Business and related subjects including management and marketing are amongst the most common fields of study at universities worldwide. It is therefore no surprise that since introducing the subject into the Sixth Form, our Business Department has gone from strength to strength. The experienced and enthusiastic teachers help pupils to develop a whole host of transferable skills which are useful and relevant to almost every career.
The Business Department is housed in the listed Stableyard area of the College campus, with several dedicated classrooms. Business students often make use of a traditional 'boardroom'. Course content is invariably delivered interactively, with pupils making use of their own mobile devices to assist learning. Pupils bring their laptops into the classroom but the department also features some shared IT facilities.
There are no examinations in business which suits students who prefer completing coursework tasks and working consistently towards their final grade over a prolonged period of time. The nature of the course helps pupils manage their own time and meet deadlines, which will become increasingly important at university and beyond. Furthermore, presentations and interviews are often filmed and assessed, providing a fantastic opportunity to work on these valuable skills.
Industry experts are often invited to the College to share their knowledge and experience on particular areas such as advertising and marketing. Pupils interested in setting up their own companies enjoy entering the Young Enterprise competition. Recent Shiplake teams have made significant progress, with the 2013-2014 cohort winning multiple awards at the regional finals.
Business is offered as a BTEC course in the Sixth Form. Vocational qualifications with 100% continuous assessment and hands-on real life case studies provide the perfect option for many pupils, with a high proportion earning distinction grades each year.
The course suits pupils who are interested in Business and have good research and IT skills. Whilst the course specification is currently under review, the range of topics studied is likely to include exploring business, managing a business event, pitching for a new business, developing a marketing campaign, recruitment and selection processes and personal and business finances. BTEC courses tend to suit pupils who prefer completing coursework tasks and working consistently towards their final grade over a prolonged period of time. Presentations, interviews and think-tanks are all frequent forms of assessment, and learners will hone their business report writing skills.
Pupils have the opportunity to complete a 'Business Diploma', which essentially takes the place of two option subjects. Pupils can accumulate UCAS points equivalent to two A Level subjects, and a strong performance in this course can open up numerous avenues into higher education. This is an ideal course for those who desire a career in business. Pupils will study the ever-changing corporate world, as well successful e-marketing campaigns, international business and principles of management, amongst other topics.
These courses will give students a solid foundation for a university degree studying Business, Management or Marketing. With the benefit of gaining valuable insights into businesses, and acquiring valuable 'soft skills', pupils will be well placed to compete in the employment market or start up their own enterprise.