Business Studies

The course

This is the study of the way businesses run, from large to small, how they are successful, and why they fail if they are not. It analyses businesses through financial statements and explores the way in which people, the business environment and society interact to make businesses successful.

It will help you to learn how to analyse information about real economic activity and make judgements, decisions or suggestions using this. Students will need to be able to do basic Maths, including percentages in percentage change, but no more.

Business Studies is understood by looking at what is required to set one up, the fundamentals of business operation, supply and demand, and then everything that impinges upon that basic model such as legislation, trends, marketing, infrastructure, labour, capital and production. The next unit extends this by looking at how a business grows and the things that affect it. Finally, the knowledge and skills required are used to investigate a particular business. This investigation then forms the basis of a controlled assessment.

The material of the course is analysed through five lenses: business organisation, marketing, finance, people and operations management. The subject encourages clear thinking and expression. Students will need to be able to write confidently in English and to commit a wide range of technical vocabulary to memory.

GCSE Business Studies is an excellent preparation for the study of the subject at A level (or the related subjects of Economics, Accounts and ICT) and introduces many of the syllabus areas and techniques involved.

How is the course assessed?

This is a modular specification with three elements:

Unit 1 · Starting a Business

1 hour exam, 40% weighting

This unit introduces candidates to issues concerning the setting up and operation of a business. It explores the activities of business and the reasons for success or failure. It encourages candidates to appreciate that the business must operate within society and that this involves businesses engaging with a wide range of stakeholders with different priorities.

Unit 2 · Growing as a Business

1 hour exam, 35% weighting

This unit builds upon the content of Unit 1, allowing candidates to study businesses as they grow and the issues that expansion raises.

Unit 3 · Investigating  a Business

Controlled Assessment, 25% weighting

AQA will provide centres with pre-released material which will require candidates to undertake a business investigation. This investigation will then be assessed under controlled conditions to test individual responses.


AQA Business Studies GCSE
By Stimpson et al
Published by Nelson Thornes

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AQA Business Studies 4133 (legacy)