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Bringing learning to life

cE n A n i F D n ion A t A r t S i n i ADm , S S E n i S u in B

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a m o l p i D d e c e? n c a n v a d n A i F e h d t n na o i t a What is r t s i n i m d A , s s e n i in Bus The Advanced Diploma is a new qualification offered alongside A levels and Advanced Apprenticeships. By 2011, there will be seventeen Diploma subjects available in England.

to three of the most exciting, dynamic and challenging sectors in the UK, and gives them hands-on experience of key activities, like generating business ideas, carrying out market research, practising selling techniques and preparing for work.

The Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance is usually a two-year full-time qualification for young people aged 16 and over. It introduces students

The Diploma also helps students develop other valuable skills such as working independently, managing their own time and working as part of a team.

ent that “i’m confid a will the Diplom ents ser ve stud embark wishing to rsity on a unive the fields career in s manageof busines nce and ment, fina related businessa strong areas with n to foundatio lly study successfu level.” at higher , arr ington Dr jane H n a e D A s sociate dies and duate Stu undergra ent, Developm Academic e y of th universit ristol ngland, B E f o st e W

? t n e r e f f i d t How is i The Advanced Diploma offers a unique blend of theoretical study and practical learning, and allows students to learn in a work-related setting – both real and simulated. Because it has been developed with employers and universities, the learning is put in context, and captures the relevance – and excitement – of the subject. The Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance gives students an insight into three profitable sectors, and helps them develop their thinking, questioning, creative and communication skills. It also 02

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equips them with the knowledge and understanding to take on different roles, providing the kind of flexibility that employers are often looking for. Unlike other qualifications that focus on sector-specific skills in isolation, the Diploma has a cross-disciplinary approach. This way, students learn to apply their skills in various business and organisational settings and get a good idea of their career options. The Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance gives students a fully-rounded education. It provides them with the skills they need for further study or future employment in many areas, and doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a sector-related career or university course.


? e r a p m o c t How does i The Advanced Diploma is a level 3 qualification equivalent to 3.5 A levels – although it takes broadly the same time to complete as 3 A levels or a BTEC National Diploma. The Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) awards the qualification a maximum of 490 UCAS points (the same as 3.5 A levels). All UK universities will accept the right Advanced Diploma at the right grade for entry onto a degree course.

Principal Learning Main subject e.g. Engineering

Some will also expect students to take a particular A level or other qualification as their additional and specialist learning option to meet specific course entry requirements. Admissions criteria for 2010 (published by UCAS in May 2009) indicate that a Diploma is suitable for entry to about 80% of all UK undergraduate courses. For details of individual college and university positions on the Advanced Diploma, go to www.ucas.ac.uk/students/beforeyouapply/ diplomas/14-19diplomas/statements

Generic Learning

Project

Functional skills

Work experience

Foundation Diploma

Practical assessments + 1 exam

Project

ICT / Maths / English Level 1

Minimum 10 days

Higher Diploma

Practical assessments + 1 exam

Project

ICT / Maths / English Level 2

Minimum 10 days

ICT / Maths / English Level 2

Minimum 10 days

Advanced Diploma

Practical assessments + 2 or 3 exams

Extended Project

Additional or Specialist Learning Optional courses agreed with your teacher

Choose from a range of qualifications including: •

BTECs

GCSEs

A levels

Equivalent to

5 x GCSEs,    (grade D – G) 7 x GCSEs,   (grade A* – C)

3.5 A levels

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What will students learn? The Advanced Diploma is made up of three core elements: principal learning, generic learning and additional and specialist learning. These are described in more detail over the next few pages.

g n i n r a e l l a Princip The principal learning is compulsory and consists of eleven business, administration and finance topics that teach students the main principles and practices for these sectors.

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Business enterprise Helps students develop entrepreneurial skills and link their study with the real world, allowing them to develop a holistic view of the business world in the global context. How? Students may set up, trade and close a business. They could also explore issues of risk attached to these activities and present their findings and solutions. Why? Knowing the factors that impact on the chances of business success is the first step towards identifying and dealing with any problems. Business communication Students look at current communication practices and theories while developing professional communication skills through presentations, role play simulations and real-life situations. How? Students could use appropriate business language and approaches to produce different written documents or give professional presentations. Why? When communicating in business, ‘it’s not just what you say, but the way that you say it’ that counts. Business administration Emphasising the importance of effective administration, this topic examines a range of administrative skills, management principles and techniques. How? Students could use project management processes and IT applications to plan and organise a business event with other team members. Why? Almost all businesses rely on effective and efficient administration to support their day-to-day activities. Personal finance and financial services Looks at people’s attitudes towards money, at types of financial services and products, personal financial planning and protection available to consumers. How? Students could research and make decisions about a range of financial products and services. They could also provide a short- to medium-term financial plan. Why? Taking responsibility for your personal finances and managing them efficiently is essential for everybody whether working in the sector or not. Business finance and accounting Introduces accounting activities and roles including taxation, budgeting, auditing, and interpreting simple financial statements. How? Students could, for example, give their opinion on the financial performance and position of a business from its financial accounts. Why? All businesses must obtain and control their finances efficiently. People who help businesses do this are valued highly and often rewarded well. Marketing and sales Explores international, national and local marketing concepts and principles and their application. Looks at branding and other marketing techniques, and at the role of advertising and the media. How? Students could demonstrate their selling skills through simulations and real-learning environments.

Why? Marketing and sales ensure that customers get the right product, at the right price, at the right time and help them through the buying process. Teams in business Looks at the roles and responsibilities of team members, the contribution made by teams, and leadership and management techniques. How? Students could work in a team to reach specific objectives, assessing their own contribution and identifying areas for improvement. Why? Teams are very much a part of an organisation’s success. Collaboration is often the key to doing the task better and more efficiently. Customer service Students investigate the principles underpinning good customer service, its policies and practices, and associated laws and regulations. How? Students could, for example, compare and contrast the customer experience associated with online service and on the high street.. Why? The better the customer service, the better the organisation will fare in the competitive marketplace. Corporate social responsibility – employers and employees Looks at different types of responsible practice, the ethical issues businesses face, and the reasons behind business investment in the community. How? Working in a group, students could, for example, analyse the impact on performance or profit of different types of corporate social responsibility. Why? Organisations’ investment in communities can bring benefits to the organisation itself, the communities and the planet. Responding to change in business Students explore the factors that lead to change in business, and how individuals respond, managing their own responses and influencing others. How? Students could investigate and report on a programme of change and evaluate the impact on the business and a sample of employees. Why? The world of work is changing rapidly. Managing your responses to the many changes you will inevitably face in your career is a key survival skill. People at work Considers sources of information and advice about occupational and career pathways, the recruitment process, performance management, and statutory and contractual rights and responsibilities. How? Students could, for example, prepare and take part in mock interviews for a job or place at university. Why? Most of us spend much of our adult lives in the workplace, so it’s important we find and secure a career that suits us.

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g n i n r a e l c i r Gene As part of the generic learning, which is the same across all Advanced Diplomas, students will develop a number of transferable skills that are essential to their self-development. These include functional skills in maths, English and ICT as well as personal, learning and thinking skills. Students will also get the opportunity to do work experience as part of their generic learning. Functional skills (Maths, English and ICT) Functional skills give students the practical ability to use maths, English and ICT in everyday life, work and study. Advanced Diploma students have to develop and apply these skills in all the work they do.

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Functional skills are separately-assessed, stand-alone qualifications that all students have to complete at level 2 to achieve their Advanced Diploma. However, students who have already completed these qualifications before starting their Diploma do not need to repeat them. Functional skills are also incorporated into the principal learning. Advanced Diploma students in Business, Administration and Finance will, for example: • construct personal financial plans, calculating interest, commission and borrowing amounts and costs • use electronic systems to plan and prioritise activities. Developing a good standard of numeracy, literacy and IT skills is essential for all students – even if they do not choose a career in business or finance.


Personal, learning and thinking skills

Work experience

Throughout their Diploma, students will develop six personal, learning and thinking skills:

The Diploma gives students the opportunity to do at least 10 days’ work experience. They could, for example:

• team working • creative thinking • independent enquiry • self-management • effective participation • reflective learning. These skills are not separately assessed, but are integrated into the assessment criteria for the principal learning and the extended project. They are vital skills in both life and work, and are embedded in the secondary curriculum.

• work at a large local firm seeing how it operates and how the different departments interact • work with an internet business, getting to grips with customer service. Work experience is a great way for students to apply the knowledge and skills learnt on the course, and to further develop their personal, learning and thinking skills. It is one of the best ways to get insider experience, and may also help students develop project ideas for their course. Work experience does not, however, have to be within a specific sector, as business, administrative and financerelated skills are used in many different organisations. In fact, students who take on work experience in a different industry will become more aware of other career paths and develop a broader understanding of how their skills can be applied elsewhere. 07

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t c e j o r p d e The extend As part of the Advanced Diploma, students will complete an extended project to demonstrate their ability to work independently. They are required to plan, prepare, develop and realise a project, and present the final outcome. Students could either explore a subject in real depth or broaden the topic by drawing connections between different areas or subjects. Either way, they have to choose a subject that complements and develops the themes and topics related to their Diploma. What types of projects can they do? The end result could be a written piece of work, either a report (with findings from an investigation or study)

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or a dissertation presenting an argument – for example, a report looking at the ways a new company might take on existing competition. Or it could be a practical piece of work, either a design, an artefact or a performance – for example, devising market research and interviewing shoppers in a local shopping mall. How does the project compare? The extended project is a qualification in itself – equivalent to half an A level in size and A2 in level. It is also available outside the Diploma to A level and other students. The project is worth a maximum of 60 UCAS points and has been welcomed by universities as a great preparation for students who want to go on to higher education.


ng i n r a e l t s i l ia c e p s d n a l Additiona The additional and specialist learning lets students choose between a wide variety of optional courses. This helps them develop their individual interests, abilities and career aspirations. This could be: • a specialist subject to develop their particular business, admin and finance interests further, like marketing, business languages, HR, medical secretary, administration, IT specialist software or book-keeping. • a subject that would help them get onto a specific university course, like an AS or A level in, say, economics, law, maths, ICT or Spanish. • a subject that reflects a student’s other interests and career ambitions, like a science or a creative subject like music.

There is a wide range of qualifications available, including A levels and BTECs. For a full list, see the National Database of Accredited Qualifications at www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk How many can they choose? Students can choose more than one subject, depending on the size of the qualifications they choose. They would, for example, only be able to take one A level or one large specialist qualification. But if they choose to take a smaller qualification, like an AS level, they could take two or more. What about extra qualifications? Students are also able to complete extra qualifications outside the Diploma. They could, for example, take another A level if they want to pursue a particular interest in addition to their Diploma. 09

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? d a e l t i l l i Where w The Advanced Diploma is designed to develop a wide range of skills needed for work, further training or university. It can be a first step towards a career in business and finance – or in a range of other sectors. Going on to further education The Advanced Diploma is a great foundation for students choosing to continue to further and higher education. Students could take up an Advanced Apprenticeship in insurance, banking, financial or mortgage advice, investment or pension administration. Or they could do a foundation degree in areas like financial services, financial markets and management, or financial services and accounting. The Diploma could also lead to a wide range of undergraduate degrees in subjects such as law, business and administration, accountancy or IT – either full time or part time combined with a job.

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Going into employment There are plenty of opportunities for students going straight into employment. The Advanced Diploma could lead to work in areas like wholesale banking, investments, insurance, accountancy, retail banking, financial advice and credit leasing and finance or any one of the vast range of different businesses operating across the globe. However, the majority of jobs require applicants to have completed further or higher education. Students who have completed a degree can head for a career in areas like human resources, sales and marketing, financial services, learning and development or any one of the vast range of different businesses operating across the globe. Preparing students for the future Completing an Advanced Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance doesn’t mean that students have to choose a degree or a career in these sectors. Students may go on into an unrelated – or less related – area, like psychology, French, or IT. Whichever path the student chooses, the Diploma provides them with skills that are relevant to the modern day workplace and degree-level study.


efinitely “i would d ed by be attract ates job candid ttained who had a a in the Diplom Business, ation Administr ce; and Finan t is its conten levant entirely re ctical to the pra f aspects o star ting, and managing ga developin in the business ector financial s g with and workin ple.” other peo ebb, Patr ick W nt Accounta d re e chart

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? n o i t a m r o f n i e r o m t n a W HoW to FinD out morE

HoW to DoWnLoAD tHiS LEAFLEt

For more information about the Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance, go to: www.direct.gov.uk/diplomas www.baf-diploma.org.uk

To download this leaflet, go to:

For more information about: • the new 14-19 curriculum, go to www.dcsf.gov.uk/14-19 • the structure of Diplomas and resources to support their delivery by schools and colleges, including illustrations of how students might progress from an Advanced Diploma course, go to www.qca.org.uk/diploma • individual university and college statements about the Diploma, go to www.ucas.ac.uk/students/ beforeyouapply/diplomas/14-19diplomas • awarding body specifications: • Edexcel – www.edexcel.com • AQA/City and Guilds – www.diplomainfo.org.uk

• www.direct.gov.uk/diplomas • www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications and use the search reference DCSF-00379-2009 HoW to orDEr morE coPiES oF tHiS LEAFLEt To order more copies of this leaflet: • go to www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications • call 0845 602 260 • textphone 0845 605 560 Make sure you quote the reference 00379-2009LEF-EN. Extracts from this document may be reproduced for non-commercial research, education or training purposes on the condition that the source is acknowledged. For any other use, please contact hmsolicensing@opsi.x.gsi.gov.uk

• EDI – www.ediplc.com

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Crown Copyright 2009.


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