|Business Studies and Economics are distinct subjects which are taught within the same department. The joint GCSE Business and Economics course is an optional subject which can be studied from the Fourth Form, with separate A levels in both subjects available as part of our Sixth Form curriculum.
The Edexcel GCSE in Business Studies and Economics aims to provide pupils with a solid foundation in both academic disciplines. Studying both subjects at this level allows students to appreciate the links and differences between both strands of the course, with many pupils going on to study one or both subjects at A level.
The business element of the course introduces the student to the world of small businesses and looks at what creates success; how to develop an idea and spot an opportunity and turn that into a successful business. The focus of this part of the course is very much on enterprise and practical decision making, with pupils gaining some knowledge and experience of tackling basic business problems in key business areas such as marketing, finance and human resource management. In the Fifth Form the course focuses on economics, with students encouraged to think like an economist and learning how the economy functions, the government's role in the economy and its impact on business. Students also examine what causes businesses to fail and how businesses grow, thereby affecting the economy, and many issues within the world of business and economics such as inequality.
A level Business Studies is a popular and successful sixth form subject taken by students alongside many other combinations of subjects. Virtually all students will eventually work in some form of organisation, be it HSBC, a school, hospital, library or a family business; this course aims to prepare students for this experience by combining practical and theory-related study of everyday business issues. Those following other subject areas often choose Business Studies within their A level options as it adds breadth to their studies.
The department also offers A level economics in the Sixth Form, and this subject has grown significantly at the College in recent years. With no prior specific knowledge required, this course represents a first look at the subject for many of those who take it, offering a broad and challenging introduction to the microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis of many relevant economic questions; why is income inequality increasing in the world? What causes unemployment? Why are premiership footballers paid more than doctors? What economic measures can governments’ adopt to tackle climate change? Will population growth damage our standard of living? Economics helps students develop their skills of analysis and evaluation, nurturing an insatiable curiosity about real world issues and events in the process. Many students go on to take the subject at degree level, including Oxbridge, and it is a highly prized subject amongst employers. It also provides an essential beginning for students thinking of taking a broad range of business and management courses at university.
The ethos of the Business and Economics Department is one of encouraging students to think independently and widely about the subject content. Particular emphasis is placed upon a wider understanding of the subjects’ application and relevance to the real world, which can be a daunting and difficult place to inhabit. An increasing number of visits and trips are offered to highlight study areas and improve the students’ understanding of the courses, and participation in the Young Enterprise scheme is also offered by the department within the College’s extensive activities programme.
Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.