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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Business? 

Have you got what it takes to be a manager of the future? Whether you want to start
your own company or be a CEO of a multinational corporation, we teach you the skills
that are required.

Business is a dynamic, fast-moving subject based in the real world. You will learn
about how businesses operate and discover that business is always in the news. There is
always something going on directly related to what you will be studying, from mergers
and takeovers to ethical concerns about supply chains or executive pay.
You will discover how to market a product successfully depending on the target audience
and you will learn to analyse the strategies employed by business for success.

You will also find out how to motivate people, and look at different ways of leading an organisation. You will discover what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Business will equip you with the skills you need to progress into work or on to University. You will learn how to apply theory to factual situations, how to analyse problems, arrive at solutions, and how to evaluate business strategies.

What can it lead to?

Studying Vocational A ‘Level Business (BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Business) will open your eyes to the wide range of job opportunities available, ranging from finance to marketing to management.

Vocational A ‘Level Business is BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate equivalent to one A’ levels. It is for learners who are interested in learning about the business sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses. It goes well with the majority of subjects, particularly Mathematics, English, Computing/Computer Science, Travel & Tourism, Media, languages and Politics. Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of industry related experiences, which will include external speakers and workshops. It will also help set students apart from other applicants, equip them with essential transferable skills and provide the commercial knowledge that will help prepare them for further study in University after leaving St Charles

Alternatively you may choose to move onto an apprenticeship.

How is the course organised?

Awarding body: Edexcel

The Vocational A ‘Level Business comprises of 4 units of work. You will study 4 units of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.

The units include seven core units which include introductory units such as Exploring business, International business, Principles of management and Business decision making, as well as more specialist ones which include marketing units and a finance one.

In addition you will complete a work experience unit where you will research and find a work placement, during which you will complete a project. Many of the units are very practical, for example you will have the opportunity to develop your own promotional campaigns as well as producing a detailed business plan for a new business idea

How is the course assessed?

Teaching and Learning Methods: Students have 11 hours per week of tuition and are expected to produce detailed assignments compiling their portfolio of evidence.  This will require developing sound independent research skills, as well as participating in group work and presentations. Teachers will give feedback in reference to skills which need to be developed allowing students to develop their work to achieve their full potential.

Assessment: There are three main forms of assessment, external, internal and synoptic. External assessment used are: examinations and set tasks. Internally assessed unit are subject to external standards verification while Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task. Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information. External assessments are available twice a year.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The basic entry requirements – 5 4’s at GCSE and preferably a 4 in GCSE Mathematics and English OR  a double Merit in BTEC level 2 Extended Certificate with a Merit Grade in Unit 2 Finance for Business.

Due to the nature of the programme, 100% attendance is essential, as is the ability to meet deadlines. There is a strong focus on numeracy in Vocational A’ level Business therefore students are expected to have high standards of numerical reasoning. Report writing also forms an important part of the assessment, therefore quality of language is also assessed as an integral part of the course. Students will be expected to produce assignments to a high standard as well as complete homework every week.   

Students will have to spend approximately 10 hours per week outside of classroom time on work for the course.

Who are the teachers?

The Business teachers within the department all have degrees or postgraduate qualifications in Business, Business Management, Business Information Systems, Business Admin or Marketing. Many have industry experience, which ranges from Retail Management to FMCG marketing, as well as actually setting up and running their own businesses.

Many of the teachers are involved with enrichment activities. These include Young Enterprise, London Citizens, the book club, and the annual New York trip, which takes place in the spring.

We have had a number of ex-St Charles Students who have come back as teachers within the department, having really valued their own experience at the College as a student

With over 80 years of teaching experience between us, the business department is committed to ensuring our students are given the opportunities to succeed no matter what course they are on.

For more information contact Mrs. Coyle Head of Department ( or Ms. Sodimu, BTEC Business Coordinator and Course Leader level 3 BTEC Yr.12 (

What do students say about the course?

‘BTEC is really good because when it comes to tests I get really nervous and tend to fail but BTEC allows me to do the course that I love and be able to research and gain more information which I can use in the future’

‘BTEC Business allows you to develop further understanding of business, and have a clear idea of career paths because you do a range of different units from marketing, human resources, accounting and communication’

‘BTEC business is good, very diverse, allows student to explore different parts of business’

‘Am more comfortable with BTEC, you have time to sit with your teachers for help and can have group discussions’ 

What else should I know?

As well as learning the theory behind Business Studies you have the opportunity to put this into practice through our Enterprise enrichment.

As part of the Young Enterprise Programme, students have the chance to officially start-up their own company throughout the year. This includes designing websites, creating the product and selling it. This gives students excellent practical experiences of what it would be like to set up and manage your own firm and the students get to keep the net profit!

Students get the opportunity to attend trips to companies such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays to find out what it is like to work in business, as well as attend careers talks with businesses such as Nestle.

Finally, you will go on two weeks work placement during the first year of the course. Previous placements have ranged from Law firms to banks. You will be expected to complete a project dung the placement in order to successfully complete the unit.