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Senior School & Sixth Form

Business Studies and Economics

Business Studies (BTEC)

As of September 2020, we are now offering Business Studies at GCSE.
Business Studies is a relevant, dynamic subject which deals with issues facing business and the world today. The course is varied and challenging and provides the foundation for sound business theory and practice, but also complements many other combinations of subjects. It demonstrates the interrelated nature of business using business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary issues and situations.

It encompasses many disciplines including Economics, Accountancy, Government and Psychology. The four main areas of study are Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Production. 

At Rendcomb we offer a two year programme – BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business which is equivalent to one A Level. BTECs are work related qualifications suitable for a wide range of students, built to accommodate the needs of employers and allow progression to university. They provide a more practical, real world approach to learning alongside a key, theoretical background.


The study of Economics is the way that society uses resources and allocates them to produce goods and services.

The subject examines the fundamental forces that affect our lives, such as employment, international trade, prices, globalisation, the role of government and market failure.

Micro economics considers the rationale behind the behaviour of consumers and firms, whilst macro economics investigates issues such as inflation, economic growth, finance, government policy and the EU. Data is readily available from textbooks, media, electronic recourses, newspapers and TV.

Economists are often involved in healthy debate with each other over these issues. The controversy makes Economics thought provoking and allows pupils the opportunity to make their own judgements and form their own opinions.

The subject is dynamic in nature focusing on the major issues of the present day. A pupil’s role as an Economist is to apply models studied in the classroom to the ever-changing world of commerce. As a social scientist, pupils will find that the subject opens up avenues into the world of work and a myriad of higher education opportunities.

What are the main differences between Business Studies and Economics?

Business Studies, particularly in year 1 looks at the functional areas found within a typical business, such as Marketing, Human Resources and Finance. In year 2 it looks at business strategies and the wider influences both inside and outside of a business.

Economics takes a broader look at the wider economy such as inflation, unemployment and economic growth. It takes a more theoretical view of how resources are allocated and prices determined. Rather than focus on the activities of one business, it will look at an entire sector or the country as a whole.

Can I take both subjects?

Yes. While there are areas of overlap, there are sufficient differences between the subjects to give you enough breath for university or employment. In many ways the two subjects complement each other and are a good combination especially if you are heading for a business related career. It will be important, however, to choose your third or fourth subjects carefully to give you some variety and meet your overall goals.

Will it help me start my own business?

Yes and no. Business Studies gives a comprehensive insight about the functions and organisation of a business. We tend to use case studies and situations from larger or mature businesses. As such it does not provide practical guidance for start-ups but it does give a lot of information about how a business can be managed.