Course at a glance


This level 5 qualification develops on prior knowledge gained through previous studies, or practical experience. An internationally recognised qualification, it is ideal for those seeking to enhance their employment prospects, or for further study at undergraduate degree level. This Diploma can equip you with the knowledge and skills required to progress further in your current career or even develop your own business start-up.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Entry Requirements

Students must hold a Level 3 Diploma (or higher) or A Level qualification to enrol into our Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma.

Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

Study Hours

Approximately 800 hours.

Course Duration

2 Year.


You can enrol on the course at any time.

Awarding Body


Quality Licence Scheme

Assessment Method

Coursework only.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Course Content

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma ;
Unit 1: Using information, communication and technology ICT in the study of Business

The first unit of this Level 5 Diploma in Business Studies course aims to raise learner awareness of the different types of ICT skills, and provide the opportunity for them to develop these skills commensurate with H4 and H5 study. The course is delivered via distance learning with no face to face contact between tutors and students, therefore understanding appropriate research techniques, portfolio skills and self-reflection is important in terms of independent study at this level as well as facilitating a positive learning experience.

Students are encouraged to conduct independent research related to the Business Studies Applications using ICT skills, so that they can begin to compile their own resource list and also prepare themselves for further and more complex activities later in the course.

1 Applications of ICT in Business Studies Applications

  • Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning.
  • Utilisation of methods , tools and strategies of ICT to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college.
  • Development of ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise study progression.

2 ePortfolio constructs

  • Setting up an ePortfolio for use during the lifetime of the course for storage of files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals.
  • The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Learners will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose.
  • A structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

3 Independent web based research

  • Independent research to equip students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics within Business Studies Applications
  • Develop tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

4 Principles of self-assessment and reflective writing

  • The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work.
  • Reviews of writing skills.
  • Reflective writing skills and practice.
  • Promotion of pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 2: Financial planning in business

The aim of this unit is to give learners an opportunity to study the principles and practices of financial planning within business application. Financial planning underpins business ethos and practice, therefore learners are encouraged to develop knowledge and understanding of the core processes presented in the unit and to engage in independent research in order to expand analytical skills.

1 Cost and profit

  • Output and input.
  • Assessing and monitoring cost and profit.
  • Fixed, variable and semi-variable cost and profit.
  • Case study examples.
  • Processes for increasing revenue.

2 Break even analysis

  • Overview and formulae.
  • Margins of safety.
  • Concepts of contribution.
  • Case study examples.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the analysis and application.

3 Cash flow forecasting

  • Construction of cash flow forecasts.
  • Examples.
  • Opening balances, cash inflows and outflows, net cash flow.
  • Closing balances.
  • Using cash flow forecasting as a business planning tool.
  • Case study examples.

4 Budgeting

  • Definition and examples.
  • Control of budgets.
  • Delegating responsibility.
  • How budgets are set and managed.
  • Benefits: organisational, motivational.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of budget setting.
  • Assessing start up costs using SMART objectives.
  • Case studies.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 3: Structure, risk and enterprise

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to study how business is structured, its hierarchy, chain of commands and how risk and enterprise are incorporated into productivity and performance. The unit also aims to provide learners with an opportunity to learn about different processes for maintaining organisational structure and thus efficacy of business applications.

1 Enterprise

  • Outline of enterprise concepts, processes and incorporation into business applications.
  • Competitor behaviour.
  • Nature of demands in business.
  • Cash flow and unforeseen expenditure relevant to enterprise activities.
  • Control and monitoring.
  • Customer reliance and its impacts.

2 Variance analysis

  • Definition and application with examples.
  • Favourable and adverse variances.
  • Example case studies.

3 Trading processes

  • Over-trading.
  • Fixed and stock assets.
  • Improving cash flow related to risk.
  • Changes in external environments and impacts on trading.
  • Measuring profits related to margins, gains and returns.

4 Organisational structure

  • Hierarchy and chain of command.
  • Responsibilities.
  • Communication within organisations.
  • Span of control.
  • Delegation pathways.
  • The workforces: performance, effectiveness and productivity levels.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 4: Job analysis and operational management

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore operational management processes, procedures and practices in business applications. This involves exploration of job analyses, methods of management process and application of operational systems. Recruitment has a specific unit, and although recruitment will be briefly discussed in the context of operational management it will not be covered in detail within this unit.

1 Job analysis

  • Job structures and process.
  • Job descriptions and expectations.
  • Relationship of job to operational process.
  • Person specifications.
  • Example case studies.

2 Operational targets

  • Capacity utilisation.
  • Formulae and equations.
  • Unit costing and examples.
  • Competitiveness.

3 Quality measurements

  • Production demands and spare capacity.
  • Market and pricing.
  • Rationalisation strategies.
  • Sub-contracting strategies.
  • Non-standard orders.
  • Stock control strategies.
  • Working with suppliers.
  • Using technology.

4 Quality systems

  • Objectives.
  • Quality control, quality inspection, quality assurance, quality standards.
  • TQM.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Kaizen.
  • Customer service expectations, monitoring, improvement, market research.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of quality assurance.
  • Case studies.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 5: Marketing and the competitive environment

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore marketing processes, principles and practice associated with business applications, and also to consider competitive environments and their impact and influence on business practices.

1 Principles of marketing

  • Focus of marketing.
  • Aims and objectives.
  • Business to business marketing.
  • The Marketing Mix (4 ‘P’s).
  • Mass marketing.
  • Niche marketing.
  • Product development and the product lifecycle.
  • Extension strategies and development.
  • Product portfolio analysis and the Boston Matrix.

2 Promotion

  • Sales promotion aims and objectives, processes and applications.
  • Direct selling.
  • Merchandising and branding.
  • Public relations.
  • Advertising strategies.
  • Price: survival pricing penetration, price skimming, price leaders, price takers, price tactics, pricing decisions, PED formulae.

3 Product placement

  • Disribution.
  • Retail and mail order.
  • Internet and e-commerce.
  • Cost and target markets.
  • Control strategies.
  • Sales volume.

4 Competitive processes

  • Research and development.
  • Innovation, location, protectionism, free trade, globalisation and multi-site locations.
  • Critical path analysis jargon, formulae and evaluation.
  • Categorisation of markets and market conditions.
  • Objectives and strategies related to corporate practice, functionality, stakeholder input and SMART process.
  • Case study evaluation.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 6: The economy and business

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to study economic practices and processes related to business applications. Learners will be encouraged to engage in independent research of current fiscal policies and European and global influences on business practice and applications related to growth and development.

1 Principles of economic growth

  • GDP and GNP.
  • The business cycle: peak or boom, recession, the multiplier effect, slump or trough, recovery and expansion.
  • Economic variables: interest rates, exchange rates, effects of changes.
  • Corporate objectives.
  • Unemployment influences and impacts: frictional, seasonal, structural, cyclical.
  • Inflation: demand pull and cost push.

2 The role of government

  • Injections and withdrawals of financial support.
  • Public sector goods and services.
  • Fiscal policy.
  • Monetary policy.
  • Supply side policies.
  • Disregulation.
  • Privatisation.

3 Technical developments

  • Advances and change.
  • Network management.
  • Production processes.
  • Improvements in communication and collaborative processes in business applications.
  • Intellectual property.
  • Understanding the markets.

4 The role of competition

  • Internal and external growth through mergers and takeovers.
  • Vertical integration, forward integration, backward and vertical integration, horizontal integration.
  • Creation of a conglomerate – historical perspectives and case study evaluation.
  • The role of the Competition Commission.
  • Managing change: strategic decisions, tactical decisions, Porters Five Competitive forces.
  • Corporate planning.
  • Contingency planning.
  • Crisis management.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 7: Understanding the layers in business administration

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore the different layers with business administration and relate practice to application, objectives and organisational structure.

1 Business personnel

  • Overview of a range of business personnel, their placement within the layers of business administration and their roles and responsibilities including: PA, office managers, human resources, general administrators and office workers.

2 Skills requirements

  • Overview of each role and the skills requirement to discharge role and responsibility. Discussion relating to ability and qualification related to experience.

3 Leadership

  • Origins of leadership within business administration, and within each layer.
  • Direction and alignment.
  • Relationships and qualities.
  • Empowerment and vision.
  • Mastery.
  • Empathy and values.

4 Future roles and responsibilities

  • Evaluation of key historical leaders and their contributions.
  • Consideration of the future of business administration: attributes, aims and objectives, motivation, global influence, technological advancement, opportunity and personal perceptions and expectations.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 8: Leadership: developing visionary concepts

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to examine visionary leadership practice related to theoretical concepts and models. This unit follows on from leadership discussions from unit 7 relating to business administration practices and expands the concepts and discussions to explore analytical perspectives and measurable performance strategies within visionary leadership.

1 Visionary leadership practice

  • Characteristics of innovators.
  • Repetition, representation and assistance as visionary concepts.
  • Effective decision making, strategic decision making, tactical decision making, operational decision making, multi criteria decision making.
  • Group techniques.
  • Steps in open-ended problem resolution.
  • Self-directed techniques.

2 Root cause analysis

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Defining root cause analysis and its appropriate application.
  • Steps in root cause analysis – causal factor checking, root cause identification, resolution strategies.

3 Theories of leadership

  • Great Man Theory.
  • Management leadership theories.
  • Relationship theories.
  • Process theories.
  • Behavioural theories.
  • Participative theories.
  • Situational theories.
  • Contingency theories.

4 Models and approaches

  • Aims and objectives of approaches and models.
  • Examples.
  • Learning growth perspectives.
  • Business process perspectives.
  • Customer process perspectives.
  • Financial process perspectives.
  • Outsourcing perspectives.
  • Appraisal and strategy development.
  • Investment visions.
  • Planning and control.
  • Reporting and feedback.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 9: Business consultancy

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to study the core principles and practices of business consultancy, and explore current trends and evolutionary strategies related to globalisation and the influences of external markets.

1 Principles of management practice

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Selection, qualifications and experience related to practice.
  • Small business advisory services and their role.
  • Client customer relations.
  • Conducting consultancy assignments.
  • Key attributes for consultants.
  • Client expectations.

2 The acquisition of skills

  • Key skills requirements.
  • Communication: relevance, application, exposure, empathy, listening.
  • Added value concepts.
  • Delivery of assignments.
  • Avoidance of arrogance.
  • Indemnity and responsibility.
  • Research and its relevance to acquisition of skills.

3 Evolving business requirements

  • Managing and planning for change.
  • Strategic development.
  • Change control processes.
  • Proactive and reactive processes.
  • Case study reviews.

4 Evaluate trends

  • Methods.
  • Market changes.
  • Niches.
  • Networking and power networks.
  • Trust and ethics related to client management and trend identification.
  • Quality assurance.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 10: The project management perspective

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore the principles, processes and approaches of project management within a range of business applications. Learners are also encouraged to engage in independent research in order to expand understanding and develop transferable knowledge relating to practical management applications.

1 Principles of project management

  • Goal and objective setting.
  • Deliverables and agreed timings.
  • Stakeholder planning and procurement processes.
  • Reporting, communication and feedback.
  • Transparency and openness in approach.
  • Responsibility and accountability.
  • Client presentations.

2 Problem solving

  • Techniques and approaches with case study analysis.
  • Defining and prioritising problems.
  • Cause and consequences in problem solving strategy development.
  • Appreciation inquiry.

3 Approaches

  • Task approach, process approach.
  • Streamlining.
  • Cost reduction.
  • Knowledge transfer.
  • Use of psychometrics in approach.
  • Competency analysis – relevance and application.
  • Growth perspectives – relevance and application.
  • Control and reporting strategies.
  • Case study review and analysis.

4 Programming

  • Aims and objectives of programming.
  • Programme design and strategy development.
  • Goals, missions and baselines.
  • Frameworks.
  • Scheduling and estimating.
  • Case study analysis.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 11: Resource management

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to study resource management, and associated processes, approaches and practices. Learners will also be encouraged to independently research applications within business where resource management skills and practices are important, for example within project management, operational management and related to financial planning.

1 Resource management

  • Overview and aims and objectives.
  • Roles within resource management.
  • Applications and uses related to company/business objectives.
  • People, equipment and labour.
  • Materials and products.
  • Using matrices and other resource management tools.
  • Timeline planning.
  • Relevance of resource management to business applications.

2 Data collection and analysis

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Types of data.
  • Methods of collection and analysis (observational, dialogic, documentation, numerical).
  • Investigative teams in processing.
  • Analysis – paired comparisons, grids, critical incidence etc.

3 Phasing

  • Rationale and purpose related to business applications and objectives.
  • Structured methods, software packages and spreadsheet approaches.
  • Related workflow planning and problem solving strategy development.
  • Example case study reviews.

4 Dissemination and reporting

  • Differentiation and application of summative and formative.
  • Aims and objectives of reporting and dissemination processes.
  • Routes and relevance (to business application and objectives.
  • Review of case examples.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 12: Research and writing for business

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore the types of research which informs business practice. Learners will also be given the opportunity to study the processes of applying research findings to technical strategies and will also encourage development of individual research skills through studying research proposals, documents and processes. The unit will also provide learners with an opportunity to explore writing skills in business applications and examine a range of formats and approaches.

1 Aims and objectives

  • Aims and objectives of business research.
  • Relationship between research topics and business applications.
  • Methods, sampling, data collection and analytical processes.
  • Empiricism in business research.
  • Differentiation between qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology in business research.
  • Discussion on the relevance and use of business research.
  • Action research in business.
  • Review of case studies and examples.

2 Processes, methods and inquiry

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Research processes related to client/business needs.
  • Rigor, ethics, credibility and validity.
  • Presentation and transparency.
  • Research proposals and structure.

3 Technical documentation

  • Aims and objectives of technical documentation.
  • Applications and how to keep documentation current.
  • Relevance and purpose related to content and business applications.
  • Structure, key wording and inclusions, peer review.
  • Target audiences, efficacy of dissemination.
  • Relationship to business research.

4 Report documentation

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Components and structure.
  • Tone and style.
  • Rigor and validity.
  • Coherence related to intended application and audience.
  • Relationship to business research.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 13: Human resource applications

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to study the historical origins of human resource practice and explore applications within business contexts. Learners will also be encouraged to engage in independent research in order to develop understanding of current Human Resource practice in relation to European and International influences and the ‘global’ markets and migration of workers.

1 Historical origins and development of human resource management (HRM)

  • Aims and objectives.
  • Historical development and emergence of practices.
  • Public sector development.
  • Patterns of employment and the labour markers.
  • Globalisation.

2 Soft HRM

  • The Harvard Model.
  • Employee influences on practice and business applications.
  • HR resource flow.
  • Rewards systems.
  • Work systems.
  • The four ‘C’s.
  • The Guest Model.
  • The Beer Model.
  • Case study evaluation.
  • Overlap of models and integration of techniques and strategies.

3 Hard HRM

  • The Michegan Model.
  • Missions, aims and objectives.
  • HR systems.
  • HR cycles – performance, development.
  • Financial aspects and implications.
  • Political, economic and social influences.
  • Overlap of models and integration.
  • Case study evaluation.

4 European dimension

  • Historical overview.
  • Aims and objectives.
  • Globalisation.
  • Brewster and Bournois Model.
  • Internalisation.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 14: Employment contracts

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to examine employment law related to contracts of employment. As this legislated process forms an important part of business application and process, learners are encouraged to evaluate the case studies and law precedent included in the unit and to engage in independent research in order to review current reforms, changes and practice.

1 Contract law

  • Elements of the contract – offer, acceptance, considerations, terms and conditions.
  • Definition of contract terms.
  • Position of minors in contracts.
  • Intention within contracts.
  • Influence of European law.
  • Identification of the Contract of Employment.
  • Case study review.
  • Precedent and legislative directives.
  • Employee status.

2 Forms of contract

  • Acts and legislation.
  • Statements of terms and relationships to forms of contract.
  • Implied and explicit terms.
  • Trade agreements.
  • Case study and precedent review.

3 Responsibilities of employers and businesses

  • Remuneration and hours of work.
  • Provision of work.
  • Working conditions and health and safety.
  • Vicarious liability.
  • Case study review and precedent.

4 Termination of contracts

  • Operation of law.
  • Legislative directives.
  • Mutual agreements between parties.
  • Common law dismissal.
  • Redundancy.
  • Unfair dismissal.
  • Conduct and capabilities.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 15: Managing conflicts and motivation in business applications

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore a variety of conflicts within business applications and to examine historical development of legislation and case law which provides frameworks for practice. Examples will centre on discrimination, torts and disputes.

Learners are also encouraged to evaluate case studies included within the unit in order to expand understanding of the dynamics of conflict and remedies applicable. In addition, the unit provides learners with an opportunity to study motivation within business applications and this provides balance to conflict issues as motivational strategies and tools are designed to prevent conflicts within the workplace and provide the workforce as a whole to have individual and collective goals.

1 The history of discrimination

  • Pre-legislative history.
  • Post-legislative history.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and its impact.
  • UK legislative sources.
  • European legislative sources.
  • Articles of Treaties.
  • Directives.
  • Shaping of anti-discrimination practices in the workplace.

2 Discrimination in the workplace

  • Differentiation – for example sex discrimination, harassment, disability discrimination, ethnicity, beliefs.
  • Cultural implications in the global market and migration of workers.
  • Perception and interpretation of discrimination.
  • The burden of proof and vicarious liability.
  • Acts and legislation.
  • Case study review.

3 Industrial conflict

  • History of industrial conflict.
  • Trade union development.
  • Corporate bodies.
  • Collective bargaining and its implications.
  • Intimidation and breaches of contracts.
  • Public order issues.
  • Torts arising.
  • Conflict management processes.

4 Motivation

  • Individual and collective strategies.
  • Aims and objectives.
  • Goal setting.
  • Theories relating to motivational approaches and management principles in business applications – content theories, process theories, maslow, Herzberg.
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
  • Employer’s role in motivation workforce.
  • Self-motivation.
  • Management motivation.

Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma Unit 16: Recruitment and selection processes

The aim of this unit is to provide learners with an opportunity to explore and evaluate recruitment and selection processes within a range of business applications; and to develop understanding of modern appraisal processes related to workplace performance.

1 Recruitment

  • Who recruits and why within large and small businesses.
  • Rational, aims and objectives.
  • Direct and indirect recruitment.
  • Processes and procedures.
  • Phases of recruitment.
  • Formal and informal recruitment.
  • Source of recruitment.

2 Selection

  • Role relevance and business applications.
  • Qualifications, experience and merit.
  • Considerations for selection – criteria.
  • Interview techniques and strategies.
  • Types of interviews.
  • Personality testing/psychometrics.
  • Obtaining references – legal positions, ethics and confidentiality.
  • Role of human resources in large business.
  • Making the appointment.
  • Internal/external appointments.

3 Performance appraisal

  • Definition, aims and objectives.
  • The relevance of performance appraisal in large and small businesses.
  • Who conducts the appraisal, self appraisal/reflection.
  • Managing for the performance cycle.
  • Different forms of appraisal and outcomes/action points.
  • Review strategies.
  • Criticisms of performance appraisals.
  • Positive use of motivation related to performance appraisal.

4 Training and development

  • Individual and collective requirements, aims and objectives – related to type and size of business, applications and structure of organisation.
  • Legal requirements within organisations.
  • Continued professional development provisions and purpose.
  • The development of a learning organisation.
  • Organisational conflict related to training.
  • Self- training.
  • Approaches.
  • Who does the training?
  • Funding and examples.


This Level 4+5 Accredited Business Studies Applications Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 6 Diploma or Degree course in a related field.

You can view our other Level 4/5 Diplomas here: