Bachelor of Commerce

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A Bachelor of Commerce (abbreviated BCom, B.Com., BCommerce, or B.Comm.) is an undergraduate degree in commerce and related subjects. The degree is also known as the Bachelor of Commerce and Administration, or BCA. It is predominantly offered in Commonwealth nations; however, the degree is no longer offered in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] It is generally offered as a full-time, three- or four-year program.



Bachelor of Commerce[edit]

The Bachelor of Commerce degree is designed to provide the student with a wide range of managerial skills while at the same time building competence in a particular area of business studies; see below. Most universities therefore plan the degree such that additional to their major, students are exposed to general business principles, taking courses in accounting/finance, human resources, statistics, marketing, economics, and information systems. For a comparison with other degrees in business and management its offered in most of the universities in Kenya, see further under Business education.

Honours Bachelor of Commerce[edit]

The Honours Bachelor of Commerce (H.B.Comm. or BCom (Hons)) is a four-year commerce degree. It may consist of a four-year program,[1][2] or of a single-year program taken subsequent to the three year Bachelor's degree.[3] The degree requires additional academic courses, with a researched thesis component, and is an abridgement between the undergraduate program and postgraduate programs,[4] including the Master of Commerce and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees. The one-year program is often focused exclusively on a single subject-area.[5]

Areas of study[edit]

Depending on the institution, a formal academic major may or may not be established. Regardless, the Bachelor of Commerce requires students to take the majority of their courses in business-related subjects, namely the following and others depending on students' particular interests.


The curriculum generally lasts three years in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malta, South Africa, parts of Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and Nepal in two years. It requires four years in the Republic of Ireland, the majority of Canada, Ghana, Philippines and the Netherlands. In South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and some universities in India, the BCom (Hons) is considered an additional postgraduate qualification, whereas in Malta, the additional year is not considered as a postgraduate qualification. In Pakistan, [6] the BCom is of two-years, the BCom (Hons) of three-years; while a four-year program is known as BS (Hons) Commerce.


The Bachelor of Commerce degree was first offered at the University of Birmingham. The University's School of Commerce was founded by William Ashley, an Englishman from Oxford University, who was the first Professor of Political Economy and Constitutional History in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Toronto. Ashley left Toronto in 1892, spent a few years at Harvard University and then went back to England to the new University of Birmingham where he founded the School of Commerce and began the program - the forerunner of many BCom degree programs throughout the British Empire. Eighteenth-century economists had divided the English economy into three sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce. Commerce included the transportation, marketing, and financing of goods. The Birmingham program included economic geography, economic history, general economics, modern languages, and accountancy.

See also[edit]