Business Studies

Head of Department : Miss K Reid

Why Study Business Studies?

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 essential business functions. Business Studies offers an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue careers in management, marketing, project management, business accounting, management consultancy, human resources, and business journalism as well as those interested in continuing on to further study.

What do we offer?

Business Studies is offered at both GCSE and A-Level (CCEA courses are followed).  A taster course is also an option for boys in Year 10.

Year 10

UlsterBankYear 10 boys can choose between Spanish, German, Music and Business Studies. Those who choose Business Studies get an opportunity to start to think about key business issues such as what is means to be an entrepreneur and how businesses think creatively and are innovative. Pupils also undertake an 8 week “Moneysense” course, run by volunteers of Ulster Bank. These few months provide valuable life skills in terms of financial capability and money management. Boys also participate in a marketing project, thinking through what the 4Ps of marketing really mean for a company trying to launch a new product.

GCSE Business Studies

At RBAI students have the opportunity to study CCEA GCSE Business Studies (Revised). This qualification is split into 2 units –CCEABook

  • Business Start-Up – Business Start-up, Production & Marketing
  • Business Development – Finance, Managing People, Business Growth, Business Plans.

The subject is assessed through both written examinations and a controlled assessment.


  • Unit 1 is usually taken in May/June of Year 11 and it is worth 35% of the overall marks. It lasts 1 hour 20 minutes and covers all aspects of the Business Start-up module.
  • Unit 2 lasts 1 hour 40 minutes and it could cover any part of the course – it is taken in  the summer of Year 12 and is worth 40% of overall marks.
  • The final 25% of the marks are awarded through a controlled assessment. This has replaced coursework. It involves 12 hours research time and this is usually undertaken through class time and homework time in October. Then boys have 3 hours in class to write up a business report based on their research. This is usually completed by the end of November. Guidance regarding both the research and report-writing is issued by both CCEA and RBAI.

A-Level Business Studies (from September 2016)

Sept16The A-Level Business Studies course contributes to an understanding of business and enterprise and helps students develop many of the skills and attitudes required for employment. This course can give valuable preparation for any career, not just in business and finance. Students develop skills such as research, decision-making, problem-solving and evaluation of information. These skills will assist students in any career path that they choose to follow

As of September 2016, the revised GCE course contains 4 units of study. In Year 13, pupils study -

AS 1 – Introduction to Business: Enterprise and entrepreneurship, Central purpose of business activity,Forms of business ownership, Stakeholder groups, Markets and market forces, Quality management, Productivity and investment,Organisational design, Investing in people, Motivation and Principles of management and leadership.

AS 2 – Growing the Business: Spectrum of competition, Market research, Marketing mix, Product life cycle, Market planning and strategy,E-Business/E-Commerce, Sources of finance, Break-even analysis, Cash flow, Budgeting, Financial statements and Final accounts.

In both of these units students must answer two compulsory, structured questions based on stimulus material. Each examination lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and these will account for 40% of the overall A Level.

In Year 14, pupils will study -

A2 1 – Strategic Decision- Making: Business Objectives, organisational culture, stakeholder objectives, communication, economies and diseconomies of scale, business strategy and planning, decision tree analysis, risk management, company accounts, ratio analysis and investment appraisal.

Students must answer one compulsory, structured question based on stimulus material. The exam last for 2 hours and contains 90 marks.

A2 2 – The Competitive Business Environment: Macroeconomic framework, government policies, globalisation, business ethics and organisational structure, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder group influence, organisational design, monopolies, mergers, takeovers and restrictive practices and managing change.

Students answer one compulsory data response questions – this will be split into 6 parts and pupils will have 2 hours to complete it.

A2 1 & A2 2 account for 60% of the overall GCE A Level Business Studies


YEThe Business Studies Department works with Young Enterprise – the Young Enterprise Company Programme offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to set up and run their own company.

Throughout the year numerous competitions and seminars give boys the chance to delve further into the world of business and what is means to be entrepreneurial.

Year 10 pupils enjoy “Project Business”, a one day course where they get an opportunity to set up a business, pitch for investment, negotiate with buyers and sellers and try to make a profit!


 Year 14 Business Studies student John Dickson does a deal in Robbie Jamison at Project Business

Year 11 participate in an Entrepreneurship Masterclass, organised along with VictoriaCollege.


Boys from 11J working on their business plan

Year 13 The Young Enterprise Company Programme gives pupils a chance to set up and run their own business.


 Business Studies welcomes back former pupil Justin Craig

Useful Resources for Business Studies

Alan Panorama
As well as the websites listed below, television now brings to life many of the topics covered in Business Studies. Programmes such as The Apprentice, Dragon’s Den, The Hotel Inspector, Panorama and Undercover Boss all provide a great insight into the Business World.
 HotelI  DragonsDen