A Level Business


What are the characteristics of a leader or an entrepreneur? Why will some people always buy Apple products? Why do adverts pop up on my social media at certain times? Whether you are an aspiring business leader, entrepreneur or simply want to understand how business shapes our world, A Level Business has plenty to offer!

Why St Mary’s

Our teaching department has its own library, offering access to the latest resources, including subscriptions to key journals including Business Review and the Economist, to keep you up-to-date on the latest news. A range of films and documentaries on topical issues is also available. You will receive textbooks and revision guides, plus a selection of carefully curated lesson resources on Cloudbase to support your studies.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

Enabling your transition from GCSE

For almost all students economics is a totally new subject. This offers you a fantastic opportunity to start with a blank canvas, on a level playing field with your peers. Irrespective of what subjects you have studied at GCSE, with a little hard work and dedication there is nothing to stop anyone becoming a competent business student.

Throughout your studies you will have access to a lunchtime drop-in surgery once a week, but our teachers have an open door policy – so support is on-hand whenever you have a question!

You will have a one-on-one meeting with our Head of Department three times a year, providing an opportunity to discuss your progress in a more formal setting and to agree targets for the next term.  If you would like more structured, regular one-on-one support, we are more than happy to support this.

All members of the department have previously marked A Levels for exam boards, and you will benefit from their insight through specific sessions that look at exam technique and practice – equipping you with the skills you need to succeed. 

Course overview

Content of A Level

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making
  • Decision making to improve marketing performance
  • Decision making to improve operational performance
  • Decision making to improve financial performance
  • Decision making to improve human resource performance
  • Analysing the strategic position of business
  • Choosing strategic direction
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  • Managing strategic change


A Level assessment

  • Paper 1 – marketing, people and global business. Assessment includes data response questions broken down into smaller questions and an extended open response question. (35% of total qualification)
  • Paper 2 – business activities, decisions and strategy. Assessment includes data response questions broken down into smaller questions and an extended open response question. (35% of total qualification)
  • Paper 3 – investigating business in a competitive environment. For Paper 3, there will be a pre-released context document. The context focuses on a broad context, such as an industry or market in which businesses operate. Each section will contain unseen stimulus materials comprising quantitative and qualitative evidence. Students are required to apply their knowledge and understanding from Themes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and their understanding of the broad context to this evidence (30% of total qualification)

Visit our Sixth Form

At a glance
  • Syllabus: Edexcel (9BSO)
  • 3 written papers
  • 1:1 support
  • Small class sizes
  • Themes include: marketing, finances, HR, leadership, strategic change and business analysis

Entry requirements

GCSE grades (or equivalent)

  • Subject 1: English Language: 6+ (CEFR B2.2)
  • Subject 2: Mathematics: 5+
You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Like working with data and statistics
  • Enjoy discussion and presenting arguments
  • Like conducting research and evaluating information
  • Are interested in the world of business
  • Are confident with calculations

What our teachers say...

“At secondary school I was interested in the characteristics that make a great leader. I noticed that successful business people have different personalities and leadership styles, often with equal effect. This made me realise that there is no one blueprint for success and inspired me to teach young people that no-one is ‘born’ a leader and these key skills can be developed by anyone if they have the right attitude.”

“My passionate belief is that business can be fun, it can be conducted with love and a powerful force for good.” Anita Roddick, Founder of the Bodyshop

We live in a time when there is an unprecedented emphasis on the importance of ethical issues. Business holds the key to ensuring that we manage the world’s resources in a more sustainable way for the sake of future generations.

Equally, while the role of women in leadership positions is steadily improving, the pace of change is far too slow and the gap of opportunity remains staggering. A sound understanding of business can help inspire the next generation of leaders to wake up to these issues and make positive change.

Our students attend some of the top universities for business such as Oxford, St. Andrews, Warwick, Bath and Loughborough. Typical degree choices include: business, international business, business and a modern language, business and management, management, economics, finance and accounting, marketing, human resource management and international relations. 

By providing sought-after transferable skills, such as communication, numeracy, problem solving and data handling, business graduates are in high demand. A recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that business and management graduates are the among the top 10 average graduate earners, out of all degree choices. Some graduates become entrepreneurs, others gain industry experience, pursuing popular career paths in areas such as finance, marketing, advertising, HR, public relations, management consultancy, retail or hospitality. 

Leaver destinations

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