Business and Management


Business and Management HL

What Its All About

If you’re a creative person that loves to think outside the box, then Business and Management is really the subject for you! Business and Management (or B&M as it is more commonly known) at Higher Level offers a glimpse into the world of business, equipping you with practical skills for your future, regardless of your career path. You’ll learn how Apple markets its products, how Starbucks trains its baristas, how Zalora is expanding rapidly and more.

The Syllabus

As a student, you will be encouraged to think laterally about business concepts and knowledge from outside the textbook is very much welcome. The syllabus includes tools and content from the likes of Michael Porter and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) across 6 main topics; Business Operations, Human Resources, Accounts and Finance, Marketing, Operations Management and Business Strategy. The content is generally manageable for most students.


The Internal Assessment (IA) for HL involves drafting a report on a business of your choice. Your seniors have done their IAs on businesses like AirAsia and Hyflux and the entire process is pretty fun and rewarding (unlike some other really painful IAs). It’s important for you to choose a business that you’re passionate about to score well for your IA.

The Extras

B&M is probably one of the most fun IB subjects as it covers a broad range of topics, which are relevant in everyday life – budgeting, forecasting and leadership. The course often goes beyond the syllabus, discussing everyday news and opening your eyes to the world around you. Another plus is that B&M students get to participate in business competitions such as the NTU Cashflow competition and the JA-FedEx ITC, which our students have won before.

Business vs Econs – Apples vs Oranges?

B&M is also often compared to Economics as a subject, but both are very different. If you’re in Econs class, you would probably discuss the effects of a change of apple prices on orange prices, draw a graph with some arrows and write an essay about why it all matters. In B&M however, you would discuss how many apples and oranges to hold in your inventory, where to setup your fruit stall, how you would display your them and how to bundle them such that your customer ends up buying an unnecessary number of citruses. B&M is far less theoretical and structured (some would say less boring) so choose wisely.

B&M is also very flexible and complements both humanities and science subjects well at both HL and SL. If you do decide to go with B&M, keep an open mind, think differently and don’t be afraid to speak up, you never know what you might find.

Joel Sherard is from the graduating class of 2013.

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