A Level

Subject Content: A2 Level

Content Assessment Weighting
Unit A2 1: Strategic Decision Making
  • External written exam
  • 5 compulsory data response questions
  • 2 hours

30% of A Level

Unit A2 2: The Competitive Business Environment

  • External written exam
  • 6 compulsory data response questions
  • 2 hours

30% of A Level

Reporting and Grading.

AS qualifications are awarded on a five grade scale from A to E with A being the highest. A level qualifications are awarded on a six grade scale with the addition of A* which becomes the highest.

BTEC Business (Extended Certificate)

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate for and consistent with current practice for students planning to enter employment directly in the business sector.

Everyone taking this qualification will study three mandatory units. They are:

● Exploring Business

● Developing a Marketing Campaign

● Personal and Business Finance

In addition to the above units students will also study an optional unit

● Recruitment and Selection Process

What could this qualification lead to?

Will the qualification support progression to further learning, if so, what to?

Students who have completed this qualification in a year may progress to further learning at level 3, for example, to a larger size BTEC National in the Business sector.

In addition to the business sector specific content, the requirements of the qualification mean the student develops the transferable and higher order skills that are highly regarded by both HE and employers. For example, when studying the Business and Personal Finance unit, students will be measuring the financial performance of a business, preparing and analysing statements of comprehensive income and statements of financial position, as well as analysing profitability, liquidity and business efficiency, which supports some of the skills students need to progress into higher education, employment, self-employment or training.

The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by HE providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses, if taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two year programme of learning, and it combines well with a large number of subjects. It will support entry to almost any HE course, depending on the subjects taken alongside. For example, if taken alongside:

● A levels in Spanish and Maths, it could lead to a BSc (Hons) in International Management with Spanish

● Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Fashion Design and Development, it could lead to a BA (Hons) in Fashion Management

● Pearson BTEC Level 3 National in Travel and Tourism and an A Level in Geography, it could lead to a BA (Hons) in Tourism Management

● A Levels in History and English Literature, it could lead to a BA (Hons) in History.

Students should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific HE providers.


Will the qualification lead to employment, if so, in which job role and at which level?

This qualification, when studied with other level 3 qualifications, is designed primarily to support progression to employment after further study at university. However, it can also support students progressing to employment directly, or via an apprenticeship. It will give the successful student the transferable knowledge, understanding and skills that will be an advantage in applying for a range of industry linked training programmes or apprenticeships in the business or other sector of their choice.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business is equivalent in size to 1 A level. It is for students who are interested in learning about the sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of HE courses, but not necessarily in business.


“The whole world revolves around business, why not learn about it?” 

Adam Hewitt, Dobbin’s


“I chose to study Business Studies because it will give me a greater insight into the world of business which will further my knowledge and understanding of the modern economic world we live in”

Jordan Sharma, Yates's


“Preparing us for the business of tomorrow”

Declan Tsang, School House