Our new Level 3 Certificate and Extended Certificate in Applied Business

Friday 3 Jul 2015

From September 2016, we will be launching our new Level 3 Applied Business qualifications, which will replace the existing A-level Applied Business.

We are working with teachers, subject experts and higher education to develop new Applied Business qualifications that combine a familiar style of learning with refreshed content and an updated structure.

Whilst the qualifications build on the content in the current A-level Applied Business, the content will also be refreshed. There will be new areas of business introduced for 16 – 19 year olds looking to study business in a vocational and applied context.

Our draft specifications will be available from the start of the 2015/16 academic year.

Key elements of the new qualifications you will find familiar

  • they will count towards both performance tables and UCAS points
  • we will offer two qualifications: a Certificate of 180 guided learning hours (equivalent to the AS) and an Extended Certificate of 360 guided learning hours (equivalent to an A-level)
  • 60 guided learning hours for each unit
  • same basic structure as the A-level Applied – 3 units in each qualification
  • optional choices in the Extended Certificate qualification
  • two examined units (1 in the Certificate and 1 in the Extended Certificate)
  • most other units are internally assessed and externally moderated
  • there will be a strong thematic continuity with A-level Applied units. For example, you will cover units in Financial planning, Investigating business, Managing people, Business planning and Marketing communications

Key elements of the new qualifications that are designed to refresh and innovate


•Updated areas of business including Personal enterprise, e-Business implementation and Managing an event

•The externally assessed assignment for Personal enterprise provides students with an opportunity for entrepreneurship

•Integrated assessment of the internally assessed units ensures greater relevance and realism for learners

•Criterion-referenced mark schemes for internal assessment (ie a move away from mark bands)

Do you want to know more about the new qualifications?

If you would like to know more about the qualifications, please contact Simon Richards on techlevels@aqa.org.uk