Business Studies

Ms AM. Clare-Kelly

Mrs K. McLaughlin

Miss N. Kelly



In today’s economic climate, Business Studies and Business & Communications are important and worthwhile qualifications. No matter what you decide to do when you leave school, the chances are you will be involved in some way in a business. Business Studies helps you to understand more about how and why businesses operate in the way that they do.

Why study Business Studies?

In studying this course:

  • You will develop your knowledge of how businesses start up, resources needed, marketing, challenges that businesses face, the role of stakeholders, sources of finance, and how to prepare, interpret and analyse financial information.
  • Studying Business Studies will also develop your understanding of human resources, the recruitment and selection process, and the importance of training and motivation for employees.
  • What you learn through this subject will prepare you to study at advanced level and/or may lead on to a career in business.


What will I study?

Business Studies with CCEA

Unit 1: Starting a Business:

  • You will study how a business starts up, marketing methods and business operations.
  • This unit is assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute written examination paper worth 40% of the overall GCSE qualification.


Unit 2: Developing a Business

  • You will study human resources, business growth and finance.
  • This unit is assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute written examination paper worth 40% of the overall GCSE qualification.


Unit 3: Planning a Business

  • You will study and evaluate the different components of a business plan, carry out research and make recommendations based on your findings.
  • This unit may examine any area of content from the specification. It is assessed through controlled assessment and worth 20% of the overall GCSE qualification.

What skills will I develop?

This qualification will help you gain valuable skills which can help lead to further study at advanced level, for example GCE Business Studies or GCE Professional Business Services.

You will learn to apply skills that will benefit you in everyday life and in any career path you follow, for example carrying out research, working with others, proposing a business strategy or solution, understanding the role and viewpoints of a range of stakeholders in a business decision, and using financial information to make and justify a decision.

What can I do with a qualification in Business Studies?

Studying Business Studies can lead on to a career in accounting, advertising, banking, retail, management consulting, marketing, research, human resources, a small business, or self-employment as an entrepreneur.


Useful Links:

CCEA microsite –

This specification aims to encourage students to:

  • develop a lifelong interest in business and enjoyment of business subjects;
  • be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course that could potentially lead to further related study;
  • actively engage in the study of business and economics to develop as effective, independent learners and reflective thinkers;
  • use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish between facts and opinions in order to make informed judgements;
  • be familiar with relevant terms, concepts and methods and use these effectively to describe business and economic behaviour;
  • appreciate the range of perspectives that different stakeholders bring to business and economic activities;
  • consider the extent to which business and economic activity can be ethical and sustainable;
  • understand the changing role of ICT in business and economic activities;
  • recognise that their business knowledge, understanding and skills provide a basis for their future roles as active citizens; and
  • apply what they learn to deepen their understanding of current events and contemporary issues in a range of local, national and global contexts.

The key features of the specification appear below:

  • This is a unitised specification. This means that students have the opportunity to complete Unit 1: Use of ICT in the first year of teaching.
  • It emphasises practical ICT skills that enhance business activity.
  • It develops skills that are useful in a diverse range of employment roles.
  • It reflects the ways in which market environments are changing because of ICT, for example the rise of the e-business.
  • The course offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum in Northern Ireland.


What will I study?

Use of ICT:

You will have the opportunity to develop your ICT skills in a business context.

You will learn how to use different types of software applications. These include:

  • word-processing;
  • spreadsheets;
  • charts;
  • databases;
  • presentations; and
  • email.

The Business Environment:

You will study:

  • types of business;
  • business aims;
  • stakeholders; and
  • uncertainty, risk, reward and change.


You will study how ICT has changed the business environment.


How will I be assessed?

There are two external assessments. Unit 1 is a computer-based exam worth 40% and Unit 2 is a written exam worth 35%. Unit 3 is one controlled assessment worth 25%.

Business and Communication Systems theory Unit 1:

Unit 1 is a computer-based examination of 2 hour’s duration and will test your ICT skills in a business context.

This examination is worth 40% of the overall GCSE qualification.

Business and Communication Systems theory Unit 2:

The written examination for Unit 2 is 1 hour long.

This examination paper is worth 35% of the overall GCSE qualification. 

E-commerce Unit 3:

This unit is assessed through controlled assessment. For this unit, you will design a website and explain its business rationale through a PowerPoint presentation.

This unit is worth 25% of the overall GCSE qualification.


Useful sites:

Unit 1: Use of ICT

Unit 2: The Business Environment Store/10_minute_guides/10_min_ Marketing_Mix.pdf—competition—154.php

Unit 3: E-commerce