Business Studies

Aims and Overview of the Business Departmentbusiness

Our aims are:

To develop in young people a knowledge and understanding of the business world.
To enable pupils to become good communicators, asking lots of questions and to weigh up alternative ideas and proposals.
To develop an inquiring mind. To develop skills in finding out information; how to obtain information and where to find the information.
To develop skills in information technology and numeracy.
To develop skills of critical thinking.


Mrs Emerson (Head of Department)

Mrs R Boles

Mrs L Patton

Mrs H Porte

Mr J Waldron


The business studies department comprises of 2 classrooms with data projectors and interactive whiteboards.    A Computer Suite with data projector and interactive white board and a resource room containing a library of Business textbooks and materials.

Why Study Business?

The subjects taught in the Business Studies Department prepare students for the challenges of the 21st Century by introducing them to the world of business.  They emphasise the ever-changing character of business, the diverse nature of business enterprise and  the interdependence of the various parts of the business world. Students have the experience of studying business from a variety of perspectives.   Pupils are provided with many life skills such as communication, problem solving, time management, team work and decision making. Whether your aim is to pursue an academic career, train for a profession or become an entrepreneur the necessary knowledge and skills will be provided.

Year 10 (Key Stage 3) Business Studies Scheme of Work

Business studies year 10 table

year 10 photo

Business and Communication Systems – BCS (GCSE)

Specification/Exam Board:  AQA
This course introduces students to the importance of Business and Communication Systems which contribute to the success of a business.  Students will consider how ICT systems affect the way people work and how they can improve communication both internally and externally.  The benefits of ICT in the workplace will be investigated, as well as the potential risks in relation to Health and Safety and Security of Data.  A range of software applications will be examined and how these can be used to support the functions of a business will be identified.

Course contents include:

This section covers key areas including the business environment, business administration, workplace organisation, health and safety at work and data systems and security.

Human Resources
This section covers key areas including recruitment, selection, and training, rewarding staff and employee/employer responsibilities.

Communication and Computer Applications
This section covers key areas including the purpose of communication, communication systems, importance of ICT and the internet and ecommerce.

Assessment overview:

Business studies and communication table





Business Studies (GCSE)

Specification/Exam Board:  CCEA
Business Studies helps students understand more about how and why businesses operate in the way that they do. Students are able to relate what they study to everyday activities, such as purchasing goods, and the news reported in the media.  Business Studies also opens up a wide range of opportunities for further learning and develops knowledge and understanding of the world of business, through visits to actual businesses and events allowing pupils to practise business in action.  Pupils are able to improve their skills in decision-making, interpreting and managing information, and devising solutions to problems and issues.

Course contents include:

Unit 1 (Year 11) which includes:

–          Business Start upBusiness studies start up project photo

–          Production

–          Marketing

Unit 2 (Year 12) which includes:

–          Finance

–          Managing people

–          Business Growth

–          Business Plan

Assessment overview:

Business studies GCSE table





Cambridge Technical Business Diploma (GCSE’s Equivalent)

Specification/Exam Board:  OCR

Criteria for Entry:  2 GCSE Grades at C or above

This qualification offers  learners the opportunity for a programme of study to prepare for further learning or training and develop knowledge and skills in a subject area that interests them with the aim of enhancing their employability. They are also suitable for learners who wish to move into different areas of employment or develop their knowledge and skills as part of their continual professional development (CPD).

Students will have work experience one day a week and will attend school for the remainder of the week.  Students will have the opportunity to re-sit GCSE Maths and English alongside their Diploma.

Course Outline:

Throughout this course  students will complete:

5 compulsory units:
–          Unit 1: Business Purposes

–          Unit 2: Business Organisations

–          Unit 3: Financial Forecasting for Business

–          Unit 4: People in Organisations

–          Unit 5: The Marketing Plan

5 Optional  units:
–          Unit 6: Verbal and Non- verbal Communication in Business Contexts

–          Unit 8: Training and Employment in Business

–          Unit 9: Personal Selling in Business

–          Unit 10: Customer Relations in Business

–          Unit 11: Business Online

Assessment overview

Cambridge tech table





Cambridge Tech photo

Text and Word Processing

Specification/Exam Board:  OCR
It has been the Business Studies Department’s policy to enter pupils for OCR Word Processing examinations. These examinations are widely recognised by employers and as such are vitally important to our pupils in Ballyclare Secondary.

Pupils normally enter OCR Stage I at the end of Year 11, with the opportunity to enter OCR Stage II and OCR Stage III in Year 12.  This course is better suited to students who wish to develop their skills in a more practical environment.

The following Certificates are available:Text and wordprocessing table

Business Studies (GCE)

Specification/Exam Board:  AQA
This qualification has been designed to provide candidates with a critical understanding of the internal functions of business organisations of all types, the external environment within which businesses operate and the effects this can have upon decision-making within a business.  The subject content covers major topical issues that can generate change for business organisations and the ways in which businesses respond to these issues.

Through this qualification candidates will acquire a wealth of skills including data analysis, ability to present arguments and make judgments, justify recommendations, problem solve and make decisions in order to come to a justified conclusion.

Course contents include:

Studied in Year 13:

–          Unit 1: Planning and Financing a business

–          Unit 2: Managing a Business

Studied in Year 14

–          Unit 3: Strategies for Success

–          Unit 4: The Business Environment and Managing Change

Assessment overview:

GCE business studies table






Young Enterprise Company Programme

During Year 13 at Ballyclare Secondary School, students who study GCE Business Studies are provided with the opportunity to partake in the Young Enterprise Company Programme.   Young Enterprise is the leading business education charity in Northern Ireland.   This programme provides the students with the opportunity to create and run their own business.  Each student receives a key role to play in the business (take on a director’s role for a certain aspect of the business).

This additional certificate is not only a fun and memorable experience for students, but is an excellent tool for helping them to apply what they learn in class to a real life context.

Key Programme Activities include:

–          Setting up a company

–          Taking part in weekly business meetings

–          Producing/purchasing products to sell

–          Organising events to sell products

–          Preparation for Young Enterprise Trade Fair

–          Creation of a Business Report (to summarise the experience)

–          Preparation and creation of a business interview presentation

young enterprise photo

Accounting (GCE)

Specification/Exam Board:  AQA
This qualification provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the purposes of accounting, its concepts, techniques and procedures.  Students will develop their ability to apply this knowledge and understanding to a variety of accounting problems and will develop an appreciation of the role and limitations of accounting in decision-making.  Further skills of interpretation, analysis and evaluation of accounts will be developed, through students being encouraged to assess alternative courses of action and make reasoned judgements taking into consideration economic, legal, technological and social factors.

Course contents include:

Studied in Year 13:

–          Unit 1: Introduction to financial accounting

–          Unit 2: Financial and management accounting

Studied in Year 14:

–          Unit 3: Further aspects of financial accounting

–          Unit 4: Further aspects of management accounting

Assessment overview:Accounts table


Useful web links for additional reading/revision include:www.