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BTEC HNC in Business Studies

Introduction

Oxford Learning College is a seasoned provider of Business Studies courses and we are now approved to offer this new BTEC Higher National Certificate in Business Studies. The course itself is a level 4 course and would prove a valuable part of any portfolio of professional courses. The course is based on the Pearson BTEC new specifications for Business, which became available from the 2016 examination series. There are no external examinations, and the whole course is completed through continuous assessment.

Why Choose to Study BTEC Business?

Pearson, with a track record built over 30 years of learner success, have now greatly enhanced their BTEC Higher National Certificates, which are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the signature vocational qualification at Level 4. They provide progression to the workplace, either directly, or via study at a higher level.

Proof comes from ‘You Gov’ research, which shows that 62% of large companies have recruited employees with Higher BTEC qualifications. What’s more, well over 100,000 BTEC Learners apply to UK universities every year and their BTEC Higher Nationals are accepted by over 150 UK universities and higher education institutes for relevant degree programmes, either on their own, or in combination with A Levels.

Today’s BTEC Higher National Certificates are demanding, as you would expect of the most respected applied learning qualifications in the UK.

As a Learner on a BTEC course:

• You must be organised, take assessments that we have set and mark, and keep a portfolio of your assignments.
• You can feel proud to achieve a BTEC because, whatever your plans in life – whether you decide to study further, go on to work, or an apprenticeship, or set up your own business – your Oxford Learning College, BTEC Higher National will be your passport to success in the next stage of your life.

This programme, for the learner, offers choice and scope in regards to the wider study of business subjects. Our Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 qualification made up of 120 credits. Our students can be flexible in the period of taking the course, although we recommend a minimum of one year study time.

Built into the BTEC Higher National units, there are opportunities during which the learner practises employable skills. These are in the following three main categories:

• Cognitive and problem-solving skills: the use of critical thinking, applying creative and expert solutions to non-routine problems, and the use of systems and technology.
• Intrapersonal skills: communicating with others, working in collaboration with others, negotiating and influencing others, and self-presentation.
• Interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development. There are also specific requirements in some of the units for assessment of these skills where relevant.

This course consists of eight units (8) from the BTEC Higher National Certificate syllabus and is a registered and recognisable qualification on its own. Six are mandatory units and the final two are optional, chosen by the college in a set pathway.

Learners are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with the new Edexcel specification for the BTEC Higher National Certificate in Business (course code: GLH 601/8364/0).

 

BTEC HNC Business Studies

BTEC HNC in Business Studies Entry Requirements

Prospective learners who are enrolled should have commitment and a reasonable expectation of success on the programme. There are no formal entry requirements but Pearson will expect learners to have qualifications at or equivalent to Level 3.

Learners are most likely to succeed if they have completed one or more of the following:

  • Studied with us previously at the approved level (given below).
  • Two or more, General Certificates of Education (A or AS Levels).
  • BTEC qualification(s) at Level Three (3).
  • Vocational Qualifications Attainment at level Three (3).
  • Internationally recognised qualifications at UK level Three (3).
  • Mature learners, should have a minimum of 2 years working experience at an appropriate level (this can be in a voluntary role).
  • Achievement in: English and, mathematics through GCSE.
  • Attestable academic testimonials/references.

The college reserves the right to ask for proof of prior learning before a course is commenced, which may include: copies of certificates, transcripts of study and/or academic references.

Learners without formal qualifications may demonstrate ability to succeed in various ways. For example, learners may have relevant work experience or specific aptitude shown through diagnostic tests or non-education experience; for which proof may be required.

Study Hours

Total Qualification Time (TQT). TQT is an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required for a student to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of a qualification. TQT includes undertaking each of the activities of Guided Learning, Directed Learning, and Invigilated Assessment. Each 15-credit unit approximates to a TQT of 150 hours and 60 hours of Guided Learning. The TQT and Unit Credit form the aggregate formation for calculating the final outcome grade.
Total Qualification Time (TQT) Higher National Certificate (HNC) = 1,200 hours

Course Awarding Body

Pearson has a complete area of their website dedicated to learners. This specialist area is full of helpful advice and guidance on all aspects of the courses being offered. We advise learners to make use of this invaluable resource.

Course Content

The whole of the Level four (4) BTEC Higher National Certificate in Business has EIGHT (8) specific units of study, which are sub-divided into Learning Outcomes (LOs). EACH UNIT is sub-divided into topics and themes for ease of study.

Each LO is presented in smaller topics that give the learner scope to explore business subjects at a pace to suit their own time commitment and learning targets. Each LO will follow the syllabus, and allow the learner to build assessed components of assignments.

CORE UNIT: 1 – Business & the Business Environment

The aim of this unit is to provide students with background knowledge and understanding of business, the functions of an organisation and the wider business environments in which organisations operate. Students will examine the different types of organisations (including for profit and not for profit) and their size and scope (for instance, micro, SME, transnational and global). Students will explore the relationships that organisations have with their various stakeholders and how the wider external environments influence and shape business decision-making. The knowledge, understanding and skill sets gained in this unit will help students to choose their own preferred areas of specialism in future studies and in their professional career.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Explain the different types, size and scope of organisations.
2. Demonstrate the interrelationship of the various functions within an organisation and how they link to organisational structure.
3. Use contemporary examples to demonstrate both the positive and negative influence/impact the macro environment has on business operations.
4. Determine the internal strengths and weaknesses of specific businesses and explain their interrelationship with external macro factors.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

CORE UNIT: 2 –Marketing Essentials

This unit is designed to introduce students to the principles of marketing, enabling them to develop a basic marketing plan and to employ elements of the marketing mix to achieve results. While they will learn the underpinning theories and frameworks, they will also be able to relate these to real-world examples, including products/services that they encounter in their own daily lives.

Organisations such as: Apple, Google, VISA, Burberry, Zara, Cadbury, Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Unicef, BP and small local businesses all have at least one thing in common: they all use marketing to influence us to engage with their products and/or services. Whether it is becoming a loyal customer buying a product and service or donating to a charity, organisations use a range of marketing techniques and tools to inform and influence us.

The knowledge, understanding and skill sets that students will gain on successfully completing this unit will enhance their career opportunities, whether setting up their own business or being employed by an organisation.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Explain the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation.
2. Compare ways in which organisations use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives.
3. Develop and evaluate a basic marketing plan.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

CORE UNIT: 3 – Human Resource Management

The aim of this unit is to enable students to appreciate and apply principles of effective Human Resource Management (HRM). People are the lifeblood of any organisation and being able to attract, recruit, and retain talented staff is at the core of all HRM activity. This unit will explore the tools and techniques used in HRM to maximise the employee contribution and how to use HR methods to gain competitive advantage. Students will explore the importance of training and development in building and the extension of the skills base of the organisation and ensuring it is relevant to the ever-changing business environment. Students will also consider the growing importance of becoming a flexible organisation with an equally flexible labour force, and become familiar with techniques of job design and different reward systems.

The unit investigates the importance of good employee relations and the ways in which employers engage with their staff and possibly with trade unions. Students will gain an understanding of the law governing HRM processes as well as the best practices which enable an employer to become an ‘employer of choice’ in their chosen market.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Explain the purpose and scope of Human Resource Management in terms of resourcing an organisation with talent and skills appropriate to fulfil business objectives.
2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the key elements of Human Resource Management in an organisation.
3. Analyse internal and external factors that affect Human Resource Management decision-making, including employment legislation.
4. Apply Human Resource Management practices in a work-related context.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

CORE UNIT: 4 – Management and Operations

The aim of this unit is to help students understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours, and traits which support effective management and leadership. In addition, this unit will introduce the concept of operations as both a function and a process which all organisations must adopt to conduct business. Students will be introduced to contemporary and historical theories, and concepts which will support their learning for this unit.

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of how management and operations make a positive, efficient and effective contribution to an organisation at a junior level. This could be in the role of a team leader or managing a specific aspect of an operation function and/or process.

The student will consider topics under two broad headings in this unit which are: management and operations.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager.
2. Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in given contexts.
3. Demonstrate an appreciation of the role leaders and managers play in the operations function of an organisation.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

CORE UNIT: 5 – Management Accounting

The overall aim of this unit is to introduce the fundamentals of management accounting which apply to the wider business environment and the organisations which operate within that environment. Students will explore how management accounting uses financial data to aid planning decisions and the monitoring and control of finance within organisations.

On successful completion of this unit students will be in a position to present financial statements in a workplace context and be able to assist senior colleagues with financial business planning. In addition, students will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to progress onto a higher level of study.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Demonstrate an understanding of management accounting systems.
2. Apply a range of management accounting techniques.
3. Explain the use of planning tools used in management accounting.
4. Compare ways in which organisations could use management accounting to respond to financial problems.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

CORE UNIT 6 – Managing a Successful Business Project

The theme, and the chosen project within the theme, will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment.
The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project which meets appropriate business aims and objectives.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in decision-making, problem-solving and research activities using project management skills. They will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate and examine relevant business concepts within a work-related context, determine appropriate outcomes, decisions or solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme.
2. Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project.
3. Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis.
4. Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) assessed Pearson-set assignment. The project brief will be set by the centre, based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). Summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

OPTIONAL UNITS

These final two units need to be completed to be awarded the full Higher National Certificate.

OPTIONAL UNIT: 7 – Innovation and Commercialisation

This unit aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of innovation and commercialisation. In today’s competitive landscape it is critical that organisations continually innovate both their product offering and processes to ensure that they remain competitive in the market. Furthermore, adopting a more commercially driven approach is vital to maximise the Return on Investment (ROI).

In this unit, we will look at a number of tools and techniques organisations use to drive innovation and become more commercial in their approach. The aim of the unit is to give students cutting-edge knowledge as well as practical application of the key ways organisations become more innovative while remaining commercially driven.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Explain the context for innovation and determine the difference between invention and innovation.
2. Explain the different types of innovation.
3. Discuss the process required to commercialise innovation.
4. Evaluate the range of methods for protecting ideas and understand their advantages and disadvantages.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

OPTIONAL UNIT: 8 – Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Management

This unit provides students with an understanding of the definition and scope of entrepreneurship and an understanding of the enablers and barriers to business start-up.

Students will learn about the influence of national culture and economy on entrepreneurship, will explore the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs and the impact of personal situational factors, including education and background. Students will also learn about the role and importance of small firms to the economy, about social enterprise and the social economy.

Students will be expected to understand the balance of risk and reward in starting a new venture and they will investigate and reflect on their own entrepreneurial and enterprising characteristics.

Examples of entrepreneurs and start-up organisations will be discussed and students will be expected to draw on local, personal, and general knowledge together with their learning to be able to identify the characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures.

Learning Outcomes (LOs):

1. Explore and illustrate the range of venture types that might be considered entrepreneurial.
2. Assess the impact of small businesses on the economy.
3. Determine and assess the key aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset.
4. Examine the different environments that foster or hinder entrepreneurship.

Assessment

The unit has ONE (1) summative assignments marked by the college. Learners will be allowed TWO (2) attempts to achieve a PASS mark in each assignment. Higher grading of MERIT and DISTINCTION are only achieved at the first attempt, the second and final attempts are only given a PASS mark.

Support Materials

Although the course programme is ‘self contained’ and all online; the student may wish to obtain further materials in regards to learning. The following materials would be useful, but not essential to guide learning.

Textbooks

The following textbooks are recommended reading from Pearson BTEC:-

  • ADAMS, A. (2016) Business Law for Students. 9th ed. London: Pearson.
  • ARMSTRONG, M. and TAYLOR, S. (2014) Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. 13th Ed. London: Kogan Page.
  • ATRILL, P. and McLANEY, E. (2012) Accounting and Finance for Non-Accounting Specialists. 8th Ed. Harlow: Pearson.
  • BARON, P. (2012) Business and its Environment. 7th Ed. London: Prentice Hall.
  • BESSANT, J, and TIDD, J. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Wiley.
  • CARTER, S. and JONES-EVANS, D. (2012) Enterprise and Small Business: Principles, Practice and Policy. London: Pearson.
  • DRURY, C. (2015) Management and Cost Accounting. 9th Ed. Cengage Learning.
  • GROUCUTT, J. and HOPKINS, C. (2015) Marketing (Business Briefings). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • HILL, A and HILL, T. (2011) Essential Operations Management. London: Palgrave.
  • PALMER, A. and HARTLEY, B. (2011) The Business Environment. 7th Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
  • SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS, P. and THORNHILL, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students. 6th Ed. Harlow: Pearson.
  • WEATHERLEY, P. (Editor) and OTTER, D. (Editor) (2014) The Business Environment: Themes and Issues in a Globalised World. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • WORTHINGTON, I. and BRITTON. C. (2014) The Business Environment. 7th Ed. Harlow Pearson.

There is a wealth of information to support learning at BTEC Nationals Level which can be found at the Pearson Website:

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/BTEC-nationals/business-2016.resources.html?filterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Publisher%2FPearson

Websites

www.oxfordcollege.ac
www.owl.com
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/
http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/business-theory/strategy/types-of-business-organisations.html
http://www.britishcompanies.co.uk/organisations.htm
https://www.fsb.org.uk/
http://isbe.org.uk/
http://www.cbi.org.uk/
https://www.managers.org.uk/
https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/cpd

Greater detail of all the course information and resources will be provided on enrolment.

Progression

This qualification supports progression in our College to other Advanced International Higher Awards in many academic subjects (see our level 5, 6 & 7 portfolio of courses online); and also, allow learners to move onto Higher Education or similar Institutions completing: Foundation Degrees; Degrees Post-graduate and other formal qualifications.

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