Wholeschool Portal | Home 24 September 2020

          Email us!
 Economics and Accounting

Economics, Accounting, and Business Studies


Mrs R Maxwell (Subject Leader)

Miss C Donnelly


The Economics, Accounting Business Studies Department has grown to become a popular choice amongst GCSE and A-Level students at the school. With a committed staff who have been involved in examining both the GCSE and A-Level specifications we have a good record of impressive examination success at GCSE and A level.


Jack Milligan achieved the second highest in

Northern Ireland CCEA GCSE Applied Business 2012

CCEA GCSE Business Studies

Business Studies is a subject which pupils can choose to study at the end of Key Stage 3. Students will investigate real businesses and the global and changing world context they operate in. They will learn the practicalities, such as the numbers behind the business, but also why some succeed when others fail.

This knowledge, and the holistic understanding that develops, is invaluable to those students wishing to pursue careers in management, marketing, project management, business accounting, management consultancy, human resources, and business journalism as well as those interested in continuing on to further study.

Scheme of Assessment



Weighting in terms of overall GCSE

Unit 1: YEAR 11

Business Start Up

Topics include - Business Start Up, Production & Marketing

External written exam

1 hour 20 mins

Format: Structured questions


Unit 2: YEAR 12

Business Development

Topics include: Finance, Managing People, Business Growth and Business Planning

External written exam  

1 hour 40 mins

Format: 3 structured questions with an incline of difficulty.   Synoptic*


Controlled assessment

Format: Candidates complete one task released in May each year.     Synoptic*



To help students make links between what they learn in the classroom and real life business, speakers from local industry are invited to talk to students and students are given the opportunity to visit local businesses. Pupils also get the opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills through investigation and research and in Year 11 they put theory into practice when they set up and run a mini company.

Entrepreneurship Masterclass - November 2012

This year students participated in an Entrepreneurship Masterclass organised by Young Enterprise NI. Real-life entrepreneurs shared their experiences first hand with students through a dynamic series of enterprise challenges.

Guest speaker from Todds Leap Activity Centre - Winner of the Best Visitor Experience 2012 gave students a fantastic insight into what is involved in setting up and running a successful business as well as providing an understanding of the skills, attitudes and behaviours of entrepreneurs. His presentation provided much inspiration, enthusiasm and encouragement for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

In the past students have visited local businesses such as Tayto Castle in Tandragee as part of their production unit. Students get the opportunity to see first hand the production process behind the popular local crisp brand.

The course offered by the department affords students the opportunity to acquire and develop the knowledge, understanding and relevant business skills necessary for the workplace or in further education and training.

For more information follow the link:



CCEA GCE Business Studies 

By studying GCE Business Studies you will gain a broader overview of the world of business, its functions, behaviour, and the problems and issues that face it. The AS course can be taken as a final qualification or as the first half of the A Level qualification. If you wish to obtain a full A Level qualification, you must complete the second half of the course referred to as A2.

Why study GCE Business Studies?

If you would like to understand more about how and why businesses operate in the way that they do, then this course will help you to achieve this. You will be able to relate what you study to everyday activities such as purchasing goods, or the services you receive as well as business news reported in the media. This course will help develop skills that you can take forward into further education or your future career.

What do I need to be able to take this course?

There are no specific requirements, but you would benefit from having a good standard of literacy and numeracy skills, an interest in problem-solving and decision making exercises and applying your knowledge to the different questions/scenarios presented within the areas of study.

What will I study?

 There are two units at AS and a further two at A2.

How will I be assessed?

There are a total of four units in this course, two at AS and two at A2. There is no coursework. The breakdown of the units is detailed in the table below.

What can I do with a qualification in Business Studies?

Business Studies can open up a wide range of opportunities for further and higher education or on to a rewarding career. Through studying this course, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the world of business. The course will also help you acquire a range of skills such as: decision making; problem solving; interpreting and managing information; challenging assumptions; and creating solutions to problems and issues. These are all skills which are highly sought after and that can be taken forward to any future employment. This subject can open up career choices in a wide range of jobs, for example in the commercial field such as retail, marketing, buying; human resources; public sector; professional services such as accountancy or law; banking, city markets, systems/business analyst, insurance and the media. You may of course decide to use the knowledge and skills gained through studying this course to with a view to starting up your own business.

How can I find out more?

To view the full specification and the full range of support material available for GCE Business Studies, please visit the for Business Studies microsite: www.ccea.org.uk/business_studies

Extra-Curricular Opportunities in Business

While employers are looking for high academic standards they are also looking to employ people with a range of interpersonal, entrepreneurial and employability skills. Students have an opportunity to take part in a number of competitions and enterprise initiatives. These can vary from year to year depending on the pupils interest. 


Students have taken part in the following:


Step ‘N’ Zones Business Competition

Students were challenged to develop a business idea where they were asked to work together in groups to identify research, cost and develop their own business idea. They had to pitch their business idea to Invest Northern Ireland.

First Trust School Bank Competition

Provided students the opportunity to run their own school bank with the support of First Trust and at the same time learn about managing their own business. Six students were selected to set up and manage a bank in the school. Duties included sourcing new customers, opening accounts to encourage regular savings and exploring new ways to bank, such as online banking.

ifs School Share Competition

A UK wide investment competition involving teams investing £100,000 of virtual money in the stock market. Students needed to keep portfolios healthy by reading and forecasting market information provided online to identify shares and make judgments of when to buy and sell in order to make a profit.

The overall winners of the ifs Student Investor Challenge get a week long, all-expenses paid educational trip to New York for themselves and their teacher. They also win £2,000 prize money for their school and £200 for each team member. The second placed team in the challenge wins £1,500 for their school and £150 for each team member and the third placed team wins £1,000 for their school and £100 for each team member.

CCEA Economics

Economics addresses some of the most pressing problems and issues that society faces today, including the following:

• What should be the market’s role in providing for society’s needs and wants?

• How can individuals, businesses and governments manage their resources effectively?

• What are the best solutions for environmental problems such as pollution, road congestion and climate change?

• How can we ensure sustainable economic development?

• How can we ensure that poorer countries as well as richer ones benefit from globalisation?


 Summary of Content

AS 1: Markets and Prices

- Scarcity, choice, opportunity cost and rational decision-making

- The benefits of specialisation

- Markets, demand, supply, price determination and elasticity

- Consumer surplus and producer surplus

- Economic rent and transfer earnings

- Allocative and productive efficiency

- Why markets may fail, government intervention and government failure

AS 2: The National Economy

- The scope of macroeconomics

- The circular flow of income

- Macroeconomic policy objectives of government

- Measures of economic performance

- Aggregate demand, aggregate supply and macroeconomic equilibrium

- The operation of government economic policy

A2 1: Business Economics

- The nature of production

- Decision-making in the short and long runs

- The growth of the firm

- The objectives of the firm

- The competitive environment

- Market dominance and competition policy

- Business and the environment

A2 2: The Global Economy

- Reasons for international trade

- Free trade and protection

- The United Kingdom balance of payments

- Exchange rates

- The European Union

- Globalisation, trade, aid and economic development

- Government macroeconomic policy in an open economy

Careers in Economics

Economics is a good career choice.  It will be of benefit to you in everyday life by helping you make informed decisions and choices. Economics can open up a wide range of opportunities in higher education or a rewarding career.  Many ‘A’ Level students undertake courses such as Accounting, Management, Banking, Business Studies, Law, European Studies, Finance, Politics etc.  Economics is a core element in these subjects and therefore makes university studies easier.  It is a very useful subject in combination with Geography, History, English, Computers, Mathematics.  In previous years students have studies it along with science subjects to give them a broad balance.  Economics is a useful subject from a personal development point of view, helping you to understand and talk about the major economic, social and political issues of the day!

For further information, follow the link: http://www.ccea.org.uk/economics/

AQA Accounting

Accounting is concerned with collecting, analysing, summarising and presenting financial data in order to comply with company legislation and assist decision making by management. By the end of the course you will have acquired a sound knowledge of accounting principles and techniques and be able to solve complex accounting problems.

AS Outline

At AS, candidates learn the fundamentals of record-keeping and the purposes, techniques and consequences of effective financial accounting.

Candidates consider how financial accounting helps in the measuring, monitoring and planning of successful business operations. They study business ownership, control, profitability, performance and budgeting:

 - Unit 1: Introduction to Financial Accounting

 - Unit 2: Financial and Management Accounting.

A2 Outline

At A2, candidates develop their understanding of financial accounting techniques for business without a complete accounting system, for partnerships and for limited companies.

Candidates study in greater depth how accounting techniques aid business management and decision-making. They look at costing, capital investment, budgeting and sources of finance as well as considering social accounting issues:

 - Unit 3: Further Aspects of Financial Accounting

 - Unit 4: Further Aspects of Management Accounting.


To successfully complete the Accounting A level students are expected to sit the four papers that test each module. These external examinations are available in January & June and each paper has equal weighting. AS papers have a duration of one and a half hours and A2 papers are 2 hours. No coursework requirement.

Which subjects complement Accounting?

Accounting combines well with a number of other subjects. The related disciplines of Business Studies, ICT and Mathematics are obvious examples. If you are looking for a broader programme of study, Accounting combines well with the study of a language or science subjects. This approach mirrors some of the developments at university where language, science and engineering courses often include aspects of Business Management.

Why study Accounting?

Stimulating: The world of finance and investment banking attracts many top graduates. Household names such as J P Morgan, Merrill Lynch, CSFB and Morgan Stanley aresynonymous with exciting assignments and glamorous lifestyles. Meanwhile, financial scandals such as Enron and Global Crossing have placed accounting at the top of the business agenda.

Rewarding: Careers in accounting and finance are associated with very high salaries. A recent National Institute study identified accounting as the most lucrative of all degree courses in terms of graduates’ lifetime earning capacity (The Times 28th July 2005).

Variety: International accounting firms offer a bewildering array of career opportunities to suit all interests including traditional auditing and assurance work, management consulting, corporate finance, IT consulting, tax planning, human resources (HR) and insolvency. The same is true for the large investment banks and financial institutions.

Leadership: After gaining their professional qualifications, many accountants move into senior management positions in large firms. The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in many of the UK’s leading companies are qualified accountants. All Finance Directors (the step down from the CEO in the corporate hierarchy) are accountants.

Career Paths:

A good grade in Accounting at A level is valued by universities and employers, as it requires you to develop a high level of analytical skill and to demonstrate the ability to solve realistic accounting problems. This course lays an appropriate foundation for further study of Accounting or related subjects in higher education. Careers include accountancy itself, management and finance or related business fields.

For further information, follow the link: