A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.”  - Richard Branson

The study of Business allows students to develop a critical understanding of firms, the customers they serve and how they operate.  At Ampleforth, we follow the AQA A Level Business specification in addition to offering a range of extra-curricular opportunities open to all Sixth Form students.

Course aims

  • To be aware that business behaviour can be studied from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders including customers, managers, creditors, owners, shareholders and employees.
  • To consider the internal workings and management of organisations and, in particular, the process of decision making in a dynamic environment.
  • To appreciate economic, environmental, ethical, governmental, legal, social and technological issues associated with business activity.

The A Level Course

Students of this course will study businesses in a variety of contexts, from small sole traders to large public limited companies, UK focused enterprises to transnational corporations, and service industry firms to manufacturing businesses.

Students will consider:

  • the importance of the context of business in relation to decision making;
  • the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect competitiveness;
  • the competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate;
  • the influences on functional and strategic decisions and plans, including Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical and environmental issues;
  • the factors that might determine whether a business decision is successful, such as the quality of data and the degree of uncertainty;
  • how technology is changing the way functional and strategic decisions are made and how businesses operate and compete;
  • the impact on stakeholders of functional and strategic decisions and their response to such decisions;
  • the use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making;
  • the difficulties in forecasting future trends; and
  • the importance of assessing feasibility  and risk when making strategic decisions

These topics lend themselves to studying and engaging with the business world; indeed most of the assessment material is based on real business situations.  Within the Department, students are actively encouraged to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues.  By examining and thinking critically about such real business situations as they study the subject, students gain an insight into different contexts which will help them to understand the key issues in any situation and compare and contrast this with other situations and apply their understanding.

At the end of the course students are examined in a variety of ways, including; short answer multiple choice style questions, data response, extended essays and case studies. 

You can access a copy of the specification here.

Young Enterprise

The Young Enterprise programme is now available to all Year 12 students.  Those who take part are exposed to real life decision making and find the experience offers them a useful insight into the life of an entrepreneur.  This helps to reinforce the knowledge learnt in Business lessons and acts as a catalyst for students to understand in greater depth what it is really like to run a business.

Student Investor

The Student Investor activity is offered to all Sixth Form students who wish to gain an understanding of the world of business finance.  Students will gain knowledge of the financial sector and the ways businesses raise funds through these financial markets.

ICAEW's base competition

Year 12 students are offered the opportunity to participate in the ICAEW’s BASE competition each year.  This challenges students to take on the role of management accountants, advising firms and investors.