Year 13 Business Studies

Year 13 Professional Business Services

 

The Professional Business Services specification is designed to encourage students to:

 

  • develop an interest in and enthusiasm for professional business services, including developing an interest in further study and careers in the subject;

  • develop and draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding of different aspects of the subject;

  • develop competence and confidence in a number of skills, including communication, numeracy, problem solving and decision making;

  • appreciate the needs of business professionals operating in the Northern Ireland marketplace and beyond; and

  • progress to relevant higher education programmes as appropriate.

 

Professional Business Services includes six assessment units, three at AS level and three at A2 level.

AS Units

 

Students are introduced to the business environment that professional business services firms operate in and the consultancy process and decision making techniques used. They will gain an insight into some of services that professional business services firms provide for their clients, including human resource services and financial decision making.

Department Staff

Mrs P Morgan (HOD)

Mr M Fitzpatrick

Mr A Twohig

Mrs F McCloy

Topics

AS 1 Introduction to Professional Services – Exam

This unit introduces students to the environment that professional business services firms operate in. It establishes the nature of the service they provide for clients.

Students also investigate the consultancy process professional business services firms use. They explore the range of techniques they adopt to inform and formulate the advice they provide to their clients. They also explore the broader context of the professional services market to enhance their understanding.

 

External written examination

1 hour 30 mins

(80 marks)

30% of AS

12% of A level

 

AS 2 Human Resource Services - Case Study

In this unit, students focus on the services provided by professional business services firms to support human resources in a client business. Students explore the need for effective human resources management in a business. They also investigate how professional business services firms can advise clients on improvements to their human resources processes in:

  • Organisational structure and culture;

  • Recruitment;

  • Learning and development;

  • Employee well-being;

  • Employee motivation; and

  • Managing conflict.

 

Students also develop their research and report writing skills and then submit a report using a given format. The report is based on a pre-release case study.

Students carry out primary and/or secondary research related to the case study.

Internal assessment

Portfolio based on a pre-release case study

(100 marks)

40% of AS

16% of A level

AS 3 Financial Decision Making – Exam

This unit focuses on the services provided by professional business services firms to support financial decision making within a client business. Students explore the sources of finance available to a business and key areas of good financial management, including budgeting and cash flow. Students also analyse and interpret final accounts using ratio analysis and use investment appraisal methods to consider how professional business services firms can advise clients on financial decision making.

 

The examination paper provides equations for all ratios.

External written examination

1 hour 30 mins

(80 marks)

30% of AS

12% of A level

Year 14 Professional Business Services

 

Unit A2 1: Technology in Business

 

In this unit, students focus on the technology services that professional business services firms provide to support business operations in a client business. Students explore the range of technology and Information Technology (IT) systems available

for communications, managing people, financial management and business operations. They also examine the issues professional business services firms must consider when advising a client on business technology, including security, data

storage, and social, moral and ethical issues.

 

This unit is assessed by a 2 hour written examination. It is worth 18% of the A Level qualification.

Unit A2 2: Leadership and Management

 

In this unit, students examine the key concepts of leadership and management and

a range of leadership styles and theories. They investigate how professional business services firms can advise client businesses to meet some of the challenges of management, including performance management, managing teams and

managing change.

 

This unit is assessed by a 2 hour written examination. It is worth 18% of the A Level qualification.

 

Unit A2 3: Project Management Skills and Processes

 

In this unit, students explore the stages and processes involved in successful project management. They examine the components of project management methodology and apply this methodology to a specific project. To enhance teaching and learning in this unit, teachers should give students opportunities to engage with business organisations that use project management methodology.

Students produce a portfolio of evidence for a project. The project should be a one-off activity or event to deliver specific objectives. It should have a defined start and end.

 

The evidence required in the portfolio focuses on the methodology used when initiating, planning, executing and closing a project. Although centres should give students the opportunity to execute a ‘live’ project, students may provide evidence to meet the assessment criteria without executing the project. Students will not be disadvantaged if execution of a ‘live’ project is not possible in their particular setting.

Students take on the role of the project manager and provide individual evidence to meet the assessment criteria.

This is an internally assessed unit. Centres assess this unit and we moderate it. It is worth 24% of the A level qualification.

Year 13 Cambridge Technical in Business

Unit 1 The Business Environment – Compulsory Unit

 

This unit will help the learner to have an understanding of the range of different businesses that can exist in an economy. Students will discover the different purposes that such organisations can have and the different forms of ownership that can exist. They will also be able to appreciate the role of the different stakeholders involved in such businesses.

Students will have an understanding of the different ways in which businesses are organised to achieve their purposes and they will also be able to appreciate that businesses can have a variety of different aims. This unit will also help the student to have an understanding of the way in which the wider environment can impact on businesses in terms of both the economic environment and the political, legal and social framework in which businesses operate.

There are clear links between this unit and many of the other units.

 

Unit 2 Business Resources – Compulsory Unit

 

The unit looks at how a range of resources including human, physical, technological and financial resources are used and managed within business.

This unit will help the students to have an understanding of how human resources are managed and of the employability and personal skills required of personnel in an organisation. Students will gain an understanding of the purpose of managing resources effectively, not only in relation to human resources but also in terms of physical and technological resources.

Students will also gain an understanding of how an organisation can gain access to sources of finance, both internally and externally and be able to interpret financial statements. The company that students focus on for this unit is Deli Lites. We have been very fortunate to have one of the owners, Siobhan Reel, visit and be interviewed by the students to help them to apply their coursework.

Unit 4 – Business Accounting

 

Accounting records are frequently used in business decision making; understanding their purpose and uses is a useful skill in business management. This unit will enable students to identify the need for accounting and be able to create and use some of the most common financial accounts and their related documents. Students will also be able to review business performance through the use of simple ratio analysis.

 

Year 14 Cambridge Technical in Business

 

Unit 5 Human Resource Management in Business

 

People are often described as the most valuable resource of any organisation and all resources, especially the most valuable, need to be managed in order to obtain the greatest value from them. This unit provides an overview of some of the key areas that fall within the remit of the human resources function.

 

By the end of this unit students will gain an understanding of the factors that are taken into account by organisations when planning their human resource management. They will also learn how organisations gain employee motivation and employee commitment. Finally, students will know about how employee performance is measured and managed as well as the benefits of doing so. This knowledge will help students to understand the working environment and the nature of Human Resource Management when they are seeking or engaged in employment.

 

We focus on a local company, First Derivatives, who come and speak to the students about the day to day roles and responsibilities of HRM.

 

Unit 12 Recruitment and Selection in Business

 

This unit is about how an organisation recruits and selects staff. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the process that a business has to go through when recruiting staff. Learners will prepare documents necessary to help select the right person for the job and plan to take part in a selection interview. They will have a broad understanding of the legislation surrounding recruitment and selection and be able to explain how these laws affect a business.

 

As part of this, students will consider the role of the Human Resource department. This will help them understand the vital role that the HR department plays in helping an organisation achieve its business objectives and will help them in the future when attending a job interview or participating in a selection panel.

 

The student will recognise the difficulty that staff within a Human Resource department experience as they prepare documents in readiness for advertising a job and then assess applicants against the set criteria. The student will identify how legislation impacts on recruitment and selection which means for example, that they will know what can/cannot be put in job adverts and what employees can/cannot ask potential employees during a job interview. Finally, the student will be required to take part in a selection interview as an interviewer; this will allow them to develop techniques and skills which they can use in the future when attending job interviews as an interviewee.

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