Exam Board Subject Leader
Edexcel Mr G Durr

At Campion, we believe that this is a course for learners who wish to:

  • know and understand business concepts, business terminology, business objectives, the integrated nature of business activity and the impact of business on individuals and wider society;
  • apply knowledge and understanding to contemporary business issues and to different types and sizes of businesses in the local, national and global contexts;
  • develop as enterprising individuals with the ability to think commercially and creatively to demonstrate business acumen, and draw on evidence to make informed business decisions and solve business problems;
  • develop as effective and independent students, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds;
  • use an enquiring, critical approach to make informed judgements;
  • investigate and analyse real business opportunities and issues to construct well-argued, well-evidenced, balanced and structured arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of business;
  • develop and apply quantitative skills relevant to business, including using and interpreting data.


Throughout studying GCSE Business Studies, students apply knowledge and understanding to different business contexts. These include businesses ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts. Students develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour, and themselves apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The course also helps students apply knowledge and understanding in business decision making, including the inderdependent nature of business activity, influences on business, business operations finance, marketing and human resources, and how these interdependencies underpin decision making. We help students develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills that are relevant to business, investigate, analyse and evaluate business opportunities and make justified decisions using both qualitative and quantitative data. Data skills developed include selection, interpretation, analysis and evaluation, and the application of appropriate quantitative skills.

You will be given the opportunity to study business from the first ideas of setting up a business to the successful operation of a firm. You might have an interest in business and want to start your own business one day. You should have an enquiring mind and be interested in learning about the world around you, how businesses are set up and what it is that makes someone a great entrepreneur. You need to be a good communicator in explaining your ideas and not be afraid of learning new things.  You should be confident in working with numbers to solve business problems. You need to think creatively and be good at making decisions. 


Theme 1: Investigating Small Business

Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. Students must develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business activity through interactions between business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, as well as the relationship between the business and the environment in which it operates. Students must understand how these interdependencies and relationships underpin business decisions.

Theme 1 comprises five topic areas:

  • Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship – students are introduced to the dynamic nature of business in relation to how and why business ideas come about. They also explore the impact of risk and reward on business activity and the role of entrepreneurship. 
  • Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity – students will explore how new and small businesses identify opportunities through understanding customer needs and conducting market research. They will also focus on understanding the competition. 
  • Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice – this topic focuses on making a business idea happen through identifying aims and objectives and concentrating on the financial aspects. 
  • Topic 1.4 Making the business effective – students will explore a range of factors that impact on the success of the business, including location, the marketing mix and the 
    business plan. 
  • Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business – students are introduced to a range of factors, many of which are outside of the immediate control of the business, such 
    as stakeholders, technology, legislation and the economy. Students will explore how businesses respond to these influences. 


Theme 2: Building a Business

Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Theme 2 also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows. In this theme, students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. 

Theme 2 comprises five topic areas:

  • Topic 2.1 Growing the business – students are introduced to methods of growth and how and why business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve. The impact of globalisation and the ethical and environmental questions facing businesses are explored. 
  • Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions – students will explore how each element of the marketing mix is managed and used to inform and make business decisions in a competitive marketplace. 
  • Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions – this topic focuses on meeting customer needs through the design, supply, quality and sales decisions a business makes. 
  • Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions – students will explore the tools a business has to support financial decision making, including ratio analysis and the use and limitation of a range of financial information. 
  • Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions – growing a business means that decisions relating to organisational structure, recruitment, training and motivation need to be made to influence business activity. These aspects are considered in this final topic.  



Students will take two written examinations where a variety of tasks are undertaken. The final exams are a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, extended writing and data response questions. Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year. 

  • Theme 1 (Investigating Small Business) is examined by written examination lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. The paper consists of questions totalling 90 marks and is worth 50% of the qualification. Paper code 1BS0/01.
  • Theme 2 (Building a Business) is examined by written examination lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. The paper consists of questions totalling 90 marks and is worth 50% of the qualification. Paper code 1BS0/02.



A GCSE in Business Studies allows students to understand more about the business world and motivates and challenges students, preparing them to make informed decisions about further study and career pathways.

Students can progress from this qualification to a number of different academic and vocational qualifications at Level 3, including GCEs in Business, History, Geography, Economics and Psychology and BTEC Nationals in Business. The knowledge and skills gained from GCSE Business support students’ entry into employment or other training in specific aspects of business, such as apprenticeships and vocational qualifications which focus on more specialised business areas. GCSE Business provides a strong foundation for employment, with students progressing, with further training, to a wide range of careers training such as banking, sales, product management and general management.