GCSE Business Studies: Everything You Need to Know

Choosing which additional GCSEs to take can be a bit of a headache for some! It’s difficult to predict what you’ll enjoy, what you’ll do well in, and what will provide you with the most options later on – whether in the workforce or in higher education.

It may appear stressful, but that’s only because it needs to be reframed: It’s not about narrowing your options when it comes to GCSEs; it’s about finding the ones that are right for you. We’ll explain why business studies is one of the most studied subjects in the world in this article.

We enlisted the help of Ali, one of the UK’s top online business studies tutors, to assist us. Ali holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Liverpool and has worked as a specialist Economics and Business Studies teacher for the past 15 years. She is a seasoned IB and A-Level/GCSE examiner who is known for her enthusiasm for the subjects. She gives advice and answers questions about business studies to GCSE students here.

What is business studies?

You may already know, but business studies covers all aspects of business, from operations to human resources, as well as factors that influence how well businesses perform, such as the economy. Business studies explains how the four pillars of business (marketing, human resources, finance, and operations) interact to form a successful organisation.

What is a GCSE in business studies?

Business studies, unsurprisingly, The purpose of the GCSE is to see how well you understand the various aspects of business and how they affect each other. You’ll not only learn about different aspects of business, but also about how company structures can affect productivity and what type of employment contract is best for your employees. You’ll also learn about the various influences on a business, including everything from technology to ethical and environmental concerns!

Is business studies a good GCSE to take?

Yes, in a nutshell. 


Let’s get started with a longer response! Business studies provides a solid foundation in understanding what it’s like to work in a business and the factors that influence whether a company succeeds or fails. The great thing about business studies is that the terms and concepts are universal – they don’t change depending on who you are or where you are! You’ll also learn a variety of transferable skills, such as leadership and teamwork.

A GCSE in business studies is also a good way to boost your employability. Different departments will do wildly different things in every business, but having a good understanding of how a business works allows you to look at the business as a whole. This viewpoint is more uncommon than you might think, and it can assist you in bringing new ideas to the table that will benefit the company.

How do I revise for a GCSE in business studies?

Understanding the structure of an exam is the best way to know how to revise for it; there’s no point memorising formulas if the questions are more essay-based. So, let’s take a look at the structure: business studies. GCSE exams are usually divided into two parts, each of which has three parts:

The first part assesses your knowledge and comprehension of business concepts and issues.
Part two asks you to apply what you’ve learned in the first part to a variety of situations (case studies)
Part three requires you to analyse and evaluate data in order to demonstrate your knowledge of business operations as well as your ability to make decisions and draw conclusions (another case study)

There will usually be some short, low-marking definition/formula questions in the first part of the exam. After the first section, you’ll move on to the higher marks section, where you’ll be given a case study and asked a mix of high and low-scoring questions.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is one of our most important recommendations! If you’re not a natural writer and are worried about the longer answers, look over the mark scheme and practise as many past papers as you can. If, on the other hand, you know the longer questions but can’t remember the definitions, use flashcards and have your friends and family put you to the test.

When you’re preparing for your GCSE in business studies, you’ll quickly realise that keeping your finger on the pulse can help you improve your grades. It’s a good idea to read the news or listen to news-related podcasts to help you remember what you’ve learned. After all, if you can apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-life situations, you’re almost there!

As previously stated, business is universal, so talking to your friends and family about it is a great way to ensure you’ve grasped the essential concepts. You’ll probably come across case studies in the exam, and talking to friends and family about LinkedIn’s new features or Spotify’s latest marketing campaign is essentially the same as revising a case study out loud without even realising it!

What jobs can you get with a GCSE in business studies?

While no GCSE can guarantee you a job, business studies can help you break into any industry. After all, businesses exist in every industry! With a business studies GCSE, you could pursue a business administration apprenticeship or a business studies degree. A level and/or a degree in a related field.

If you’ve completed your GCSE in business studies and are eager to learn more, consider what areas of business interest you the most. Are you someone who enjoys figuring out what makes people tick? Consider human resources! Why not look for jobs in operations if you’re interested in the day-to-day operations and are always thinking of ways to make things easier?

Another great thing about business is that it is inclusive; for example, if you are very creative but not very good with numbers, marketing could be a good fit for you.

Can you explain the distinction between GCSE Business Studies and GCSE Economics?

Both are closely related, and there is a great deal of overlap between them, but in different contexts. Business studies is a broad study of management and the business world that encompasses a variety of topics such as Marketing, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, and Economics. 

By its very nature, Business Studies is more relevant to real-world situations and businesses. Economics is the study of the Economic Problem and the decision-making process that it generates in a more narrow sense. We investigate both micro (individual markets) and macro (larger aggregate contexts) levels. The study of economics entails a thorough examination of the academic aspects of the subject.

Is GCSE Business Studies a simple subject?

Many people consider GCSE Business Studies to be the tenth most straightforward GCSE. It’s a unique GCSE subject, and many schools don’t even offer it as a GCSE option, and so on. It’s something I’ve heard a lot over the years.

So, why is this the case? Unfortunately, GCSE Business Studies is rarely listed as a prerequisite for university degrees. Despite the fact that it is excellent subject material, it is not required on many degree programmes. Secondary schools recognise this and encourage students to pursue subjects that are required on many degrees, such as math.

Having said that, GCSE Business Studies is a fantastic GCSE that can still open doors for you after school. For example, you could go to college and major in Accounting, Law, or Business Studies. You could also use it to go straight into work, which would be extremely beneficial. You could also consider an apprenticeship, in which case GCSE Business Studies would be advantageous.

As of 2018, the pass rate for GCSE Business Studies was 64.5 percent. Although this number does not appear to be particularly high, there is a reasonable explanation for such a low pass rate.

Because there are so few schools that offer this GCSE, there aren’t many teachers who are qualified to teach it. This means that students are under more pressure to develop their own understanding.

Can you explain what a business administration apprenticeship entails?

Consider a business administration apprenticeship if you’re not sure whether A levels or a university degree are right for you. You’ll be able to combine classroom learning with real-world experience. The apprenticeship usually lasts about 18 months and is a great way to get started in any of the following fields:

  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Accounting and finance
  • Secretarial\sProcurement
  • Customer service and sales administration

Final thoughts from a GCSE Business Studies tutor

I strongly advise you to take GCSE Business Studies as a foundation for your future business career and further study of business and economics-related subjects at A-level, college, or university. Alternatively, if you choose to pursue a business administration apprenticeship, I wish you the best of luck.
You should be able to succeed as long as you put in those hours of independent revision.