Professional Pathways - Business

This is a Level 3 technical qualification in Business which has been carefully developed by Ark and is running in four of their schools with great success. The qualification at the heart of the programme is both challenging and rigorous. It is respected by employers and universities, and provides a balance between academic skills and work-readiness skills. The programme is supported and endorsed by major businesses who believe the programme is excellent preparation for the world of work, and creates the type of students that they would want to employ. Ark Academy is currently working closely with Lloyds Banking to deliver the course and our students visit their offices and meet their employees on a regular basis.

The qualification focuses on project-based learning (70%) combined with exams (30%). It is equivalent to three A Levels and holds the same number of UCAS points. Students have the opportunity to practice employability skills, both within the classroom and with businesses – this includes developing their IT skills, giving them lots of opportunities to practice presenting, and helping them to build contacts and networks. They will also receive career mentoring to help them make a real and informed choice about what to do when they leave school. The qualification will allow them to apply to top universities, competitive school leaver programmes, and apprenticeships with respected companies.

Professional Pathways may focus simply on business but students are expected to undertake a wide range of units including:

  • Exploring the Business Environment
  • Developing a Marketing Campaign
  • Personal and Business Finance
  • Managing an Event
  • International Business
  • Principles of Management
  • Business Decision Making

In addition, there are units in human resources, accounting, marketing, and law.

This course is demanding and academically challenging, but in a different way to A Levels. Students will need a minimum of 5A*-C, including English and Maths, but they also need to be prepared to work independently on projects. There are some exam-style assessments, but most of the course is assessed through projects. These require students to work independently to write up their work, and to bring it together under the success criteria.