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St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch



Examination Board: OCR 

Specification: Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Business. 

Why study Business? 

Business is a major part of everyone’s life and anybody who has a good idea about how businesses work are at an immediate advantage in the future. Every industry needs accountants, marketers, managers, financial analysts, entrepreneurs and business support staff. By studying Business you will have transferable skills that are in high demand for a range of pathways. Business as a field of study is very practical - it is the study of applying ideas to create or add value to a product or service in order to generate a profit. Business also involves people - customers and employees therefore communication and interpersonal skills are vitally important as well. 

What will I learn about?

Unit 1 The Business Environment - External Exam 

In this unit you will develop an understanding of how and why businesses operate in the way they do. You will look at a range of different types of business and business structures, and explore how the ownership of a business and its objectives are interrelated. You will learn about the importance of different functions within a business and how they work together. You will understand the legal, financial, ethical and resource constraints under which a business must operate and how these can affect business behaviour. You  will explore ways in which businesses respond to changes in their economic, social and technological environment, and the necessity for a business to plan. You will appreciate the influence different stakeholders can have on a business, and how to assess business performance.

Unit 2 Working in Business - External Exam

This unit will cover the skills and understanding needed to work effectively within a business environment. This includes arranging meetings, working with business documents, making payments, prioritising business activities and communicating with stakeholders. The skills and understanding you will develop through this unit are critical to the success of any business and are highly valued in the business world; they are vital regardless of the role held within an organisation.

Unit 4 Customers and Communication - Portfolio Assignment. Internally Moderated. 

In this unit you will learn the purpose, methods and importance of communication in business and the appropriateness of different forms of communication for different situations. You will develop the skills that will help you create a rapport with customers and have the opportunity to practice and develop your business communication skills.You will also learn about the legal constraints, ethical and security issues that affect how businesses store, share and use information.

Unit 5 Marketing and Market Research - Portfolio Assignment. Internally Moderated. 

The unit has particular emphasis on the role of market research and how it contributes to marketing decision-making, and the actions a business may take. Market research is the process by which organisations obtain the information they require. You will gain an in-depth understanding of primary and secondary market research methods used to inform marketing decision-making and any constraints on marketing activities. You will develop an understanding of the importance of selecting appropriate market research methods for market research proposals and be able to carry out market research, analyse the market research findings and present the findings.

Unit 17 Responsible Business Practices - Portfolio Assignment. Internally Moderated. 

In this unit you will gain an understanding of how businesses can and should operate responsibly. You will look at the impact of different stakeholders on business decisions and how the issues involved can at times be contradictory and difficult to address. The unit also looks at the ethical values and issues faced by businesses, as well as the difficulties of implementing responsible business practice. You will have the opportunity to explore the social implications of business ethics and corporate responsibilities on a wide range of business activities. This will include topical issues such as whistle blowing, employment practices such as zero-hour contracts, advertising to children, environmental awareness and the use of new technologies.


How is it taught?

During this course you will:

  • Develop practical skills and a theoretical understanding of the business world.
  • Develop practical employability skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with both internal and external stakeholders and to manage your time effectively.
  •  Develop the ability to research, analyse and evaluate information in order to make considered decisions. 
  • Develop essential business skills including leadership, presentation, teamwork and research skills
  • Develop transferable skills that are essential in the workplace and in further education.

How will I be assessed?

The full course consists of five units of study spread over two years. Assessment consists of  two external exams set and marked by OCR and three pieces of portfolio work set and assessed by internal moderation and visiting OCR moderation. There is no requirement to have studied Business at GCSE. 

Pathways to future careers/courses 

This course equips you well for University or employment in a wide range of industries. Business is a diverse subject which supports other areas of study including Social Sciences, Humanities and IT. 

 Career options include Finance, Advertising & Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Management, Human Resource Management, Banking, Retail, Insurance and Business Information Systems.

Entry requirements

5 A*- C