IGCSE Business Studies
IGCSE Business Studies
The Edexcel International General Certificate of Secondary Education
(IGCSE) in Business Studies is designed for use in schools and colleges.
It is part of a suite of IGCSE qualifications offered by Edexcel.
The IGCSE Business Studies course is designed as a 1 year course. As students progress they are introduced to new ideas and concepts while continuing to use and reinforce previously learned concepts and skills. The course is designed to give students a sound understanding of business and the ability to use knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately in the context of international markets and the United Kingdom (UK).
• Closely based on the content of the equivalent Edexcel GCSE Business Studies suite of Qualifications.
• 100% examination – single assessment route allowing all students to demonstrate their knowledge and, understanding of business.
• Comprehensive and detailed description of subject content.
• Appropriate for students of various ages and from diverse backgrounds in terms of general education and, life-long learning.
• Provides a solid basis for Edexcel AS GCE and, Advanced GCE in Economics and Business Studies, AS GCE and Advanced GCE in Business Studies, or equivalent qualifications’.
Key Subject Aims
The IGCSE Business Studies course qualification enables students to:
• Develop an interest in, and enjoyment of, business subjects that will be sustained in later life
• Use relevant terminology, concepts and methods effectively and recognise the strengths and
limitations of the ideas used.
• Develop and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to current issues in a wide
range of appropriate international and UK contexts.
• Use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish between facts and opinion and evaluate
qualitative and quantitative data, to help build arguments and make informed judgements.
• Appreciate the range of different stakeholder perspectives in relation to business activities.
• Have an understanding of the dynamics of business activity and the related considerations of
ethics and sustainability in business.
The Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
This course requires students to achieve the knowledge, skills and understanding to apply their learning as follows:
• Relate their learning to real business examples
• Be aware of current issues which affect businesses, their operation and success, and how
They can adapt, to change
• Focus on current business practice
• Understand the importance of seeing business issues and situations through, different
• Be aware that information communication technology is essential to business decision making
processes and, success; and affects all functional areas of business.
The course is presented in five (5) units, that follow the main themes of the IGCSE specifications. In doing so, the student will study the following content:-
Unit 1 – Business Activity and the Changing Environment
This unit will consider the objectives of businesses, the changing environment and the criteria for judging success. The focus is on the importance of having clear business objectives and how the
business environment, provides opportunities for, and imposes constraints on, the pursuit of those objectives.
Subjects covered: business objectives; different types of organisations; factors of production; primary, secondary and tertiary activities; location; government influences; external influences and judging success.
Unit 2 – Human Resources (Personnel)
This unit will consider people within organisations focusing on their roles, relationships and management in business.
Subjects covered: internal organisation; communication; recruitment & selection; training and motivation & rewards.
Unit 3 – Accounting and Finance
This unit will explore the use of accounting and financial information as an aid to decision making.
Subjects covered: external & internal sources of finance; Budgets & cash flow forecasts; Cost & break-even analysis; Financial statements Ratios & performance (students will not be required to construct accounts for this unit – although some formulae in the examination will be required, which will be provided for that examination section)
Unit 4 – Marketing
This unit focuses on identifying and satisfying customer needs in a changing and competitive international environment.
Subjects covered: the market; the marketing mix and market research.
Unit 5 – Production
This unit examines the way organisations use and manage resources to produce goods and services.
Subjects covered: Economies & diseconomies of scale; methods of production; productivity and quality assurance.
Each unit will have appropriate ‘case studies’ ‘summaries’, ‘keywords features’ and also some ‘examination tips’.
Each unit will also have its own Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA). This assignment will be based on actual examination questions (from past papers), which will prepare the student for the final examination.
The TMA should be uploaded to the tutor through the On Campus account, for marking and grading. Although tutor support is optional, it is a vital component in preparing the student for the examination and therefore, it is encouraged that students take full advantage of this support. The completed TMA unit can then be used as a ‘revision tool’ for the final examination.
Each TMA (five in all) will be graded in the same manner as the examination paper, with feedback comments and support/advice from the course tutor.
Each unit will have a short optional ‘self test’ which will ask revision questions about the content being learnt in the unit, and answers provided for the student to check their own knowledge and understanding. These ‘self tests’ do not need to be sent into the tutor for marking!
The course if followed according to the materials, the student should be able to prepare revision notes and pointers to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the final two hours (2.0) examination.
The revision notes will form from the completed ‘self tests’, personal notes and the TMA content and feedback from the course tutor.
Past examination papers can be obtained from Edexcel at a small cost, (although material will be made available on the Online Campus) and wherever possible it is to the advantage of the student to prepare for the examination by reviewing a past paper’s content and instructions – although, tutor support will also be available to students who take advantage of tutor support.
The student can arrange to sit the examination as an ‘external student’ at many Schools and Colleges across England and Wales. Oxford College and Edexcel Websites offer comprehensive advice on finding and planning for sitting examinations as an external student.
Paper 1: Paper code: 4BS0/01
• One examination paper lasting 2 hours.
The total mark for the completed examination paper is 100.
The scheme of assessment consists of a single tier, in which all components target the complete
ranges of grades; from: A*–G. Students who fail to achieve grade G will be awarded Ungraded.
As there is no Edexcel internal centre (ODL) coursework component, the internal ODL TMA’s do not form part of the final grading outcome for the student, although they do in essence prepare the student for a level of success in attaining a pass result in the examination. Therefore, it is advisable that students seriously consider completing TMA’s as part of their programme of learning and submitting them for tutor marking and comment.
Although the course programme is ‘self contained’ the student may wish to obtain further materials in regards to learning. The following materials are in the main useful, but not essential to guide learning:-
Alpin S, Cooper J, O’Hara G and Petrucke F – GCSE Business Studies for Edexcel
(Hodder and Stoughton, 2004)
Borrington K and Stimpson P – IGCSE Study Guide for Business Studies
(Hodder and Stoughton, 2005)
Chambers I, Squires S and Hall L – Longman Business Studies for IGCSE (Longman, 2007)
Northedge A, – The Good Study Guide (OU)
The introduction has covered the basic course content and assessment criteria. Further information can be obtained through Edexcel.
Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.
Approximately 240 hours.
IGCSE Business Studies level courses and examinations must be successfully completed to gain a full IGCSE.
All students take the single externally marked examination paper to attain the IGCSE in Business Studies.