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Alexandra College

Business Studies

Do you think of yourself as the next greatest entrepreneur, masterminding new products and running a global corporation; or maybe you dream of opening your own restaurant, or making a living as a successful writer, film producer, or recording artist?

Perhaps you fancy running your own publishing company like Rosemary Delaney, Managing Editor of ‘Women Mean Business’ Magazine.

Business opportunities are at your fingertips – just be prepared to work hard and keep an eye on what is going on around you in the business world.

Business is mainly about people, products and services. It’s about having ideas, spotting opportunities, having the courage to chase your dreams, and sticking with it when the going gets tough. It’s about understanding people as customers, investors, employees and business partners.

The Leaving Certificate Business course has been designed to prepare you for this dynamic (rapidly changing) business environment. It emphasises the practical skills needed by entrepreneurs, the essential elements of a business plan, the steps involved in developing new products and marketing them to a national or international market. It focuses on the key principles and activities of management.

It outlines the global economic environment in which all business now operates and it examines the ethical and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

If you have already studied Business at Junior Certificate level, this course will build on your knowledge. If you are new to the subject, however, the course is designed to take you through everything from the beginning. To succeed in this subject, you will need an interest in what’s going on around you, a willingness to try new things, and plenty of common sense.

The Business Syllabus for Senior Cycle

The course deals with the more practical aspects of business.

It encourages the students to place themselves in the role of entrepreneurs and business managers and to develop a critical understanding of the overall environment in which business operates.

The course is divided into three main sections:

Section A – People in Business

This section looks at the importance of people in a business setting whether they be managers, investors, producers, suppliers, trade unionists or consumers.   It looks at their interaction with each other.

Section B – Enterprise

This section illustrates the process of enterprise both in setting up a new business and in developing a new product or service.

Section C – Environment

In this section, students analyse those factors that govern modern business such as competition from multinationals and the impact of technology. Generally speaking, much of the material covered is encountered by students in everyday living e.g. Advertising, Marketing, Insurance, Taxation, European Union, Privatisation, Cash flows etc.

The syllabus is also linked to an exciting coverage of Irish companies each Friday in the Irish Times –

The Leaving Certificate exam paper is divided into three sections, which reflect the content of the syllabus and within which there is ample choice.

Career Links: Banking, Insurance, Business Management, Marketing, Advertising, Hotel Management etc.

Why Study Business?

  • Studying business encourages initiative and self-reliance in each student.
  • It develops a clear understanding of the role of an enterprise.
  • Students learn the appropriate enterprise skills.
  • Students develop a positive and ethical attitude to enterprise in personal, business and public life.
  • It develops a critical understanding of the overall environment in which business functions.
  • Students are prepared to participate in an ever-changing and evolving business environment and to face the challenges of their adult and working lives.
  • It contributes to a balanced and appropriate general education and also acts as a basis for further education.


The syllabus is assessed in relation to the syllabus objectives laid down by the Department of Education and Skills. There is a written terminal examination – the Leaving Certificate paper. The syllabus contains outcomes common to Ordinary or Higher Levels and some that are designated Higher Level (HL) only.

A variety of questioning techniques are used, while a flexible and varied approach is taken to the style of questioning in the written examination.  The paper consists of a series of short questions, one compulsory Applied Business Question (ABQ) and a considerable choice of long questions.

Accounting For Leaving Certificate

Accounting is the language of business and is needed now more than ever before. It is the backbone of all businesses and therefore is a very broad subject. Today, there are more CEOs with degrees in accounting than any other area of study.

Studying accounting provides a firm foundation on which you can build a variety of careers. There are famous writers, singers and of course business people whose first degree was in accounting, such as John Grisham, Tim DuBois, the head of Arista Records and JP Morgan.

When you study accounting, you position yourself in a very desirable place as a potential employee. Choose accounting and study in a field that is always in demand.

Why study Accounting?

  • It provides an educational background that will help you succeed in a wide variety of jobs.
  • The security offered by accounting positions is greater than with jobs in some other fields.
  • Accounting positions and other jobs related to accounting are available all over the world, allowing you the freedom to live and work in a variety of places.
  • Anyone who has their mind set on a career in business will benefit from having an accounting background to help them succeed.
  • It encourages the development of self-reliance, mental organisation and agility, clear and logical thinking, planning habits, methods of investigation and processes whereby accuracy can be ensured
  • It enhances numeracy skills and promotes awareness of the use of figures computations and statistics in the world of business and enterprise
  • It exposes students to aspects of business and enterprise with a view to career and working life, additional studies in accounting or as a basis for further education.


Most students approaching the study of economics for the first time are already familiar with much of its subject matter even though they may be unaware of it.

Newspapers, magazines, radio and television keep us informed about all kinds of economic issues.   Brexit and its many implications, unemployment, inflation, wages, strikes and industrial unrest, prices, taxation, interest rates and housing are just some of the topics that will be covered in the Leaving Certificate course. These are issues that can affect all of us, either directly or indirectly; whether as a consumer, a producer, a worker, a borrower, a saver or just as a well informed citizen. Each of us has a vested interest in understanding how a modern economy works if we are to make properly informed decisions about matters affecting our own lives.

The Leaving Certificate paper is divided into two sections:

  • Section A consisting of short questions
  • Section B where candidates have to answer only four out of eight questions on different topics.

Students do not need to have studied Business Studies to Junior Certificate level.

An interest and average proficiency in mathematics is desirable.

Suggested career links: Accountancy, Finance, Banking, Marketing, and Sales Management.

The New Junior Cycle In Business Studies (2016)

The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA)

Business Studies in the Junior Cycle prepares students for participation in the dynamic and energetic world of Business. The students are encouraged to actively engage with their own learning. Business studies will be brought to life in the classroom because students will be encouraged to be ‘creative’ for example, by generating new business ideas, where teachers will empower them to realise those ideas.

The new Junior Cycle is broken into three key strands:

  1. Personal Finance focuses on students making informed decisions to effectively and responsibly manage their financial resources.
  2. Enterprise encourages students to identify opportunities and develops an understanding of the financial, marketing and operational functions of an organisation.
  3. Our Economy enables students to understand the dynamic relationship between the local, national and international economic situation.


The assessment of business studies for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBA) and a final assessment.

CBA1 (Business in Action group project) takes place at the end of second year and students have a four-week period to complete this CBA.

CBA2 (individual Presentation) takes place at the end of the first term in third year over a three-week period.

The Final examination takes place at the end of third year as normal and is set and assessed by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).