Essay Competitions

In February 2015, Plymouth Business School and the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre launched a 500 Word Essay Competition that aimed to expand pupil’s knowledge in business discipline, developed their research skills, critical thinking and creativity. Lastly, essay writing gave pupils the chance to improve their writing and analytical skills in general.

The competition ran each year until the academic year 2016-2017 and it was open to pupils from Year 9 upwards from all over the South West and covered the contemporary aspects of the business world. 

Essay Presentation Competition Prize Giving Event, May 2016


In the words of Tommy (Y10 pupil from a participating school, June 2017) “The essay competition was challenging and took both time preparation and different types of research methods to create a piece of work. I found the essay stretched me in terms of reaching my potential because I needed to undertake studies into the chosen topic and then use my knowledge to create an argument.  I found the skills I used will help me in my Business Studies courses. I was delighted to hear I had won 2nd prize. Of course I am looking forward to spending the £50 Amazon vouchers but I am also pleased with my achievement”.

“The Business Essay writing competition is something that we now promote on an annual basis to our students. It provides them with the opportunity to undertake private study into a range of topical issues and demonstrate their ability to absorb that information and articulate their ideas and views.  This year it was great to have a separate entry for the younger students.  The biggest challenge for some of our students is developing  high quality response in only 500 words.  This is great practice for their exams as it forces them to focus their points on the key elements” (Jo Cox, Head of Business and ICT, The Spires College, Torquay, June 2017).

Each academic year the pupils were asked to answer one of four questions.

Academic Year 2016 – 2017

In this year’s 500 Word Essay Competition, which was open to Y9 upwards, students had to answer one of the following questions:

Questions for Year 7,8 and 9: 1. Have digital downloading killed the music industry?; 2. What makes a good leader?; 3. How can businesses be more sustainable? and 4.Examine maritime piracy in the twenty first century?

Questions for Year 10, 11 and 12: 1.How can start-ups business make best use of digital technology to achieve sustainable growth?; 2. Is it fair that large organisations should exploit tax loopholes to avoid paying tax?; 3.Do businesses care about being green? and 4.Does digital technology make protecting intellectual property harder or easier?

Academic Year 2015 – 2016

In this year’s 500 Word Essay Competition, which was open to Y9 upwards, students had to answer one of the following questions:

  1. How can businesses ensure their supply chain is green?
  2. Why is branding so important to business success?
  3. If you had £1m, what sort of business would you invest in and why?
  4. Is the future of business online?

Academic Year 2014 – 2015

In the Academic Year 2014 – 2015, pupils had to answer one of the following four questions:

  1. What will it mean to be entrepreneurial in 2030?
  2. Are green issues important for South West businesses?
  3. How does digital technology impact on business?
  4. With the growth of bank cards and internet banking do we still need physical notes and coins?

More Testimonials

In the words of Richard Cassim (May 2016) from the Business and ICT Department at The Spires College: “The Celebration Day was really well organized and structured in such a way to enable the students to get a feel of what university life is like, and what it might be like to study Business at Higher Education Level.  The students and staff were well looked after and made to feel very welcome.  All students enjoyed their day thoroughly, particularly meeting the staff who had judged the entries”.

Essay Competition Leaflet 15th May 2015

Alicia Parfitt, Year 9 student (May 2016): “The Celebration Trip to Plymouth University was fantastic!  The tour was very interesting and I learnt a lot about the Business School through the tour.  The food was delicious and I had a lot of fun learning about sustainable businesses.  When I found out that I won the competition, I couldn’t believe it.  I was so happy.  Thank you to the professors who thought my essay was good and thank you for the amazing prize of an ipad”

Each year pupils had a chance to win1st Prize – iPad Mini 2; the 2nd Prize – £50.00 Voucher and the 3rd Prize – £25.00 Voucher

The essays were judged by Plymouth Business School academic staff and all the participants had the opportunity to visit Plymouth Business School and be part of the prize giving event.

The testimonials and stories from Essay Competitions

Essay Competition Academic Year 2014/2015

Essay Competition Academic Year 2015/2016

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