Introducing the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business

Mon May 16 23:00:00 UTC 2016

This is an introduction to the one-A-level-size qualification in the BTEC National Business suite.

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The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business (601/7159/5) is a 360-GLH qualification made up of:

  • 2 mandatory 90 GLH units: Exploring Business (Unit 1), and Developing a Marketing Campaign (Unit 2)
  • 1 mandatory 120 GLH unit: Personal and Business Finance (Unit 3)
  • 1 optional 60 GLH unit from a choice of 5.

Unit 1 - Exploring Business

Unit 1 is internally assessed and subject to external standards verification.

  • Learning Aim A considers features of businesses, stakeholders and communication.
  • Learning Aim B introduces business organization and objectives with Learning Aim C introducing the external environment.
  • The focus of Learning Aim D is the different types of market.
  • In Learning E learners investigate innovation and enterprise.

It is envisaged that this unit will be assessed in 3 assignments:

  1. Learning Aims A and B
  2. Learning Aims C and D
  3. Learning Aim E.

Unit 2 - Developing a Marketing Campaign

Unit 2 is assessed by a task set and marked by Pearson and completed under supervised conditions.

The content is similar to the content in Unit 3 and part of Unit 9 in the current specification.

Learning Aim A introduces the principles and purposes of marketing. In Learning Aim B learners develop an understanding of the rationale behind a campaign before considering how a campaign is planned in Learning Aim C.

The Unit 2 task will be available for the first time in the summer 2017 exam series and twice a year thereafter (January and summer). Learners will be provided with a case study 2 weeks before a supervised assessment period in order to carry out research. The supervised assessment period is a maximum of 3 hours and can be arranged over a number of sessions in a period timetabled by Pearson.

The task comprises 2 activities, the first on the rationale and the second on the marketing campaign plan. Each activity would be assessed against a generic mark grid. The sample assessment material includes an example of a task and the generic marking grids.

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Unit 3 - Personal and Business Finance

Unit 3 is assessed by a paper-based 2-hour written test with learners working under exam conditions with formal invigilation. The test must be taken at a specified time on a set date.

The content is similar to the content in Unit 5 and part of Unit 2 on the current specification. There is also some overlap with the first unit of the current BTEC National in Personal and Business Finance.

Learning Aim A introduces learners to money, payment systems and personal finance before Learning Aim B helps students explore the financial sector.  

Learning Aim C establishes the basics of accounting before sources of finance are covered in Learning Aim D.

Learning Aim E helps students understand cash flow forecasts and break-even before they move on to financial statements and ratios in Learning Aim F.

The exam assesses knowledge, application, analysis and evaluation in 2 parts. The first part of the exam (worth a third of the marks) is based on Learning Aims and B. The rest of the exam assesses Learning Aims C-F.

The exam has a total of 100 marks with a mixture of question types ranging from 2-mark knowledge questions up to 12-mark questions which assess all 4 assessment objectives.

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One optional 60 GLH unit

The optional unit is internally assessed.

There is a choice of 5 units :

  • Recruitment and Selection Process (Unit 8)
  • Investigating Customer Service (Unit 14)
  • Market Research (Unit 22)
  • The English Legal System (Unit 23)
  • Work Experience in Business (Unit 27)


To achieve a Level 3 Extended Certificate all 4 units must be completed and a Pass or above achieved in the 3 mandatory units.

Achievement in each unit attracts a number of grade points. The grade points are added together and the grade threshold table determines the final grade.

  Optional unit Units 1 and 2 Unit 3 Final grade
  60 GLH 90 GLH 120 GLH 360 GLH
U 0 0 0 0
Pass 6 9 12 36
Merit 10 15 20 52
Distinction 16 24 32 74
Distinction* - - - 90
Colin Leith, Business and Economics subject advisor
Colin LeithBusiness and Economics
UK: 0333 016 5450
Intl: + 44 (0)333 016 5450
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