Prospective Students - School of Business and Economics - University of Canterbury

‘I felt like I was in the wide-open world where there was an element of “finding your own feet”...’

Michelle Panzer BCom in Marketing and an LLB
Incubator Manager, UC Centre for Entrepreneurship
(read profile)

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)

A Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury will broaden not only your outlook but also your knowledge, experience and future employment prospects. The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) is a flexible, three-year degree and can be easily tailored to suit your interests and career aspirations. With opportunities to be involved in internships, business competitions and gain a broad range of experiences, a Commerce degree from UC will give you the advantage.

Studying for the first time?

With 12 majors to choose from, studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) is the perfect way to start your career in business.

Your major is the subject that you specialise in, taking courses in that subject through to 300-level (normally in your third year). Find out more about our major subject areas, the courses available and recommended background through these links to the UC Courses, Subjects and Qualifications webpages:

First Year Core Courses

To graduate with a BCom you must complete the requirements of at least one of the 12 major* subjects. Each major includes in its compulsory courses five 100-level courses (75 points) selected from six 'core' BCom courses. A minimum of 105 points needs to be completed in your first year to finish your BCom within three years. Most students will take 120 points in their first year.

The BCom core courses are:

  • ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
  • Either ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 105 Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECON 199 (a STAR course for secondary school students)
  • INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology
  • MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
  • STAT 101 Statistics 1

It is desirable to complete the core courses in your first year of study as they provide a good general business background and are prerequisites (required courses) for 200 and 300-level Commerce courses. However, it is possible to complete some of these courses in your second and third years depending on the requirements of your BCom major.

If you are looking for an all-round intermediate year that keeps your study options open, check out our First Year Courses webpage.

Direct Entry

If you have achieved top results in accounting and/or economics at secondary school you may be eligiblae for direct entry to some 200-level courses, at the discretion of the Head of Department.


Good preparation is a major factor in successful study. ‌If you qualify for University Entrance, but plan on studying a subject you don't feel confident in, or if you have been away from study for a while, then the Headstart pre-university catch-up programme may be for you.
Headstart runs over the summer after NCEA results come out, usually in late January to early February.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Commerce

Double majors and Double degrees

You can study two major subjects (called a double major) as part of a BCom. Common majors that combine well include: Accounting & Finance; Economics & Finance; Management & Human Resources; Management & Marketing, and other combinations are also possible. With careful planning a BCom double major can be completed within three years and with some combinations does not require any additional courses to be taken. The strength of a double major is that you specialise in more than one discipline, and it can open up more possible career pathways.

Many students study for a second degree in addition to a BCom (called a double degree). In particular, a BCom and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is a highly marketable combination. The BCom also combines well with degrees in Arts, Science, Forestry Science and Engineering. It is normally possible to complete the two degrees in five years (some degree combinations may take longer).

If you are thinking of undertaking a double degree you should also consider postgraduate study. In the time it takes to finish a double degree (five years) you can complete a Master of Commerce (MCom). Alternatively, in four years you can complete a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons)).

Both the BCom(Hons) and MCom are postgraduate qualifications and represent a higher level of achievement than a bachelor’s degree. In an increasingly competitive job marketplace these qualifications help you to distinguish yourself.

Students considering a double major, double degree or a postgraduate qualification should seek advice from a School of Business and Economics Student Advisor

BCom Minors

From 2017, BCom students have the option of competing a minor in a subject from the BCom degree schedule or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree schedule. This allows you to complement your major subject with study in a different discipline (called a 'minor'). A BCom minor can increase breadth of knowledge at an undergraduate level, and potentially your employability.

Visit the BCom Minors webpage for the list of commerce minor subjects and required courses.

Looking at graduate or postgraduate study?

You can study towards a number of postgraduate and graduate qualifications within the College that will take you to the next level. The Master of Commerce (MCom) can be completed in 12-18 months full-time or 18-36 months part-time. For students of other disciplines (for example, Arts, Education, Engineering, Law and Science) programmes such as our Master of Business Management (MBM) or Graduate Diplomas can broaden your business knowledge after you've completed your undergraduate degree in an area other than commerce.

Learn more about our graduate and postgraduate study options >>>

Learning 0pportunities outside the classroom

While you are at UC, broaden your learning opportunities and experiences by getting involved in student groups, clubs and societies. There are business competitions, entrepreneurship challenges, career workshops and networking seminars held throughout the academic year.

Want to know more?

If you would like to visit the university as a prospective student our liaison office can arrange a campus tour. As part of this tour you can arrange to visit the School of Business and Economics. For degree and course advice email our student advisors Malcolm and Ben at

School of Business and Economics
Phone: 03 369 3888

College Reception: Level 2, Business and Law building, Ilam campus (link to Google map)