About the subject

A Level Business provides an exciting insight into the dynamic world of business. It examines business through topical news stories and case studies and develops skills in data analysis, calculations, group work, critical thinking and problem solving.

Businesses of all sizes and types are studied from sole traders to multi-national conglomerates. The first year focuses on the key functional areas of business – finance, marketing, operations and human resource management as well as looking at business forms, leadership and decision making. The second year builds on first year content and looks at strategy and how businesses have to respond to the external environment to decide on their strategic direction. Other topics include international trade, organisational culture and managing change.

Your tasks to complete

Please complete the following tasks which form part of Unit 1:

Task One

Please access and complete the Initial Numeracy Assessment. You can either print off the document and write in your answers or write out your answers on a separate sheet of paper. Always show your workings. Please bring a paper copy to the first lesson.

Task Two

Read the case study on ‘Slow Fashion’ and answer the following questions:

1. Write out definitions for the following terms used in the case study:

a) Private Limited Company
b) Profit
c) Shares
d) Ethical objectives
e) Cash flow (12 marks)

2. Using Figure 1 calculate the percentage change of UK clothing sales from 2015 to 2016. (3 marks)

3. Explain one advantage to Rana Fashion of trading ethically. (4 marks)

4. To what extent do you think it is a good idea for Rana Fashion to sell their clothing online only. (16 marks)

To answer this question use the following structure:

  • A paragraph with arguments for Rana Fashion selling online only – use the case study to support your arguments.
  • A paragraph with arguments against Rana Fashion selling online only – use the case study to support your arguments.
  • A concluding paragraph – make a judgement which answers the question and weigh up previous arguments to support the judgement.

You may wish to watch this video which gives advice on how to structure and answer 16 mark questions in A Level Business:
A Level Business Revision – Answering 16-20 Mark Questions

Pre-course reading

The recommended course textbook is the CGP A Level Business Revision Guide. If you are able to, please purchase it prior to starting your course.

Title: A Level Business Complete Revision & Practice for Exam Board AQA
Publisher : CGP
ISBN: 978 1 78294 351 8

Follow the business news on a regular basis. This really helps to bring the subject to life and you can apply theory you have learned to real life businesses. Perhaps select 2/3 businesses that interest you and follow them in the news. Here is a link to BBC Business News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business

Extended reading

You are not expected to read these books but if you are interested in business then you may wish to read one of these. Copies can be bought for as little as a few pence sometimes from Amazon. If you are interested in a particular business leader/entrepreneur consider reading their autobiography. For example, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Steve Jobs (Apple).

How I Made It : 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Made Millions (Rachel Bridge)

The Google Story (David A Vise)

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell)

Shoe Dog: A memoir of the creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Useful websites and other resources

There are some really interesting and relevant programmes on TV related to Business. Watching these really helps to give insights into the real world of business and to apply business theory learned in the classroom. They may be available on iPlayer or YouTube:

  • Inside the Factory
  • What Britain Buys and Sells in a Day
  • Dragons’ Den

Channel 5 also often shows programmes on companies. Recent ones have focused on Aldi, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Tesco

Meet the tutors

Jill has a BA (Hons) degree in Sociology from the University of Leeds, a Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Level 6 qualification, and PGCE in Business Studies from the University of Huddersfield. She has a substantial amount of teaching experience and before moving into education held senior roles in procurement and supply chain management. Jill teaches Economics and Business.

Any questions?

Email us on info@barnsley.ac.uk

Call us on 01226 216 123

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