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Course - Business Studies

Business activity is a feature of everyone’s life. The Business Studies syllabus encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business in ways students will encounter throughout their lives. It offers learning from the planning of a small business to the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resources in large businesses.

Contemporary business issues and case studies are embedded in the course to provide a stimulating and relevant framework for students to apply to problems encountered in the business environment. Business Studies fosters intellectual, social and moral development by assisting students to think critically about the role of business and its ethical responsibilities to society.

Download the PDF (below) to get the full course description.


What is HSC Business Studies about?

I think HSC Business Studies is actually a pretty fun course. I think if you were asked to name 50 businesses or 50 animals, you’d actually have an easier time thinking of 50 businesses. This course helps us to realise that business activity (designing, producing, marketing, delivering, supporting) affects all of us. During our lives we are all consumers, investors and employers/employees and we rely on the business sector for much of our quality of life in terms of goods and services. What makes Business Studies unique is that you explore entrepreneurship and running a small business in Year 11. Then, in Year 12, you look specifically at the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resources in large businesses.

I’ve had many friends (myself included) decide to do marketing (Bachelor of Media), finance (Bachelor of Commerce), human resources (Bachelor of Laws) because of what they’ve liked and enjoyed in Business Studies. In addition to the material that you learn, HSC Business Studies also helps you to develop your intellectual and writing skills. It also gives you a chance to participate in social and moral debates such as pollution, minimum wages, exploitation, and other ethical issues concerning business.

What are the Core Topics for HSC Business Studies?

Topic 1: Operations

Fundamentally, operations is about the working or the running of a business. It’s about understanding how a business starts with raw materials and ends up with finished goods or services. The key points you need to know about for operations include: 

  • Operations management (turning inputs into outputs).
  • How businesses compete in markets.
  • Differentiation of products and services.
  • Ethics in worldwide/global supply chains.
  • Transforming inputs (these do the transformation of inputs into outputs and include facilities/factories and human resources).
  • Transformed inputs (materials, information, customers).
  • Influences on operations.
  • Balancing cost with quality.
  • Inventory management (LIFO, FIFO, JIT).
  • How operations management varies between business in the goods or in the services sector.

Topic 2: Marketing

Marketing is perhaps the easiest and most familiar topic. The aim of this topic is to learn how businesses use marketing to try to convince customers to choose their brand over a competitors. The key points you need to know about include: 

  • Marketing successfully to ensure the business continues to generate sales revenues.
  • Understand the factors of consumer choices (psychological, social-cultural, economic, government).
  • Ethical marketing.
  • Analysing a business’ market position, setting objectives and evaluating results.
  • Market segmenting.
  • The ‘7Ps’: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Processes, Physical Evidence.
  • Global marketing and global branding.

Topic 3: Finance

Finance and financial management is super important in business. This topic uses some maths (don’t worry, it’s just addition and a few ratios i.e. division!). This topic often requires the most practice but it’s also extremely useful later in life. The main points you need to know include:

  • Finance helps to keep a business running.
  • Internal finance comes from retained profits and external sources of finance include debt (borrowing money) and equity (shares).
  • Profitability, growth, efficiency, liquidity (short-term cash flows) and solvency (long-term ability to pay for stuff).
  • Short-term V Long-term borrowing.

Topic 4: Human Resources

Human Resource Management (HRM) is pretty straight forward and looks at how a business can organise it’s people to effectively complete tasks and objectives. The key points include: 

  • Stakeholders (employers, employer associations, employees, unions, government organisations, society).
  • Regulation and Legislation.
  • Occupation health and safety.
  • Workers compensation.
  • Anti-discrimination.
  • Training and development, maintaining good employees (through wages or other), separation (firing, retirement).
  • Resolving conflict and fights in the workplace.
  • Dealing with absenteeism, staff turnover and improving worker satisfaction.

If you have further questions, please contact:
HSIE Coordinator - Mr Anthony Pollard