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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Business?

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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 such as Jaguar Land Rover and Ikea 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 Business will open your eyes to the wide range of job opportunities available, ranging from finance to marketing to management. Ex-students have gone on to work in human resources management, fashion retailing, accountancy and finance in the City, as well as setting up their own businesses.

Many of our business students’ progress onto University after leaving St Charles; just over 60% of A Level Business students and 70% of BTEC Business students go onto study a business related degree. This ranges from generic courses such as Business Studies and International Business Management to more specialised ones such as Accounting and Finance, Marketing and Human Resources Management.

Those students who decide University is not for them can equally gone to a wide range of apprenticeships in many different fields.

How is the course organised?

Edexcel GCE in Business is structured into two themes in the first year: Students are introduced to business in Themes 1 and 2 through building knowledge of core business concepts and applying them to real life business contexts to develop a broad understanding of how businesses work.

In year two breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, with applications to a wider range of contexts and more complex business information, are developed in Themes 3 and 4, requiring students to take a more strategic view of business opportunities and issues.

Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, to understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and to challenge assumptions.

How is the course assessed?

Students study the full A level and at the end of the two years the course will be assessed with three external examinations:

Paper 1: Marketing, people and global businesses

This is a 2-hour paper which is worth 35% of the total qualification and draws on themes 1&4.

Paper 2: Business activities, decisions and strategy

This is a 2-hour paper which is worth 35% of the total qualification and draws on themes 2&3.

Paper 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment

The final paper is again 2-hour paper but is worth 30% of the total qualification. This paper is synoptic and draws on all four of the themes studied over the two years.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements for A Level courses are six GCSEs grades 9-4, including a Grade 4 and above in English Language and in Maths.


There is a strong focus on numeracy in A level Business therefore candidates are expected to have high standards of numerical reasoning. Essay writing also forms an important part of the assessment, therefore quality of language is also assessed as an integral part of the course. 

A strong interest in business and business news is also encouraged: Students are expected to keep up to date with current business news and have to demonstrate a desire to conduct independent study.

Students need to demonstrate an ability to carry out calculations, interpret and analyse data, apply knowledge to unfamiliar situations, develop arguments and make judgments and decisions.

Who are the teachers?

There are 10 teachers in the department all with degrees or postgraduate qualifications in Business Studies, Business Management or Business & 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 and The Big Idea Challenge, which takes place in the first term.  One of the teachers in the department is ex-St Charles Students who, having really valued their own experience at the College as a student, has come back to contribute to the experience of our current and future students.

With over 100 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. Jenny Coyle, Head of department  or Mrs. Grace Jeremie, A Level Business Y12 Course Leader

What do students say about the course?

"Studying Business at St Charles, has helped me learn how the world of business works through case studies and analysing real life business situations. The teachers have been really supportive by providing extra work to do outside of school and continuous assessments. I enjoy this subject as it opens my eyes about how businesses operate internally and externally." 

"My Business teachers are very helpful, they are willing to help me any day and anytime without a doubt and they are focused on making sure we understand everything and we are doing the best of our abilities. This has helped me improve in my structure of answers and has expanded my knowledge from business GCSE."


"What I enjoy learning about Business Studies is the mathematical aspect of it. My teachers are very helpful when giving feedback and feel like I have improved because of teachers feedback. Business studies has improved my ability to analyse and evaluate." 

 "Studying A Level Business has been an enjoyable subject and I feel as though I have gained a lot from choosing it. Not only are the teachers very supportive, but the course is also full of content that they have helped and thoroughly guided me through at my time at St Charles."

"Whilst studying at St. Charles, I learnt the skills that I needed to achieve high grades but also to help me run my own business. My name is Beejay Mulenga, and I am the founder of my own business ‘SupaTuck’. The teachers at St. Charles pushed me constantly, I worked hard and now I’m reaping the benefits. I learnt how to become both analytical and evaluative, most importantly I learnt how to sort out my businesses finances. Last year I was voted as one of the Young Entrepreneurs of the year."


"I had never studied anything like business; initially I under-estimated the amount of work that would be involved. Neither did I expect the amount of homework and the constant assessment. However, with the support of fantastic teachers, in a hardworking department, I managed to excel and progress onto a law degree in a Russell Group university. I was also involved with Young Enterprise, and as managing director I was able to put into practice what I was learning in the classroom."

Extra Curricular

Opportunities to get involved!

The Business & Economics department has close links with numerous employers and academic institutions. Students get the opportunity to attend both internal and external revision workshops and conferences.

In addition, there is the opportunity to learn and compete with enrichment activities such as The Big Idea Challenge and London Citizens. During the year there are trips to local employers such as Goldman Sachs, Innocent and Barclays in order to find out about different career options.Finally there is the potential to become a course representative, working closely with the teachers to help organise the course you study.

Further Information available in the link below to the Specification