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What are the aims of the course? A B-Tec First Certificate in Business is a work related course, designed to provide a clear route into business education and employment. However, it is also a route into many other areas of education due to its broad content.

What is a B-Tec First certificate? A B-Tec First Certificate is a vocational course. There is a natural post 16 progression to First and National Diplomas.  A B-Tec First is the equivalent to 2 G.C.S.E.’s, grade C or above.

What topics will I study? It is made up of three units all studied as coursework.

  1. Exploring Business Purposes.
  2. Business Communication.
  3. People in Organisations.

What coursework/ examinations will I have to do? There is no exam in the B-Tec First Certificate. All units are assessed by portfolio and teacher assessment.

Each unit is covered in detail with a coursework project based on all topics studied. Each unit and project will require on observations of work related simulations.

What independent study will I have to undertake? All units require real evidence collected from businesses. It is important that you are prepared to work both alone and in a group in order to complete the work set. You will also benefit from good communication skills as it is a key part in the assessment of work.

What career opportunities could the course help to give me? As a B-Tec qualification is highly respected course in industry, it is possible to gain entry into a wide variety of careers and further education.  It is also likely that this course can be linked to extended work experience to enhance the course content.

A Student’s Guide to the G.C.S.E. in Applied Business?

What is a G.C.S.E. in Applied Business? A G.C.S.E. in Applied Business is a nationally recognised work-related qualification designed to provide you with a choice of routes into further education or employment.  It is made up of three units.

What is a Double Award? A double award is a qualification equal to two G.C.S.E.s - it is twice the size of most .G.C.S.E.s. 

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking the G.C.S.E. in Applied Business? You do not need to have studied business before starting the G.C.S.E. It is important that you have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in business, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

Why should I choose this course? You will: Gain an understanding of business, Investigate the part people play in business.
Have an opportunity to apply learning in a practical and realistic world. Follow a programme of study that enables progression to further courses and employment in business, Develop Key Skills which are highly valued beyond further education and gain confidence by developing independent learning skills.

How is it graded?

The G.C.S.E. in Applied Business is a double award so is awarded two grades. The grades will be the summary of your results for each of the three grades for each unit. These will be reported as A*A* through to GG depending on how well you have done in each of your three units.

What assessments will I do? During the course you will carry out a number of assignments based on Units 1 and 2. In Unit 1, for example, you could be a consultant who has been asked by a local company to look at possible opportunities and problems the company might face in the future and write a report for the management. For Unit 2 you might take the part of a manager interviewing a school leaver for a job and record your involvement.

After completing your assignment your teacher will mark your work. During your course you will build up a folder (portfolio) containing your work for Units 1 and 2. This portfolio will count towards your final grade.

As part of your course you will take a written exam paper based on Unit 3, set and marked by Edexcel. The mark for your written exam will also count towards your final grade.

Can I develop my full range of skills by doing this course? As well as covering aspects of business, you will also develop your Key Skills in the areas of:

  • Application of Number Communication   
  • Information Technology
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Improving own learning and performance

If you take part in a discussion or role-play or write a report as part of your course, for example, you will develop your Communication Key Skill. Collecting and analysing information is part of the Application of Number Key Skill, and if you present this using IT, you are starting to develop your Information Technology Key Skill.

Who is the G.C.S.E. in Applied Business for? This course will appeal to you if you: Have a keen interest in business and how it operates, Enjoy studying a subject that is relevant to your life and experiences, Want to find out more about business through personal investigation, Are interested in developing an understanding of how businesses work, develop and make a profit, Want to study a course that is active and enjoyable, Want to move on a related career or further education and wish to build up a qualification by studying individual units.

The structure of the G.C.S.E in Applied Business

Unit 1: Investigating Business 

This unit will help you to understand the different types of businesses and their aims, such as make a profit or provide voluntary or charitable services. You will look at how they organise themselves, the departments that make up a business, what they are called and what their activities are.

You will learn about how outside influences affect the decisions that businesses make, for example the reason why a business locates in a particular place.

Unit 2: People and Business One of the most valuable resources of any business is its people. This unit helps you to understand the roles played by people with different interests in a business and to look in detail at employers and employees. It helps you to think about workers, about the recruitment and training process and how you might apply for a first job.

Unit 3: Business Finance

This unit introduces you to business finance. You will learn to identify the main costs and revenues of a business and how these figures can be included in what is known as a profit and loss account. You will learn how to estimate future costs and revenues and how to calculate at what point a business starts to make a profit.

What courses or employment can I progress to at the end of my course?

Students gaining a G.C.S.E. in Applied Business will have access to a range of career and further education opportunities. You will use a variety of skills throughout the course, including collecting, interpreting data, communicating your findings in different ways, and identifying and developing the links between different parts of the subject. These skills are in great demand and are recognised and highly valued by employers and colleges.
The options open to you depend on the results achieved and your own interests, your teacher will be able to help you decide on the next step.

If you wish to continue studying business in a vocational context, you may consider a Vocational A level in Business. You may wish instead to study a related B-Tec National course, such as e-commerce. Otherwise, you may wish to Study an Advanced Subsidiary or Advanced G.C.E. in Business Studies or Economics. You can then continue your studies in Higher Education on either a B-Tec Higher National or degree. There are a large variety of higher education courses that are based around business studies.
Alternatively, a G.C.S.E. in Applied Business is an ideal qualification if you wish to go straight into employment, because it gives you an understanding of how businesses are
Organised and the importance of staff and customers. Some areas of employment have further learning opportunities within them, for example a Modern Apprenticeship.