A Level

New Edexcel/Pearson Business A Level

A new syllabus for studying business in the 21 st century, incorporating many new elements and with and emphasis on quantitative methods and developing a critical understanding of organisations and the strategic options open to them.

Business is front-page news. The way companies operate is under greater scrutiny than ever before, while TV programmes like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den have raised the profile of Business to a new generation.

The Business a level brings the subject up-to-date, enabling students to engage with, explore and understand business behavior and develop a critical understanding of what business is and does.

A-level Business – Content

Theme 1 Marketing and people

Theme 2 Managing business activities

Students will develop and understanding of:

Students will develop and understanding of:

  • Meeting customer needs
  • Raising finance
  • The market
  • Financial planning
  • Marketing mix & strategy
  • Managing finance
  • Managing people
  • Resource management
  • Entrepreneurs and leaders
  • External influences



Theme 3 Business decisions and strategy

Theme 4 Global business

Students will build on theme 2 and develop an understanding of:

Students will build on theme 1 and develop an understanding of:

  • Business objectives and strategy
  • globalisation
  • Business growth
  • Global markets and business expansion
  • Decision-making techniques
  • Global marketing
  • Influences on business decisions
  • Global industries and companies
  • Assessing competitiveness
  • Managing change


A-level Assessment

 The A-level is assessed by three two hour written exams at the end of the course.

Paper 1: Marketing, People and Global Business (35% of the total A level)

This paper will assess Themes 1 and 4: Marketing, People and Global Business.

The paper comprises Section A and Section B – one data response question in each section based on a real case study or data.

Duration 2 Hours 100 Marks

Paper 2: Business Activities, Decisions and Strategy(35% of the A level)

This paper will assess Themes 2 and 3: Business Finance and Operations, Business decisions and Strategy.

The paper comprises Section A and Section B – one data response question in each section based on a real case study or data.

Duration 2 Hours 100 Marks

Paper 3 Investigating Business in a Competitive Environment (30% of the A level)

This paper will assess all 4 themes

A pre-released case study will be provided to centres

Section A – Broad context, Market and Industry

Section B – One strand of the case study will be examined e.g. a particular business

Students cannot take any research or investigation into the examination

Duration 2 Hours 100 Marks

Testing quantitative skills

The A-level assess quantitative skills, making up a minimum of 10% of the overall marks. The skills tested include ratios, averages, fractions, percentages and calculation of profit and loss.

Why Choose A Level Business?

The course provides a critical understanding of:

  • the internal functions of modern business,
  • the dynamic external environment and the effects this can have on decision making,
  • the range of stakeholder perspectives,
  • the strategies that managers and directors use to develop and grow an organisation,
  • the management of change.

The course also encourages candidates to acquire a range of transferable skills for the future employment market:

Cognitive Skills

  • Non- routine problem solving – expert thinking, metacognition, creativity – conducting research into a specific theme or a range of businesses e.g. BA, Domino’s Pizza, Marks and Spencer’s in preparation for an extended written task,
  • Systems thinking – decision making and reasoning - present arguments, making judgments and justified recommendations on the basis of evidence,
  • Critical thinking – analysing, synthesising and reasoning skills - recognise the nature of problems, solving problems and making decisions using appropriate business tools and methods,
  • ICT literacy – access, manage, integrate, evaluate, construct, communicate - data skills-students will be expected to manipulate data in a variety of forms and to interpret their results,


Interpersonal Skills

  • Communication – active listening, oral, written communication and non-verbal communication
  • Relationship building skills – teamwork trust, conflict resolution and negotiation - challenging their own assumptions using evidence
  • Collaborative problem solving – establishing and maintaining shared understanding, taking appropriate action, establishing and maintaining team organization. planning work, taking into account the demands of the task and the time available,

Former student's comments:

“Business A level provides essential skills for my future employment.”

“It allowed me to choose a variety of university courses as it covers a wide variety of different topic areas”

“I studied business studies and economics and I am now as CASS business school in London”

“I am helping my graduate friends to get jobs as I am explaining interview skills and motivation theories to them. They have to retrain and read books on getting jobs. So what you taught us in business studies has been so valuable and helped me get a job as a barrister”

Advice for students taking Business A-Level

Learn to challenge everything!
There are no 'right' answers to many business situations.

If a textbook or teacher is telling you one thing, try to think of situations for which that may not be true- e.g. normally, if prices are reduced, more will be sold... yet Apple used a premium pricing policy and sold its products in state of the art shops... and has been a business success!

If you study a model, always try to think about its limitations.

The more you challenge, the more you will understand!

Be business-aware!
What is happening around you? How are businesses coping with the current economic climate? How are firms competing? What tactics are they using? This awareness will come from listening to the news, reading the newspapers and reading magazines such as Business Review.

Develop the ability to argue!
This is a transferable skill that will allow you to see, in any situation, that there is often no right answer. You will develop the skill of arguing both sides before making a decision.

Benefits of the A-Level Course

The qualification is designed to meet Persons world class qualifications principles:

● demanding, through internationally benchmarked standards, encouraging deep learning and measuring higher-order skills

● rigorous, through setting and maintaining standards over time, developing reliable and valid assessment tasks and processes, and generating confidence in end users of the knowledge, skills and competencies of certified students

● inclusive, through conceptualising learning as continuous, recognising that students develop at different rates and have different learning needs, and focusing on progression

● empowering, through promoting the development of transferable skills

Career Opportunities

A qualification in Business Studies leads to a variety of careers, including.

Marketing Accounting & Finance

Management Law

Systems Engineering Human Resource Management

Engineering Banking and Finance

A level business will help to develop an enthusiasm for studying business in a range of contexts and a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants. It will generate enterprising and creative approaches to business opportunities, problems and issues and enable students to be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations. All tremendous skills and aptitudes for the future employment market.

Links to Useful Websites

The following page contains links to useful, external websites - a valuable point-of-reference for students studying Business Studies at all levels from Year 10 upwards.

Useful Websites