Key InformationLevel: LEVEL 3
Examination Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Mr Hesketh
Entry RequirementsGrade 4 and above Maths. Grade 5 and above English.
Why Choose this course?This qualification will provide learners with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the business environment and to focus on a specific aspect of business through applied learning. This qualification will provide learners with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the business environment and to focus on a specific aspect of business through applied learning.
This qualification provides a broad understanding of business knowledge and skills to support progress to higher education and is suitable for learning alongside other Level 3 qualifications, ie A levels and/or other Level 3 vocational qualifications (such as accounting, sociology, psychology, languages, Media, retail etc).
This qualification can also prepare you to take up employment in business and entrepreneurship, either directly after achieving the qualification or via higher education at university or college.
Studying this qualification will enable you to develop the fundamental knowledge and skills recognised as most important by higher education and employers. The qualification also offers you an opportunity to develop transferrable skills, such as teamwork, research and communication as part of their applied learning.
Year 12 - Subject Content
Unit 1: Financial planning and analysis Examination
In this unit, you will explore the financial issues that enterprises need to consider. To do this, you will need to explore different ways in which enterprises can be owned and how they can be financed. You will need to understand the issues that enterprises face concerning cash-flow. You will calculate profit, break-even and cash-flow to monitor the enterprise.
Unit 2: Business dynamics - Merlin Entertainment
In this unit, you will investigate the factors contributing to the success of businesses, focussing on the role played by managers, supervisors and employees. You will consider how businesses organise themselves and you will develop your ability to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of these organisational structures. You will investigate how businesses can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses, for example, through improving their operations, and the factors that determine the market share held by a business. You will then consider the role of management in improving the competitive position of businesses and how managers implement policies to improve the ways in which staff operates - individually and as part of the wider organisation. Finally, you will consider the potential for businesses to survive and grow by investigating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of businesses.
Unit 3: Entrepreneurial opportunities
In this unit, you will consider how your own skills and personality type affect the ways in which you might exploit an entrepreneurial opportunity. You will also investigate the factors affecting the success of enterprise, considering the importance of the customer value proposition, target market preferences and networking with key support groups (such as family and business people). You will then consider the options available to you for enterprise. You will investigate marketing activities to meet the needs of your target market. The method of operating the enterprise is also a key consideration and you will investigate ways of running it. Finally, you will consider the risks and uncertainties that might impact on its potential success and how these could be reduced.
Year 13 - Subject ContentUnit 4: Managing and leading people
In this unit, you will explore how organisations, operating in a changing environment, use managers and employees to achieve objectives. This will include the importance of leadership, how employees and managers interact in the workplace and the impact that different organisational structures have on how managers and employees work in them. You will study the role of management and contrast this with that of leadership. You will investigate the importance of business culture, the factors affecting the motivation of employees and why they might resist organisational change. You will study why styles of leadership are important to the way in which a business functions and how the chosen style depends on the motivational needs of employees. You will consider how empowerment can help motivate employees and how managers can use this, and leadership, to implement organisational change.
Unit 5: Developing a business proposal - Creating Own Business
In this unit, you will use mind mapping software (such as a word processor with graphics functions) to consider the potential of your initial business ideas. You will then select one business idea to develop as a business proposal. You will outline the marketing, operations, human resources and financial plans of your selected business idea. This will require you to carry out research to gather the information needed by the outline plans. You will use a spreadsheet model of your business proposal to test its viability. In order to raise finance for the proposal, you will produce materials to communicate the outline marketing, operations, human resources and financial plans to funding providers. Finally, you will evaluate your business proposal, considering ways in which its marketing and operations plans might be improved.
Unit 8: Marketing communications
Marketing communications are essential for any business wishing to attract and retain customers. In this unit, you will investigate the marketing communications delivered by small businesses, considering their use of traditional and modern marketing communications channels. You will then use information from your Business proposal unit assignment to plan a marketing communications strategy capable of supporting your business proposal. This will require you to investigate the buyer behaviour and communications preferences of your target market. You will also investigate how your potential competitors use traditional and modern marketing communications channels. You will then draft the communication materials needed to implement your strategy, testing these with representatives of your target market, and develop your marketing communications mix. Finally, you will recommend a schedule of marketing communications for your business proposal and make appropriate adjustments to the business proposal's outline plans and coherence.
Course Opportunities/ Activities
Throughout the year there is several opportunities and activities which complement the studies. There is several trips which will include visits to further and higher education institutions. There will be activities help which are relevant to elements of the course such as; trips to Merlin Entertainment locations across the UK.
Support and Challenge
Throughout the year students are supported on all elements of the course delivery. The support will ensure students are fully up to date on the portfolio task and fully prepared for external exam challenges. Students in all lessons will develop their contextual understanding, to further conceptualise their learning.
I would encourage you to pick Applied General Business because it explores many different aspects of business. The knowledge that I have gained is valuable and the course also helps to develop your creativity. Another benefit of this course is that it helps you with your other subjects in terms of your analytical skills.