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SCQF Level 6 (24 SCQF credit points)

Highers are the main route into higher education courses at university or college, including Degree, Higher National Diploma (HND) and Higher National Certificate (HNC) level courses.

Most candidates sit Highers in S5 or S6, although it is possible to sit them in S4.

Business Management: Higher

Why Business Management?

Business plays an important role in society. We all rely on businesses to create wealth, prosperity, jobs and choices. Therefore, it is essential for society to have effective businesses and business managers if they are to sustain this role.

Learning Business Management gives you the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to understand contemporary business. You will gain an understanding of the dynamic, changing, competitive and economic environment of industry and commerce. It develops skills in communicating and presenting business-related information, in a variety of formats, to the various stakeholders of an organisation.

The skills you learn on this course are valuable in a wide range of career sectors such as finance, transport, manufacturing or engineering — whether as a manager, employee or self-employed person.

Entry to the Course

Entry is at the discretion of the school or college but you would normally be expected to have:

Course Outline

This course aims to highlight the ways in which organisations operate and the steps they take to achieve their strategic goals. This is achieved by combining theoretical and practical aspects of learning through the use of real-life business contexts. The skills, knowledge and understanding will be embedded in current business theory and practice and reflect the integrated nature of organisations, their functions and their decision-making processes.

The course consists of three compulsory units and the course assessment unit.

Understanding Business (6 SCQF credit points)

In this unit you will: 

  • understand the ways in which organisations in the private, public and third sectors operate
  • carry out activities that highlight the opportunities and constraints on these organisations in the pursuit of their strategic goals
  • analyse and evaluate the impact that the external environment has on an organisation’s activity
  • consider the implications of a range of external factors that affect an organisation’s decision making.

Management of People and Finance (6 SCQF credit points)

In this unit you will:

  • deepen your understanding and critical awareness of the issues facing organisations in the management of people and finance
  • carry out activities that will extend your grasp of relevant theories, concepts and procedures used in planning for an organisation’s success, including leadership, motivation and finance
  • explain, analyse and evaluate relevant business information, in each of these contexts, relating to business structure and activity.

Management of Marketing and Operations (6 SCQF credit points)

In this unit you will:

  • deepen your understanding of the importance to organisations of having effective marketing and operations systems
  • carry out activities that will extend your grasp of relevant theories, concepts and procedures used by organisations in order to improve and/or maintain quality and competitiveness
  • learn about the importance of satisfying both internal and external customers’ needs, along with a critical awareness of the issues facing organisations in relation to marketing and operations.

Course Assessment (6 SCQF credit points)

The course assessment has two components:

  • a question paper (70 marks)
  • an assignment (30 marks).

The question paper will assess your breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills accumulated across the course. The question paper will be set and marked by SQA.

The assignment will give you the opportunity to apply and extend your research, analytical, evaluative and decision making skills.


Your work will be assessed by your teacher on an ongoing basis throughout the course. You must pass all three units and the course assessment to gain the course qualification.

The course assessment is graded A-D. Your grade will depend on the total mark for all the units in your course.


If you complete the course it may lead to:

  • other SQA qualifications in Business Management or related areas.

Further study, training or employment in: