|Edexcel BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Business, QCF Level 4|
Unit 1: Business Environment
The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of different organizations, the influence of stakeholders and the relationship between businesses and the local, national and global environments. It is within this business environment that organizations function and have to determine strategies and a modus operandi that allow them to meet their organizational purposes in ways that comply with the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks. In addition, business markets take various forms and the structure of a market enables an understanding of how organizations behave. In this unit learners will consider how different market structures shape the pricing and output decisions of businesses, as well as other aspects of their behavior.
Unit 3: Organizations and Behavior
The aim of this unit is to give learners an understanding of individual and group behavior in organizations and to examine current theories and their application in managing behavior in the workplace.
This unit focuses on the behavior of individuals and groups within organizations. It explores the links between the structure and culture of organizations and how these interact and influence the behavior of the workforce. The structure of a large multi-national company with thousands of employees worldwide will be very different from a small local business with 20 employees. The way in which an organization structures and organizes its workforce will impact on the culture that develops within the organization. This system of shared values and beliefs will determine and shape the accepted patterns of behavior of an organizations workforce. The culture in organizations that differ in size, for example, or are from different sectors of the economy can be very different. The structure and culture of an organization are key factors which contribute to motivating the workforce at all levels of the organization. This unit will develop learner understanding of the behavior of people within organizations and of the significance that organizational design has on shaping that behavior.
Unit 4: Marketing Principles
This unit aims to provide learners with understanding and skills relating to the fundamental concepts and principles that underpin the marketing process. This is a broad-based unit which gives learners the opportunity to apply the key principles of marketing. Firstly, the unit looks at the definitions of marketing, and what is meant by a marketing orientation and the marketing process. Next, learners consider the use of environmental analysis in marketing and carry out their own analyses at both macro and micro levels. They will also investigate the importance of market segmentation and how this leads to the identification and full specification of target groups. Learners then consider buyer behavior and positioning.
The unit looks at the main elements of both the original and the extended marketing mix. This includes an introduction to the concept of the product life cycle, new product development, pricing strategies, distribution options and the promotion mix. Finally, learners will develop their own marketing mixes to meet the needs of different target groups. This includes considering the differences when marketing services as opposed to goods. A range of other contexts is examined including marketing to businesses instead of consumers and the development of international markets.
Unit 10: Financial Accounting and Reporting
In this unit learners will prepare financial statements for different types of business, complying with relevant legal and regulatory provisions and the basic principles of group accounts. Learners will also develop tools for the interpretation of financial statements.
It is essential for the success of any business that it has good financial control and record keeping. Lack of effective control, planning and recording can ultimately lead to poor financial results. Owners and managers need to be able to recognize the indications of potential difficulties and take remedial action when required. The unit considers the current regulations governing financial reporting, the formats of financial statements and the purpose of these statements for different users. Learners will use records to complete financial statements. They will consider various categories of business income and expenditure and use cash flow forecasts, monitoring and adjusting for the effective management of cash flow. They will measure financial performance using a profit and loss account and balance sheet and analyze the profitability, liquidity and efficiency of a business through the application of ratio analysis.
Unit 7: Business Strategy
The aim of this unit is to give learners the knowledge and understanding of how a business unit can strategically organize and plan for likely future outcomes in order to be successful. One of the aims of this unit is to build on learners’ existing knowledge of the basic tools of business analysis and draw it together so that the learners think strategically.
Learners will be introduced to analysis tools needed for the process of strategic planning. They will be able to explain the significance of stakeholder analysis and carry out an environmental and organizational audit of a given organization. Learners will learn how to apply strategic positioning techniques to the analysis of a given organization and prepare a strategic plan based on previous analysis. They will also learn how to evaluate possible alternative strategies (such as substantive growth, limited growth or retrenchment) and then select an appropriate future strategy for a given organization. Finally, learners will compare the roles and responsibilities for strategy implementation and evaluate resource requirements for the implementation of a new strategy for a given organization. Learners will then be able to propose targets and timescales for implementation and monitoring of the strategy in a given organization.
Unit 8: Research Project
To develop learners’ skills of independent enquiry and critical analysis by undertaking a sustained research investigation of direct relevance to their Higher Education program and professional development. This unit is designed to enable learners to become confident using research techniques and methods. It addresses the elements that make up formal research including the proposal, a variety of research methodologies, action planning, carrying out the research itself and presenting the findings. To complete the unit satisfactorily, learners must also understand the theory that underpins formal research. The actual research depends on the learner, the context of their area of learning, their focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes. The unit draws together a range of other areas from within the program to form a holistic piece of work that will make a positive contribution to the learner’s area of interest. Learners should seek approval from their tutors before starting their research project.
Unit 13: Personal and Professional Development
This unit aims to help the learner become an effective and confident self-directed employee. This helps the learner become confident in managing own personal and professional skills to achieve personal and career goals. This unit is designed to enable learners to assess and develop a range of professional and personal skills in order to promote future personal and career development. It also aims to develop learners’ ability to organize, manage and practice a range of approaches to improve their performance as self-directed learners in preparation for work or further career development. The unit emphasizes the needs of the individual but within the context of how the development of self-management corresponds with effective team management in meeting objectives. Learners will be able to improve their own learning, be involved in teamwork and be more capable of problem solving through the use of case studies, role play and real-life activities.
Unit 20: Sales Planning and Operations
The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an understanding of sales planning, sales management, and the selling process, which can be applied in different markets and environments. Selling is a key part of any successful business, and most people will find that they need to use sales skills at some point in their working life – if only to persuade or win an argument. For anyone who is interested in sales as a professional career it pays to understand the basics of selling, to practice, and plan. This unit will introduce learners to the theory of selling and sales planning, and give them the opportunity to put their personal selling skills into practice. The unit starts with an overview of how personal selling fits within the overall marketing strategy for a business. Learners will be taken through the main stages of the selling process, and be expected to put them to use. Once they are confident about the selling process, learners will investigate the role and objectives of sales management. This is knowledge that can be applied to a wide range of organizations. Finally, learners will be able to start planning sales activity for a product or service of their own choice – this is another valuable skill that is transferable to many different situations learners may find themselves in as they move into employment or higher education.
Unit 41: Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management
This unit will introduce learners to some current issues within the marketing industry including relationship marketing, customer relationship management, marketing in non-traditional contexts, marketing services and the increasing concern with ethical and social considerations. The role of marketing as a business function is increasingly viewed as an integral constituent of overall corporate strategy as organizations have become more aware of the need to develop long-term relationships with their customers. The marketing industry has widened its scope to include non-traditional organizations such as those in the public and voluntary sectors. In this unit learners will examine how marketing theory is applied in not-for-profit organizations. Services management, and therefore marketing, has been recognized separately since the 1970s. This unit also looks at the special approaches that service industry businesses need to adopt in a rapidly changing environment. Ethical and social considerations have become increasingly important to all businesses and learners will investigate the impact this is having on marketing.