Business Studies & Economics


There’s a strong argument to say that in the future everyone will need to have a business education. Whatever you become in life, a scientist; an engineer or an artist, you will need to understand how business works. These professionals need to manage a budget, supervise teams and meet legal requirements.

At Helsby High School we offer a variety of courses at KS4 and KS5, which are detailed below including:

  • GCSE Business
  • BTEC Level 2 First in Business
  • CeFE Certificate in Financial Education
  • A Level Business
  • BTEC National in Business Extended Certificate
  • A Level Economics

During KS3 students have the opportunity to join the Tycoon in Schools competition run by the Peter Jones Foundation.


Key Stage 4: GCSE Business

A.ABusiness Studies is a very popular subject at GCSE level and our students achieve fabulous results.

Today’s business climate is an exciting time to study business and this course allows you to gain the required business understanding of all elements involved in running a business. On this course you’ll develop a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers and can be applied to any choice of career.

Program of Study

Business Studies Assessment When assessed Weighting
Unit 1. Introduction to Small Business: 90 minute examination including multiple choice, short answer questions and data response. May Year 11 50%
Unit 2. Building a Business: 90 minute written examination including extended writing. June Year 11 50%

Our Y10 students enjoy a visit to a local Football club to investigate revenue streams, marketing strategies and provide the    basis for their first major project – how to market a new merchandise for the club.

BTEC Level First Award in Business

This qualification covers similar content to GCSE Business but 75% of the assessment is based on coursework. This qualification is equivalent to a GCSE.  BTEC emphasises the importance of learning through studying real businesses. Assignments will include:

  1. Enterprise in the business world – where you will be required to develop a business model for your own business idea in the local area.
  2. Promoting a brand – investigating why brands can make or break a business and then developing your own branding for a new product.
  3. Recruitment and selection procedures – vital skills to put you one step ahead of the competition. You will investigate job roles and apply for fictional jobs, filling in application forms and conducting mock interviews.

Program of Study

Unit             Assessment % of Qualification
Enterprise in the Business World Coursework: Internally Assessed 25%
Finance for Business Written Examination: Externally Assessed 25%
Promoting a Brand Coursework: Internally Assessed 25%
Recruitment, Selection and Employment Coursework: Internally Assessed 25%

CeFE Certificate in Financial Education

This qualification is set by the London Institute of Banking and Finance and is equivalent to a GCSE. It is currently available to students taking the vocational suite of qualifications at KS4.

CeFE is examined externally, but students are able to retake their examinations to improve their result.

Unit Content Assessment
1.       Finance, the Individual and Society How to understand your payslip and what happens to the tax you pay 45 minute, Etest External Exam: 20 stand-alone multiple-choice questions and five sets of stimulus material each with three associated questions.
2.       Practices of Managing Money How to manage your personal finances, borrow responsibly and save for the future 45 minute Etest External Exam: 15 stand-alone multiple-choice questions and five sets of stimulus material each with five associated questions.
3.       Financial Capability, Work and Enterprise How businesses manage their finances and improve their profit 1 hour Written External Exam: Assessed by a pre-release case study requiring written responses to five associated questions.


Key Stage 5: A Level Business and A Level Economics

Business Studies & Economics are concerned with the interaction of people in the workplace and wider economy. They help to increase pupils’ awareness of enterprise and employment and to understand the relationships between people and the organisations they work for. They examine the changing economic environment and help put contemporary issues into focus.

The department gives our Sixth Form students a wide variety of enrichment opportunities ranging from educational trips and visits to investment challenges such as the Target 2.0 and the Student Investor Challenge.

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The department gives our Sixth Form students a wide variety of enrichment opportunities ranging from educational trips and visits to investment challenges such as the Target 2.0 and the Student Investor Challenge.

BTEC National, Extended Certificate in Business

This qualification is equivalent to one A Level. This new BTEC is well respected by Businesses and Universities as can be seen by the following link:

The course follows similar topics to the A Level but 67% of the assessment is via coursework type assessment.

Program of Study

Unit Assessment Weighting
Exploring Business Internal Coursework 25%
Developing a Marketing Campaign External Coursework based on a pre-issued case study 25%
Personal and Business Finance External Examination * 33%
Recruitment and Selection Internal Coursework 17%

*retake possible

A Level Business

Business Studies is concerned with the real world, so the knowledge and skills taught through Business Studies are much valued by employers. In fact, Business Studies and Marketing graduates have a higher post-graduation employment rate than any other subject discipline.

Program of Study

The A Level Business is 100% externally assessed using a variety of multiple choice, data response and essay style questions.

During Year 12 the course focuses on profitability, raising finance, motivating employees and the functional areas of the business including finance, marketing, production and human resources all in the context of the external factors that influence business decisions.

The second year of the A Level course consists of looking in more detail at business decision-making and strategy, managing change and a study of globalisation and its impact on business.

A Level Economics

Economics is a traditional and well respected subject for progression to the top universities in the UK.

Economics offers a unique insight into how the world works and will help students to understand many of the big questions facing people today such as:

  • What are the economic consequences of government austerity programmes in the UK and European Union?
  • How badly will the UK be affected by an extended period of low, global growth?
  • What can we do about global warming?
  • Should patients be charged for hospital treatment?
  • How can problems of poverty and inequality be addressed?

Why study Economics?

Program of Study

A Level Economics is 100% externally assessed using a variety of multiple choice, data response and essay style questions. During the two years students study Micro and Macroeconomics.

Microeconomics is concerned with individual consumers and firms. Issues covered include how consumers make choices, how firms make business decisions, the economic causes and consequences of environmental pollution, powerful monopoly firms, unequal income distribution and the study of alternative economic systems.

Macroeconomics is concerned with issues affecting the entire economy. These include inflation, unemployment, economic growth, the exchange rate, the balance of payments and the UK’s role in the European Union. The impact of globalisation and its consequences for the UK economy are also considered.

How parents can help students to succeed in Business and Economics?

Encourage your son or daughter to be enterprising. At 12 years old Alan Sugar was selling his home-brewed ginger beer to the neighbours!

Help your son or daughter to get involved in the business and economic issues surrounding us today. This can be done through regular reading of a quality newspaper’s business and economic pages and discussion with parents on what the issues mean for the business or economy (

Prioritise homework.  Focus on attention to detail, spending an appropriate amount of time on assignments and researching around subjects all help to improve final grades.

Watch business programmes such as Dragons’ Den, Mary Portas or Alex Polizzi.  Occasionally there are good economic programmes either on Radio 4 or on television by Stephanie Flanders from the BBC or Paul Mason (Economic Editor of Newsnight).

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Department Staff

  • Mrs E Dougherty (In charge of Business and Economics): Currently teaching Business and Economics
  • Mrs K Lindop (Head of Computing, Business and Economics): Currently teaching Economics
  • Mrs N Turner: Currently teaching Business

Exam Boards