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Key Details

  • Available at:
    Llangefni, Rhos-on-Sea, Pwllheli, Rhyl, Dolgellau
  • Study Mode:
  • Course Length:

    1-2 years

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AS/A Level Business Studies

Full-time (Further Education)


Applying for more than one A Level? You can apply from this page and you will have the opportunity to add your additional A Level subjects at the end of the application process.

Please note: We recommend that you have access to a laptop or Chromebook to enable coursework to be completed digitally at home. There is a dedicated IT Digital Inclusion fund to support those learners who do not have a digital device and are unable to purchase one.

Course Description

Would you like to learn more about how businesses work? Do you want to develop the skills to solve challenging business problems? This course introduces you to the world of business. It covers a range of important topics, including how businesses are started, how they market themselves, and how they manage their finances.

You will also explore the external factors affecting business, and the strategic decisions that are made in response. You will consider how businesses are structured, and how they manage people and resources.

The course can be taken as part of a full-time programme of study in conjunction with other AS subjects, or with a BTEC Diploma at Level 3. Business Studies combines particularly well with Accounting or Computing.

Year 1 (AS)

The AS Level introduces you to the challenges of business start-ups, including financial planning. You will also look at how established businesses improve performance by making tactical decisions.

Unit 1: Business Opportunities

This unit focuses on new business start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The content in this section is based around the concept of starting a new business and the issues that surround the process of planning a new business. In addition to covering the main concepts of setting up a new business, it investigates other types of business organisations and the markets they operate in and their various stakeholders.

Learners will need to study the content areas below:

  • Enterprise
  • Business plans
  • Markets
  • Market research
  • Business structure
  • Business location
  • Business finance
  • Business revenue and costs.

Unit 2: Business Functions

This unit broadens the context of business issues and will include all types of business organisations, ranging from recently formed small businesses to well-established multinational companies. It will cover the areas which businesses need to understand in order to succeed in a competitive market. All businesses have to consider the core functions of business.

Learners will study the content areas below:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • People in organisations (human resources)
  • Operations management.

Year 2 (A2)

On the A2 course you will consider the strategies of larger businesses and their relationship to external factors.

Unit 3: Business Analysis and Strategy

This unit builds on the theory introduced in Units 1 and 2. As the title suggests, the emphasis in this unit is on understanding and using analytical techniques and developing appropriate business strategies. It allows you to understand, construct and analyse a range of decision-making models and investment appraisal methods used by businesses to decide on their strategy. It allows you to develop analytical skills to investigate business opportunities and problems in a number of different contexts and evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative data to suggest possible strategic responses from businesses.

Learners will study the content areas below:

  • Data analysis
  • Market analysis
  • Sales forecasting
  • Analysing financial performance
  • Analysing non-financial performance
  • Aims and objectives
  • Strategy and implementation
  • Decision-making models
  • Investment appraisal
  • Special orders

Unit 4: Business in a Changing World:

This unit focuses on how businesses adapt to succeed in a dynamic external environment. Learners need to understand that the business world never stands still and there are continuous opportunities and threats to businesses of all sizes. It is vital to understand that regardless of size, businesses now operate in a global marketplace and they need to consider a wide range of external factors that affect their day-to-day activities, decision-making and strategy. This unit requires you to integrate the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in all four units to display a holistic understanding of business activity and the environment in which they operate.

Learners will study the content areas below:

  • Change
  • Risk management
  • PEST factors
  • Ethical, legal and environmental factors
  • International trade
  • Globalisation
  • The European Union

Entry Criteria

Applying for A Levels? Click ‘Apply Now’ on any of the subjects you are interested in studying. You will be able to specify your other two A Level choices during the online application process.

The A Level subject grids for each campus can be found in the guides on the A Level section of the website.

In order to qualify for this course, you will need the following:

  • 6 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English or Welsh 1st Language, and Mathematics or Numeracy

As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview to give you the opportunity to discuss the course.

Progression to A Level is based on your performance at AS Level.


This course is delivered as follows:

  • Group work
  • Classroom-based learning
  • Tutorial support
  • Educational visits
  • MOODLE (virtual learning environment)

Your programme will include a combination of:

  • Essential Skills qualifications and/or
  • GCSE resits and/or
  • The Welsh Baccalaureate
Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate is a valuable qualification which is often studied alongside your Level 3 full-time course.

The qualification is graded A*-E, carrying the equivalent UCAS points at Level 3, and equips you with transferable personal and business skills. It is highly regarded by universities and employers alike.

As part of the qualification, you will learn about Global Citizenship, Enterprise and Employability and take part in community engagement and work experience.

Essential Skills

This may include a combination of Application of Number, Communication, Digital Literacy and Essential Employability Skills

GCSE resits

This may include GCSE Numeracy/Maths and/or Welsh/English Language.

Maths & Welsh/English

If you don't achieve a C or above in Maths and/ or English/Welsh, we will support you to retake these subjects as part of your study programme.


The course is modular with assessment at the end of each year. There are two external examinations each year.


Whether you study the full A Level or just the AS Level, the course adds to your qualifications and helps you to progress. You will gain UCAS points and be able to apply for a range of Higher Education courses at many institutions, including Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

If you choose to continue your studies in a related subject, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai offers a range of Higher Nationals, Foundation Degrees and BA Honours degrees.

You may choose to specialise in one of the following pathways:

  • Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Retail

Your career options would include a wide range of business contexts, including accountancy, business finance, human resources, retail, management and marketing.

Other details

Course type: Full-time (Further Education)

Level: 3

Programme Area:

  • International
  • AS/A-Level


This programme is available bilingually at the following campus(es):

  • Bangor
  • Dolgellau
  • Pwllheli