• Foundation Certificate

Introduction to Business Studies

Main aims of the Unit

The main aim of this unit is to introduce learners to the different types of business organisations and to explain the key internal and external environmental factors that can influence the operations of different departments within commercial and non-commercial organisations.

Learning Outcomes for the Unit

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Explain the different types of organisations
  • Discuss the different functions within an organisation
  • Appreciate the importance of the marketing orientation to modern business organisation
  • Compare different sources of capital
  • Comment of the calculation of costs, revenues, profits, contribution and cash flows
  • Understand the impact of environmental factors on the operations of business organisations

Learning and teaching methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:

Learning takes place on a number of levels through lectures, class discussion including problem review and analysis. Formal lectures provide a foundation of information on which the student builds through directed learning and self managed learning outside of the class. The students are actively encouraged to form study groups to discuss course material which fosters a greater depth learning experience.

Entry Requirements

  • Three GCSE’s / GCE`O’ levels or equivalent qualification, or,
  • A recognised Freshman or Access Certificate
  • Certificate award deemed to be equivalent to the above qualifications
  • All learners must be 17 years and above and they must have completed a minimum of 10 years of school education
  • A 5.5 score or above of an approved English Language Test or recognised school or college English Language Placement Test

Main Topics of Study

  • Nature of business
  • Business start-ups
  • Sole traders
  • Partnerships
  • Limited companies
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Public sector organisations
  • Nature of marketing
  • Marketing research
  • Market segmentation
  • Marketing management
  • Marketing Mix
  • E-commerce
  • International Marketing
  • Organisation structures
  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Appointment
  • Termination
  • Training and appraisal
  • Nature of products and services
  • Types of production
  • Stock control
  • Elements of Purchasing
  • Mergers and takeovers
  • Factors affecting location of business
  • Resources and waste management
  • Efficiency and strategy
  • Sources of finance
  • Costs, revenue and profit
  • Contribution
  • B/E analysis
  • Balance sheet
  • Accounting concepts
  • Introduction to costing methods
  • Interest rates
  • Exchange rates
  • Inflation
  • Unemployment
  • Taxation
  • Labour markets
  • Population
  • Corporate responsibilities
  • Impact of new technologies

Indicative Reading for this Unit

Main Text

Business Studies D. Hall, R. Jones, C. Raffo, A. Anderton 4th edition (Causeway Press)

Alternative Text and further reading

Introduction to Business R. Hughes, J. Kapoor, W. Pride 11th edition
(South-Western International)

Guideline for Teaching and learning time
(10 hours per credit)

50 Hours - Lectures / Seminars / Tutorials / Workshops:

Tutorial support includes feedback on assignments and may vary by college according to local needs and wishes.

50 Hours - Directed learning:

Advance reading and preparation / Class preparation / Background reading / Group study / Portfolio / Diary etc

50 Hours - Self managed learning:

Working through the course text and completing assignments as required will take up the bulk of the learning time. In addition students are expected to engage with the tutor and other students and to undertake further reading using the web and/or libraries.

Assessment methods

Final Examination: 70%
Coursework: 30%