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St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch

Business Studies


Head of Department: Mr M Starkey

Department Aim

In line with the school’s mission the department’s aim is give all learners’ access to an inclusive curriculum appropriate to their learning needs so that they can reach their full potential. The Business Department believes that all pupils have the entitlement to quality education and provision. The skills, knowledge and understanding developed in Business will enable students to achieve the highest level of their capabilities and thereby increase their opportunity for successful learning and employment.

Subject overview

Business Studies is a dynamic course that prepares students for the challenges of the 21st Century by introducing them into the world of business. The topics studied are closely related to everyday life e.g. finance, advertising, recruitment, laws and operations. Business is a very ‘real’ subject and it is an aim of the department to make pupils aware of the world they will be entering when they leave school. This knowledge is invaluable to those students who wish to pursue careers in a wide range of areas including management, marketing, human resources, operations and business accounting.

The department offers qualifications at Key stage 4 (GCSE) and Post 16


In St Colman’s students follow the GCSE Business Studies scheme as offered by CCEA.

The GCSE course covers the following topic areas

Unit 1: Starting a Business

·       Creating a Business

·       Marketing

·       Business Operations

Unit 2: Developing a Business

·       Human Resources

·       Business Growth

·       Finance

Unit 3: Planning a Business (Synoptic Unit)

·       Business Plan



How Will the Subject be Assessed?

Paper 1 (worth 40% of final mark)

The course content covered in Unit 1 is assessed in an external written examination made up of short structured questions and extended writing. GCSE Business Students will sit Unit 1 exam in the Summer of Year 11.

Paper 2 (worth 40% of final mark)

The course content covered in Unit 2 is assessed in an external written examination made up of short structured questions and extended writing. GCSE Business Students will sit Unit 2 exam in the summer of Year 12

Controlled Assessment (worth 20% of final mark)

The pupils complete the following: Booklet A, a research task, and Booklet B, a structured report writing task.  The tasks will be internally assessed and externally moderated. Unit 3 will be completed in Year 12.

Post 16

In St. Colman’s we deliver the OCR Cambridge Level 3 Technical Introductory Diploma in Business. (2012) This course is equivalent in size to one A-level and is a portfolio based course.  OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma consists of 6 units completed over 2 years.

The post 16 course covers the following units

Mandatory Units

Unit 1: The Business Environment

Unit 2: Business Resources



                                         Optional Units

Unit 4: Business Accounting

Unit 9: Creative Product Promotion

Unit 10: Market Research

Unit 12: Recruitment & Selection in Business

How will the Subject be Assessed?

The portfolio units are internally assessed by the centre assessor and externally moderated by OCR Visiting Moderators. External Moderation takes place twice in the academic year.

Young Enterprise

Year 10 can gain a taste of business and enterprise in one term of Year 10 through the  Life-skills programme. The Young Enterprise Quick Start project allows students to gain a practical, activity -based insight into the world of Business.

Sixth form

The Young Enterprise Company Programme is offered to sixth form students as part of their enrichment programme. In the project students start up and develop a business from scratch. This is a real life business, funded by the students, running from Sept/Oct to April/May of the academic year. The group of students’ develop an idea for a product or service and produce or deliver this to sell to the public. A key part of the company programme is the competition where students will compete against others in the regional area with the opportunity to progress and compete to win best company in NI and the UK. The programme ends with the submission of a company report and an interview which assesses communication, teamwork and creativity within the company.

In the academic year of 2017 the school enjoyed success with the managing director of the Company; who achieved the distinguished award of EY Entrepreneur of the Future 2017 for N. Ireland. This Award offered the student an opportunity to travel to Canada in the summer of 2017 to attend The Next Generations Leaders Forum to collaborate and network with other peers.


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