Business Studies S5/S6 Course

Content

The course is made up of three compulsory units :

  • Administrative Support: contribute to the arrangement of meetings; organise travel and accommodation arrangements; supply information for a specific purpose; monitor health, safety and security; identify areas for improving efficiency.
  • Information Technology: Office Applications – create and amend information in a specified format, using a variety of software applications; use electronic methods of communication for sending and receiving information.
  • Word Processing: produce, recall and edit a variety of business correspondence.

Internal assessment

End of unit assessment for each of the units listed above.

External assessment

One exam paper (2 hours) consisting of:

  • Task 1: practical (25 marks)
  • Task 2: practical (50 marks)
  • Task 3: theory (25 marks)

Homework

Homework will be given regularly in the form of theory questions. Homework should not exceed one hour each week.

Value of the course

The practical approach used in this course makes it an excellent preparation for a career in administration. Students will learn to carry out administrative tasks and acquire skills in processing, sorting, checking, storing and outputting information in a modern organisational environment. These skills will help to develop students’ personal effectiveness.

Entry requirements

Students should have Standard Grade Administration at General level or Standard Grade Office and Information Studies at General level or similar computer skills.

Administration Higher

Content

The course has two mandatory units :

  1. Administrative Services: This unit is designed to enable students to develop and apply skills and knowledge to given situations which require problems to be solved and decisions to be made about administrative services. The student will learn how to:
    1. manage targets
    2. develop, implement and maintain procedures
    3. organise and support meetings
    4. make travel and accommodation arrangements
  2. Information Technology for Management: This unit is designed to enable students to:
    1. use information technology to help management solve problems
    2. evaluate the use of new developments for their organisation
    3. monitor and evaluate new procedures and systems as they are introduced.
    4. In addition, students will learn how to research, extract and collate information, and
    5. present that information in a form acceptable to business.

Internal assessment

End of unit assessments for the units listed above.

External assessment

Two examination papers of 60 marks each:

  • Paper I: 1 hour 30 minutes (Knowledge and Understanding)
  • Paper II: 1 hour 10 minutes (IT based skills)

Homework

Homework will be given regularly in the form of theory questions. Homework should not exceed one hour each week.

Value of the course

The course offers opportunities for students to develop the crucial skills and knowledge which allw them to access, understand and contribute to an information environment. These skills will help to develop students’ personal effectiveness, especially in tackling projects, investigations and preparing reports.

Entry requirements

Students should have Standard Grade Administration at Credit level or Intermediate 2 Administration or similar computer skills. Standard Grade English at Credit level is preferable but not essential.

Business Management Higher

Content

This course gives students a good understanding of how business operates and its role in society. It focuses on key business areas such as finance, marketing and human resources management in all types of organisation. It especially emphasises decision-making, the importance of enterprise and IT (information technology). Computer software packages are used wherever appropriate eg to generate reports, prepare and analyse financial statements and run CD-Rom simulations.

There are two units (each split into sub-units) :

  • Business Enterprise: business in contemporary society / information and information technology / decision-making in business.
  • Business Decision Areas: internal organisation / marketing / financial management / human resource management / operations.

Internal assessment

End of sub-unit tests in class time.

External assessment

One written paper (2½ hours) consisting of

  • Part 1: a case study / interpretation (50 marks)
  • Part 2: two essays chosen from five (50 marks).

Homework

Mainly writing up definitions for each sub-unit and revising for end of sub-unit tests. Occasional extended writing exercises. Approximately 1½ - 2 hours per week.

Value of the course

The course gives great insight into the world of business, not only from the point of view of managers but also from that of employers and employees. Business courses are very popular at university and college. A good performance in this course may well be decisive in being offered a place.

Entry requirements

None. The Business Studies department will decide if you are capable and seem well motivated.

Business Management Advanced Higher

Content

This course builds on the Higher by putting concepts learned there into more complex business contexts. It also introduces several new areas of study concerning international influences, the management of change, the creation and use of business plans, leadership styles, methods of motivating staff, the use of teams and time management.

The course consists of two units:

  • The Management Context: current business environment, management principles, change.
  • Business Investigation: for a real business, the following aspects are covered: the business situation and objectives, proposing a strategy for future development, devising a means of effectively implementing this strategy and assessing your own effectiveness in carrying out the investigation (time management, setting and meeting targets, planning etc).

Internal assessment

  • The Management Context: end of sub-unit tests in class time.
  • Business Investigation: four assessments (one for each aspect) in class time where your understanding of the business and the coherence of your proposed strategy and implementation are reported on and supported by relevant documentation.

External assessment

A single paper of 2½ hours worth 100 marks. The paper uses a case study with some questions requiring more information than is contained in the case study so as to cover the whole course.

Homework

Work will need to be submitted regularly to assess progress. Some will be specific questions and some will be for consultation and monitoring purposes to ensure that the investigation is proceeding well. On average, this will take 2-3 hours per week.

Value of the course

For those going to study business at university or college, it gives an excellent grounding and experience of fairly complicated business situations. It also shows a serious commitment which may help in the offer of a place from the university or college. For those considering self-employment or becoming small-business owners, practice is gained in enterprise skills and decision-making. For the rest, insight is gained into the world of employment and the reasons why businesses and governments make decisions and the possible implications of these decisions on society and individuals. For all, important lessons are learned about improving management of their own time through planning and continuous evaluation.

Entry requirements

Generally, grade A or B in Business Management Higher.

Word Processing Free-Standing Units

Content

There are four stages to the course. The entry point depends on previous experience, mainly in S3/S4 (Administration) or in S5.

The stages are:

  • 1 Touch typing for beginners
  • 2 Basic word processing skills (internally assessed – school certificate)
  • 3 RSA Basic Word Processing (externally assessed)
  • 4 RSA Intermediate Word Processing (externally assessed)

It is expected that all students should reach at least stage 3.

Meet the Business Studies Staff

Meet the Pupil Support Staff