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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study Business?

If you are interested in the way businesses are run and managed then BTEC Business is the course for you. BTEC Business will help you develop your knowledge, understanding and skills applied in real work contexts required for both employment and progression into higher education.

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.

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.

This BTEC is the equivalent to two A levels, so you will be expected to study for another A level alongside it, or pick up a couple of GCSEs. Many of our business students’ progress onto University after leaving St Charles; c70% 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 focused ones such as Accounting and Finance, Marketing and Human Resources Management.

Alternatively you may choose to move onto an apprenticeship.

How is the course organised?

The BTEC Level 3 Diploma comprises of 12 units of work over the 2 years of study.

You will study six units each year, covering a wide range of different topics.

One of the units offers students the opportunity to study Thorpe Park as a business and for this students go on an annual trip to Thorpe park.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to undertake work experience at the end of the first year. Many of the units are very practical, for example you will have the opportunity to develop your own promotional campaign as well as producing a detailed business plan for a new business idea.

How is the course assessed?

BTEC level 3 is assessed through internally assessed coursework units.

For their coursework, students will have an opportunity to secure a PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION grade for each piece of work by developing their understanding of business theory and completing specific.

The final grade for the course is calculated based on the student’s overall performance and is the equivalent to two A-levels.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The basic entry requirements – 5 grade Cs at GCSE and preferably a D in GCSE Mathematics OR a double Merit in BTEC level 2 Extended Certificate.

Students should have the ability to:

  • work independently as well as part of a team
  • consistently meet deadlines
  • manage their own time

Due to the nature of the programme, 100% attendance is essential, as is the ability to meet deadlines. Students will be expected to produce assignments to a high standard.  Commitment to keep up to date with business and economic affairs through the media is also required.  Students will have to spend approximately 10 hours per week outside of classroom time on work for the course.

Who are the teachers?

There are eight 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, the book club, and the annual New York trip, which takes place in the spring.

One of the teachers in the department is an ex-St Charles Student 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 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 Ms Sodimu, BTEC level 3 course leader (

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 about?

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 at the end of the first year. Previous placements have ranged from Law firms to banks. You will be expected to complete a research project in support of one of your units in the second year.