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Access for A level (A4A)

What interests should I have if I want to follow this course?
Access for A level is a one-year course designed to equip students with the grades and vocational experience to open options for them in the following year. As such, students taking this course should be interested in developing their employability and moving into a job in the near future, on a full-time basis. Alternatively, the successful completion will allow candidates to complete A levels if that is of interest to them.
Access for A level (A4A) is a course for students who have had some success in Year 11 on Level 2 qualifications, but who do not have the necessary grades to start a full AS/A level programme of study. For example, when you receive your Year 11 exam results in August you may have passed a BTEC First Diploma (equivalent to grade 4s at GCSE), but not gained grade 4s in English or Maths and other GCSE subjects.
Success on this programme will mean that you:
  • gain a further Level 2 qualification at grade 4 equivalent 
  • gain a Level 3 qualification
  • acquire useful skills for both A level study and for employment
  • become a more confident and independent learner ready for A level study
  • pass other important GCSEs (eg. English or Maths) to help you access many A level courses
What minimum qualifications will I need to start the programme?
Four grade 3s at GCSE or the equivalent 
What qualifications will I gain from the programme?
These are the qualifications you will study towards and which will help you to access an A level programme:
  • Level 3 BTEC Certificate in Business
  • Level 2 Certificate in Retail Knowledge
  • GCSE English and Mathematics or equivalent at grade 4 or above.
In summary the A4A consists of:
Level 3 BTEC Certificate (QCF) in Business
Business Level 3 BTEC is a course that is designed to provide students with an experience of a range of business disciplines that could be used in a vocational work-based setting.  An interest in the world of work and possible work experience would be likely interests of those completing this course, as would a preference for the Coursework based assessments used.
Level 2 Certificate in Retail Knowledge
This qualification links with a period of work experience that you will undertake every week throughout the year.  You will learn about key aspects of working in retail whilst on placement and use this knowledge to prepare for a series of on site tests.  
GCSE English and Mathematics Re-sits
These courses are offered to all Post-16 students who need them.  A grade 4 in one or both is required for most Level 3 courses both in our school and elsewhere. Many employers require the same. For full details, please look at the separate entries for these courses in this prospectus.
How can I find out more information?
If you have any further questions please contact Mr Green in the Business & Enterprise Department.



What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

Business Level 3 BTEC is a course that is designed to provide students with an experience of a range of business disciplines that could be used in a vocational work-based setting.  An interest in the world of work and possible work experience would be likely interests of those completing this course, as would a preference for the Coursework based assessments used. Students with previous experience of Level 2 Business related BTECs may see this as a natural progression.

This course will give you an excellent understanding of many of the key areas of a business and how it operates.  It will make you more aware of business in general and could be the start of a successful career in the business world.  Who knows, you could be the next Dragon to sit in the Den!

What will I learn about?

The course gives you the opportunity to learn about the key aspects of how a business operates.  During the first year you will learn about a range of key business functions and areas.  These include the business environment, resources within business like the people and the money and the key area of marketing in business.

Unit 1 The Business Environment 

In this core unit you will become familiar with the range of different businesses that exist from local, national and international, to sole traders, partnerships and PLCs.  You will learn about how businesses are organised as well as how they are affected by the wide range of different external factors. Your project work will focus on two real but different businesses that operate in different parts of the world and how the global marketplace impacts on them.

Unit 2 Business Resources 

In this core unit you will learn more about the key resources that make any business a success; the human resources, physical resources, technological resources and financial resources.  For Human Resources this will include looking at recruiting and training staff, job descriptions and contracts of employment. Physical resources will look at all the issues relating to buildings, plant and machinery, equipment and insurance. For financial resources the unit focuses on internal and external sources of finance and being able to interpret financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets and using ratios. As before, all of this will be put into context of a real business for the production of your coursework.

Unit 4 Business Communication

Communication is key for any business and this unit will examine how the collection and management of business information is critical for the future of any organisation. You will look at the different types of information that are crucial for business success and then use practical skills to produce some effective corporate communication material. 

You also study the legal and ethical considerations which should be considered when communicating in a business context and also which methods are the most effective in certain situations.



Why study this course?

The Level 2 certificate in Retail Knowledge gives you an opportunity to engage in learning that is relevant to you and which will provide opportunities to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.  It will also help you to achieve a nationally recognised Level 2 vocationally-related qualification which may allow you to progress to employment or onto a related general or vocational qualification at Level 3.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment of your work will be through a series of online tests (multiple choice).
What will the course be like?

The course will be as practical as possible and will provide you with the opportunities to develop the skills in a realistic context.  The work studied during lessons will be linked to your time on work placement. You will be expected to complete work each week following your work experience placement, and will at times be required to use evidence from work.  This is an example of a typical unit you will study:
Unit 154: Understanding the Retail Process

  • Understand its selling process.
  • Understand how to find out what its customer wants.
  • Understand how product information can be used to promote sales.

How is the course graded?

You must achieve a Pass grade in each unit that make up the qualification.

What can I do when I complete my qualification?

When you have successfully completed this course you may be able to progress onto Level 3 BTEC courses offered at Gosforth Academy if you meet the relevant entry requirements for each programme. 

Equally you will have developed a wide range of important skills that will have prepared you more fully for employment or work-based training.