Subject Team

Mr A Grant (Head of Department)
Mrs C Wells

Miss Cliondha Crowthers

Department Aims

In addition to achieving academic excellence and examination success in Business Studies we want our pupils to receive a unique insight into the world of work.

Through their study our pupils discover how businesses in Northern Ireland and further afield operate and the essential functions of a successful business enterprise.

Pupils are given opportunities to develop skills such as managing information, problem solving, decision making and working with others.

Business Studies aims to prepare students for life-long learning by implementing classroom strategies such as setting open ended challenges and promoting independent learning.

It is a valuable subject for the following careers: Accountancy, Banking, Marketing, Law, Public Relations, Teaching, Personnel, Business Management and Administration.


GCSE Business Studies

Examination Board: CCEA

What is Business Studies about?
Business Studies is an investigation into how businesses work, make their decisions and the influences that shape this process. It looks at how businesses are formed, how they produce their goods and services and how they market these to customers. In addition it examines how businesses are funded, the management and motivation of people, how they grow and what is meant by a business plan.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?


Unit 1:

Starting a business

• Creating a business

• Business operations

• Marketing

External written exam

1 hour 30 mins


Structured questions and extended writing




Unit 2:

Developing a business

• Finance

• Human resources

• Business Growth

External written exam

1 hour 30 mins

Format: Structured questions and extended writing




Unit 3: Planning a business


Controlled assessment

Students complete a research task and write up a report based on this research



What can this subject lead to?

Business studies is suited to students who have a keen interest in the world about them, how businesses work and those who have desire to become entrepreneurs themselves.

It will develop good skills in literacy and numeracy – as there is a need to construct business reports and handle financial data; working with others – research tasks, communication and use of ICT.

There are many career opportunities both directly in business, as well as areas such as marketing, management, accountancy and research.

Students can go on to study A level Business Studies and then a range of business related courses at university. These include opportunities to combine business with a foreign language.

A Level

Business Studies

Examination Board: CCEA 

What is A Level Business Studies about?
This subject engages students in the study of a range of business topics impacting on today’s society.   Students will gain an appreciation of growing a business through marketing activities and E-Business. They also learn about the importance of financial information and its use in decision making.  Students will explore business planning and the need to manage risk when developing business strategies. They will develop an appreciation of the role of accounting and financial information in making strategic business decisions, and an understanding of the macroeconomic and global framework within which organisations operate.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?

AS ContentAssessmentWeighting
Unit AS 1 Introduction to Business


External Examination – case study based questions


50% of AS


(20 % of    A Level)

Unit AS 2 Growing the Business


External Examination – case study based questions


50% of AS


(20% of     A Level)

A2 ContentAssessmentWeighting
Unit A2 1 Strategic Decision Making



External Examination – case study based questions


30% of       A Level
Unit A2 2

The Competitive Business Environment


External Examination – Production of a Business Report30% of

A Level

Are there any particular qualities or skills I should have to study this course and to what kind of careers can it lead?
You should have a keen interest in the world of business, and skills of interpretation, analysis, communication, working with others and evaluation are very important.

There are many possible careers in business, including management, marketing, sales, production and human resources. Many students go on to study business and related courses, while others may opt for the many financial and business apprenticeship “Earn as you learn” opportunities that companies are making available for school leavers.

Entry requirements: Minimum grade B in GCSE Business Studies. Also recommended that students have minimum grade B in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.

Depending on numbers, may be possible to study AS and A2 Business Studies without GCSE qualification in the subject: minimum B grade in English Language and Mathematics – places allocated on points basis, depending on available space in subject.

Department News / Events

ye-logoYoung Enterprise Company Programme

Year 11 students studying GCSE Business Studies are provided with the opportunity to partake in the Young Enterprise Company Programme which inspires and equips students to learn and succeed through enterprise. Each student involved plays a key role in the business making all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital, designing their product or service, selling directly to customers and ultimately winding up the company and paying their taxes. All this takes place with the support of a Business Adviser who brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team.  The Programme prepares students for a world of opportunity and allows them to expand their business and economic understanding.

“Kitted Out” opens a stall at St George’s Market.

Year 11 students studying GCSE Business Studies have set up their own company, Kitted Out, which specialises in a range of mobile phone accessories including phone cases, power banks, earphones and chargers.

During December 2015, students were given the opportunity to trade at one of Belfast’s oldest attractions, St George’s Market.

Young people filled the UK’s top large indoor market setting up their stalls and offering an interesting variety of products to festive shoppers.

Students enjoyed the vibrant market atmosphere while exploring the stalls and enjoying the live entertainment.

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Educational Visits / Trips

Year 13 Students visit Irwin’s Bakery

Year 13 Business Studies students got hands on business training at Irwin’s bakery this week.

Students attend CIDO/ Rotary Club Talk

Year 13 Business Studies classes attended the CIDO/Rotary Club Annual Business Lunch and Talk at the Seagoe Hotel on Monday 20 November. The guest speaker was local entrepreneur Sam Rusk, former director of Thompson Aero Seating Ltd and Innovation Ulster Ltd.

Year 13 visit to Coca-Cola

AS Business Studies students recently enjoyed a trip to the Coca-Cola factory in Lisburn. Upon arrival, we were brought into a cinema style room and watched a video of the history of Coca-Cola, while enjoying a chilled drink. Following that, we were taken on a guided birds-eye tour of the factory. During this we had the opportunity to see firsthand how Coca-Cola runs, even having the chance to smell their top secret ingredient “7X”. To finish off our day, we spent some time in the interactive zone, equipped with air hockey and other various games. An enjoyable day to say the least!

Helen Mullen Year 13 Business Studies

PC Future Entrepreneurs

AS Business Studies students attended a CIDO event in November 2016 at the Seagoe Hotel, hosted by Portadown Rotary Club. The event was aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities within Northern Ireland and the help and support which is available to students from CIDO.


Year 12 Trip to Tesco, October 2015

Year 12 Business Studies students visited Tesco to conduct an interview with Ms Sharon Feeney, Personnel Manager. This research was conducted to facilitate their Controlled Assessment task.

Tesco visit 2 Tesco visit 1

 Year 11 Trip to Tayto Castle

Year 11 Business Studies students visited the Tayto Factory in Tandragee where students experienced first-hand the reality of production in the Crisps and Snack market. Whilst visiting the factory, students learnt about the application of many of the topics they study at GCSE including Health and Safety, Production methods, Computer Aided Manufacturing and Quality Control. Students found the experience very beneficial and enjoyed a visit from Mr Pat Tayto himself.

Year 11 GCSE Business Studies study trip to Tayto Castle

Year 13 Trip to Tesco Craigavon 

Year 13 Business Studies students spent a very useful, interesting and informative day at Tesco Extra store at Rushmere in Craigavon. The theme of the day was leadership, motivation and inspiration. Sharron McHugh the Personnel Manager facilitated the day through a series of presentations, interactive activities and insightful stories from both her own experience and Tesco in general.

The students have gained valuable insight into these important areas of business as well as very good careers advice.


Business Studies helps to prepare students for a range of interesting and rewarding careers both in business and as a route to self-employment.

Below are the stories of two former students.

Andrew Bouskill (left in 2012)

I left the college in 2012 after doing A levels in ICT, History, Technology and Business Studies. I took the decision to reject my university offer to study business and finance at Newcastle and instead went straight into work for the largest accounting firm in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The skills and knowledge that I had gained throughout my two years of studying business at A-Level had provided me with a great foundation to approach the challenging interviews and assessments that have to be passed in order to gain employment. Throughout my time there I worked with the graduates that had come in straight from University; I was on the same pay scale and got to do a wider variety of work. I decided for a change of direction after just over a year doing accounting and walked into a Deputy Store Manager position with Lidl. Skills I gained from business studies combined with the knowledge that you quickly pick up in the work place environment have enabled me to achieve more in a quicker time frame than I believe would have been possible with a degree. (Plus no student loan in the process)

Matthew Meston (left in 2012) 

At the College I studied ICT, Geography and Business Studies, where I obtained  grades BBC, having got accepted to study business management I declined this offer and decided to take a year out as I changed my mind and didn’t want to pursue a degree in business management. During this year out I did more research on what degree I wanted to study and concluded that Accounting was a degree that suited me better overall. I also decided to repeat ICT and Business studies during this gap year as I knew I could achieve better grades. I managed to obtain an A* in ICT and an A in Business Studies.

I am currently at Jordanstown studying Accounting. A lot of people think that maths is important when studying Accounting, however they are in fact wrong. Having met and spoken to a lot of top Accountants they all agree that maths is not an important A Level to have. Throughout the degree I have only one maths module which I have already completed and achieved one of the top marks without actually studying it at A Level. I do however feel that studying Business Studies at A Level has been more relevant to an Accounting.

After completing my degree I hope to go onto sit my professional exams and become a charted accountant and work for a top company such as PWC, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, etc.