Business Management at Higher is split into two key areas:
- Business Enterprise
- Business Decision Areas
You will study a total of eight topics, and will sit eight separate NABs during the course. There are tree sub-topics in Unit 1, and five sub-topics in unit 2.
Don't let the assessments put you off... if anything you're better-off because you have to revise smaller chunks of the course!
The arrangements document for the course can be found via the SQA's website, where a specimen question paper can also be found.
Useful links to websites who can offer extra information during the course can be found via HSN > Resources > Links.
Higher Still Notes has revision notes for Higher Business Management which are available via HSN > Resources > Notes.
Whether you are in Fifth or Sixth Year at high school, you will reap great benefits from studying this subject. If you are 'crashing' this subject in Sixth Year it's worth mentioning that plenty of students who do so end up with A grades. Although the subject follows on from Standard Grade, it is very easy to pick up at Higher and you will have no problem with the course - everything you need to know is in the notes and is examined in the NABs.
The aims of the course are to:
- Develop an understanding of the importance of business and enterprise in contemporary society
- Develop the ability to analyse the ways in which different organisations achieve their objectives
- Develop an understanding of the contribution of different individuals to the overall
achievement of the organisation’s objectives
- Develop an understanding of the internal structure of organisations and how this may influence their activities
- Develop the ability to analyse the key functional areas of organisational activity
- Enable candidates to understand the interdependence of the various activities undertaken by businesses
- Enable candidates to manage resources and use information in a range of contexts
- Develop problem solving, decision making and analytical skills
- Develop the ability to assess the contribution which information and IT can make to the effectiveness of decision making in different types of business
- Provide a foundation for future education and training.
In Unit 1.1 you will study:
- The role of business in society
- The types of business organisations
- The types of business objectives
- The role of enterprise and the entrepreneur
- The factors affecting the operation of a business
- Business as a 'dynamic activity'
In Unit 1.2 you will study:
- Sources, types, and the value of information
- Examples of IT
- Use of IT in business
- Types of business software
In Unit 1.3 you will study:
- SWOT analysis
- Problems with the structured decision-making models
In Unit 2.1 you will study:
- Grouping of activities
- Functional activities within an organisation
- Aspects of organisational strucutre
In unit 2.2 you will study:
- The marketing concept
- The marketing mix
- Target markets
- Market research
In Unit 2.3 you will study:
- Cash flow
- Financial reporting
- Ratio analysis
In Unit 2.4 you will study:
- Changing pattern of employment within organisations
- Training and staff development
- Recruitment and selection
- Employee relations
In Unit 2.5 you will study:
- Inputs, processes and outputs
- Distribution and delivery
- Types of production
- The factors affecting quality.
The external exam, as in previous years, will last 150 minutes.
Section 1 is worth 50 marks. Knowledge and understanding, problem solving and decision making will be assessed through a case study or interpretation item of about 750 words, which will explain a situation facing an organisation or organisations. It will probably be based on a magazine or newspaper article, lthough it could be hypothetical. There will be a number of mandatory questions related to it and candidates may be required to assume a management position and make decisions necessary to solve problems.
You may be asked to:
- Analyse the information given and identify the problems
- Identify and assess constraints
- Devise solutions and make recommendations
- Justify their recommendations.
Section 2 is worth 50 marks, and is an extended response. The main purpose of this section will be to assess knowledge and understanding. You will be
required to answer two questions from a choice of five, each being worth 25 marks. Questions may be sub-divided into two or three parts.
Sixth Year Students
While your school may let you 'crash', it is recommended that you have passed one or more of the following subjects:
- Standard Grade Business Management at Credit level
- Intermediate 2 Business Management, or
- The component units of Intermediate 2 Business Management
- Standard Grade English at Credit level, or
- Intermediate 2 English or its component units.
Performance Criteria (Unit 1)
Analyse business enterprise in contemporary society.
- Comparison of the types of business organisation in the UK and their organisational objectives is accurate.
- Comparison of the relative influence of key stakeholders on different types of organisation is accurate.
- Interpretation of factors affecting the operation of business enterprises is accurate in terms of their impact on an organisation.
- Assessment of different sources of information is accurate in terms of their reliability and value for particular business enterprises.
- Assessment of the main types of information technology is accurate with respect to their uses in business and their costs and benefits to business enterprises.
- Assessment of the uses of business software is accurate in terms of its potential applications to business activity and its costs and benefits to business enterprises.
Analyse the process of decision making in a business enterprise.
- Analysis of different types of decision is accurate and related to the objectives of an organisation.
- Analysis includes an accurate explanation of the role of managers in decision making in an organisation.
- Analysis includes the development and evaluation of a suitable SWOT analysis for a business enterprise.
- Analysis includes a reasoned justification for conclusions drawn from the SWOT analysis.
Performance Criteria (Unit 2)
Report on the internal organisation of business enterprises.
- Analysis of organisational structure is accurate with respect to the grouping of activities within an organisation.
- Internal organisation of a business enterprise is analysed accurately and related to different forms of organisational structure.
Analyse marketing decisions.
- Evaluation of the role and importance of marketing to business is accurate and makes reference to product and market orientation.
- Analysis of the marketing decisions of an organisation is accurate with respect to its marketing mix and target markets.
- Evaluation of the product mix of an organisation is accurate and makes reference to new product development and ways of prolonging the life of existing products.
- Analysis of reasons for market research is accurate and makes reference to market research techniques.
Interpret financial information used in business.
- Interpretation of cash flow information is accurate and related to possible cash flow problems.
- Appropriate financial ratios are used correctly to accurately interpret the performance and liquidity of a business.
- Explanation of budgets is accurate and refers to their role in monitoring and controlling business activities.
Analyse human resource decisions.
- Explanation of the main stages in the recruitment process is accurate and related to the requirements of a business enterprise.
- Evaluation of the selection process is accurate and makes reference to selection methods and their effectiveness in securing a suitable appointment for a business enterprise.
- Analysis of employee relations in a business organisation is accurate and makes reference to employee representation.
- References to current legislative requirements affecting the management of human resources in business enterprises are accurate.
Analyse operations decisions.
- Analysis of the importance of purchasing to a business is accurate and makes reference to the factors which influence purchasing decisions.
- Analysis of factors affecting the quality of operations of an organisation is accurate with respect to organisational and customer requirements.
- Analysis of different types of production is accurate with respect to the product or service produced.
Higher Business Management is a very interesting course, which is full of theory and makes use of your practical skills. I hope that in studying this course you will learn a great deal about the business environment, as well as being awarded a good Higher pass in doing so.
It's been two years since I sat the exam, however all the information is still fresh in my memory.
I went on to take the Advanced Higher course in 2004, and passed with flying colours with an A grade.
Remember that if you ever need any help with the course, it's always at hand here at HSN/f, and if no one's around to help you feel free to email myself, the moderator, who can hopefully point you in the right direction.
Good luck with the course and I wish you every success in the future.