The higher doctorate  is awarded for published work of the candidate, demonstrating original contributions of "special excellence" in some branch of commerce. The candidate will be a graduate of the university in question.
The research doctorate  is largely comparable to a PhD and in fact "Doctor of Commerce" may refer to a commerce-related PhD. Relatedly, at some universities the degree-title conferred will be a function of the candidate’s background: for example, in operations research, the degree may be a PhD or a DCom, depending on whether the candidate held a Master of Science or Master of Commerce respectively. Further, in some cases, the degree title may also depend on the area of the research: a thesis focused on a more theorectial area (e.g. "finance") will be awarded a PhD, while one focused on a specific area or function (e.g. financial management) will be awarded a DCom.  Finally, in some cases the distinction will be whether the degree includes coursework or is entirely thesis based. The research doctorate is usually accessed following a related master’s degree, often the Master of Commerce. Here, there is generally a requirement that the master’s degree in question must include a research component, either comprising coursework with research, or being solely thesis-based.
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