Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Business Studies

Everybody uses a variety of businesses and organisations as a matter of course in their daily lives.

To understand the world in which we live, it is important to have knowledge and understanding of the different types of organisations, how they operate, the people working in the business sphere and what influences the success of a company.

Business is a beneficial subject to study because it gives an insight into the financial and managerial aspects of companies.



The Business Studies Department offers a range of courses at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, teaching students from Years 10 to 13.

Great Marlow offers:

  • Key Stage 4:  OCR (J204) GCSE Business Studies
  • Key Stage 5:  AQA A-level Business.

The department strongly believes in ensuring that lessons are linked to real organisations because a business course prepares students for careers in the business world. To facilitate this we have built good relationships with local companies. In addition, speakers, activities and visits, bring a business context to learning in the classroom. Through engaging with business people, organisations and contexts, students are encouraged to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in a realistic way.

The department also organises a range of trips and visits to support the curriculum, these are enjoyable as well as educational.

Future choices

  • Many students completing A-levels in the department have moved onto university choosing to study degree courses such as Business Management, Marketing, Event Management, Human Resources, Travel and Tourism, Business Finance, Accountancy and Leisure Management.
  • A business qualification provides a broad educational basis for further and higher education or for moving into employment within the business sector.


GCSE Business Studies: OCR (J204)

This is a linear course, which is studied in Year 10 and Year 11. It is assessed by two examinations, both of which are 1.5 hours long and worth 50% of the overall GCSE.

Paper 1: OCR J204/1. This paper focuses on key topics such as business activity, business ownership, aims and objectives, business growth, marketing and human resources.

Paper 2: OCR J204/2. This paper focuses on key topics such as finance, production, operations, and how the external environment of a business will impact on its day to day decisions and operations.

In addition to the course, students are given the opportunity to take part in a range of business enterprise activities, which will give them a chance to explore the practical side of business and equip them with key skills such as working in a team, being able to present a product advantageously, and being able to sell items in a market hall environment.

A-level Business: AQA

This is a two year course which will lead to a full A-level. The course is designed to engage students through business topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, through key contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation topics.

This course encourages students to:

  • develop an enthusiasm for studying business
  • gain holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts
  • develop a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants
  • understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives
  • generate enterprising and creative approaches to business opportunities, problems and issues
  • be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations and individuals
  • acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision making, problem solving, the challenging of assumptions and critical analysis
  • apply numerical skills in a range of business contexts

Subject Content

Over the two years students will study the following areas:

Topic Year
  1. What is business? Year 12
  2. Managers, leadership and decision making Year 12
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance Year 12
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance Year 12
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance Year 12
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance Year 12
  7. Analysing the strategic position of a business Year 13
  8. Choosing strategic direction Year 13
  9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies Year 13
  10. Managing strategic change Year 13


There are a total of three exams that all take place in the summer two years after the course commences. The question papers use a variety of assessment styles including multiple choice, short answer, data response, essay and case studies. Students are required to work in more than one field, the course is taught to ensure students are given the tools to feel confident when answering the questions. Real life case studies are used wherever possible to make it easier for students to relate to, and apply, their knowledge and skills developed throughout the course.

Paper 1 : Business 1 + Paper 2 : Business 2 + Paper 3 : Business 2
Whats’s assessed
All content above
Whats’s assessed
All content above
Whats’s assessed
All content above

  • written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-level

  • written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-level

  • written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-level

Three compulsory sections

  • Section A has 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks.
  • Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks.
  • Sections C & D have two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) worth 25 marks each.

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three or four part questions.

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions.

Careers in Applied Business

Accountant/Auditor Foreign Currency Investment Advisor Market Research Executive
Advertising Healthcare Administrator Personnel Officer
Bank Manager Imports and Exports Manager Public Relations Officer
Chartered Accountant Insurance Underwriter Retail Buyer
Consumer Products Investment Banker Retail Manager
Corporate Financial Analyst Licensing Officer Sales Representative
Distribution & Logistics Manager Management Consultancy Teacher
Entrepreneur Marketing Executive
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