Bachelor of Commerce

Course 205-AA (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2009
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate




Commerce Student Centre
Upper Ground Floor, ICT Building,
111 Barry Street,
The University of Melbourne VIC 3010

Tel: +61 3 8344 5317
Toll Free: 1800 666 300
Fax: +61 3 9347 3986

Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) aims to develop powers of critical thinking and analysis that can be applied to many fields and a wide range of professions. It offers studies in disciplines relating to economics and commerce, and prepares students for careers in many professions, including accounting, economic research, management, marketing, consulting, finance, the public service, the teaching professions and management positions in commerce and industry.

Within the BCom, a core of basic subjects are covered, including two subjects in economics, two subjects in quantitative methods and one in organisational behaviour. As there are only five compulsory subjects (totalling 62.5 points), you have the opportunity to study a wide range of optional subjects which can be chosen according to your interests and career objectives.


The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and the Bachelor of Commerce (Management) aims at developing powers of critical analysis that can be applied in many fields, and provides professional training for a wide variety of careers.

Course Structure & Available Subjects: -
Subject Options:

Students undertaking the Bachelor of Commerce or the Bachelor of Commerce (Management) must accumulate a minimum (and maximum) of 300 points which must:

  • include between 87.5 and 125 level-1 points, 50 points of which must be commerce points; and
  • include at least 75 level-3 points, 50 points of which must be commerce points completed at the University of Melbourne; and
  • include the five compulsory subjects, see Compulsory subjects; and
  • include a total of at least 200 commerce points, see Commerce and non-commerce subjects.

Students must pass prerequisite subjects before they will be permitted to proceed.

All students must complete 50 level-3 commerce points at the University of Melbourne, including students who complete part of their degree at another institution prior to commencing the BCom or whilst on an approved study abroad or exchange program.

Compulsory subjects
The 300 points required for the BCom must include the following five compulsory subjects totalling 62.5 points:

One of:(see note 2)

Which quantitative subject?
All Bachelor of Commerce students must satisfactorily complete 316-130 Quantitative Methods 1 and one of the level-2 quantitative subjects listed in Compulsory subjects. The choice of level-2 quantitative subject will be dependent upon the study area focussed on and the subjects in which a student wishes to enrol later in their degree. Students are strongly advised to check the prerequisites of level-2 and level-3 subjects to ensure the most appropriate choice is made. It is possible to enrol in more than one level-2 quantitative subject.

Actuarial studies and quantitative subjects
Students intending to specialise in actuarial studies are required to enrol in 620-201 Probability and 620-202 Statistics taught by the Faculty of Science, instead of the two quantitative subjects taught by the Faculty of Economics and Commerce. These students should note the level-1 prerequisites for 620-201 Probability. Any student may satisfy the quantitative requirements of the BCom in this way and this option may be particularly attractive to Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Commerce students. Please note: 620-201 Probability and 620-202 Statistics in the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Commerce degree are considered as science points. Students enrolled in double degree courses with commerce intending to undertake studies in actuarial studies are advised to consult a course advisor to discuss their course plan.

Bachelor of Commerce (Management) requirements

To be eligible to graduate with the Bachelor of Commerce (Management) students must complete the following as part of their Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Commerce double degree. The Bachelor of Commerce (Management) is only available to students who commenced their Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Commerce double degree between 1998 to 2007.

Six core subjects


Six core management subjects


Four other level-2/3 management subjects (325-prefix) (see note 4)

Bachelor of Commerce (Management) students should note that the general Course requirements of the BCom apply to the BCom(Mgmt) also.

Students wishing to complete with the Bachelor of Commerce (Management) need to apply by completing a form available in the Student Centre by the 30th April (for a June completion) or 30th September (for a December completion).

Commerce and non-commerce subjects

Commerce subjects
The following subjects are considered to be commerce subjects and may be included in the 200 points of commerce subjects required as part of the Bachelor of Commerce:

  • subjects taught by the Departments of Accounting and Business Information Systems (prefix 306-), Economics (prefix 316-), Management and Marketing (prefix 325-), Finance (prefix 333-) and the Centre for Actuarial Studies (prefix 300-);
  • Business Law subjects (prefix 732-) taught by the Faculty of Law;
  • 620-201 Probability, and 620-202 Statistics taught by the Faculty of Science (except for students in the BCom/BSc).

Non-commerce subjects
Students may include up to 100 approved non-commerce points within the single BCom. This includes those level-1 mathematics subjects required in the first year of actuarial studies. Approved non-commerce subjects are most subjects offered by the Department of Psychology and the Faculties of Arts and Science. Examples of departments in which Commerce students cannot enrol in subjects include (but are not limited to):

Faculty of Arts

  • Socio-legal Studies
  • Social Work
  • Theatre Studies
  • Media and Communications
  • Creative Arts
  • Public Policy and Management

Faculty of Science

  • Biomedical Science
  • Computer Science
  • Some subjects offered by the Department of Information Systems (see below)
  • Optometry and Vision Sciences

In addition, approval will not normally be granted to enrol in subjects which, in the opinion of the Faculty, are equivalent to those taught within the Faculty, nor will approval normally be granted to enrol in professional subjects.

Specifically, Bachelor of Commerce students may not enrol in the following subjects taught by the Department of Information Systems (note that students in the double commerce and information systems degree may enrol in these subjects as part of their Bachelor of Information Systems degree):

Non-commerce subjects cannot be counted towards the commerce component of the Bachelor of Commerce degree.

The information below applies only to Bachelor of Commerce single degree students.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce degree complete a major in psychology with 112.5 credit points. Bachelor of Commerce degree students may count 512-320 Research Methods 3 as part of the required Commerce points. They also have permission to count 325-201 Organisational Behaviour as their third year psychology elective. For further information, please see Psychology as a major.

1. Students who commenced the Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Commerce double degree prior to 2005 are not required to complete this subject.

2. Bachelor of Agricultural Science/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Forest Science/Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Forestry/Bachelor of Commerce students must enrol in either 316-205 Introductory Econometrics or 316-206 Quantitative Methods 2.

3. Students intending to graduate with BCom(Management) who commenced the BCom prior to 2003 are not required to complete 325-201 Organisational Behaviour as a core subject, but are recommended to do so, if possible. Students who commenced prior to 2003 who do not intend to complete 325-201 must complete an additional level-2 or level-3 Management (325-2XX or 325-3XX) subject.

4. Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Engineering (IT)/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Forestry/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Forest Science/Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Property and Construction students must enrol in four level-3 subjects in order to satisfy the minimum 50 level-3 Commerce points requirement.

5. 325-228 Principles of Strategic Management will no longer be available from 2008. Students wishing to complete with Bachelor of Commerce (Management) who have not yet completed 325-228 Principles of Strategic Management will be required to complete 325-218 Managing the Multinationals instead.


Entry Requirements: -
Core Participation Requirements:

Students with a temporary or permanent disability or medical condition requiring additional assistance should contact the Faculty's Disability Contact Officer (FDCO). The FDCO can ensure that students with special needs have access to a number of University services provided by the Disability Liaison Unit (DLU), including alternative examination arrangements (such as additional writing time or a venue which is wheelchair accessible), notetakers or sign language interpreters, specialised equipment (such as computer screen reading software) and overall support in liaising with academic and other general staff. Students who think that they may require alternative exam arrangements should discuss this matter with the Faculty's Disability Contact Officer early in the academic year (or, in the case of acute conditions, as soon as possible). Some form of documentation will normally be required. It is possible for students with permanent disabilities with non-changing effects to have appropriate examination arrangements on an on-going basis if they register with the DLU. Note that English as a second language is not grounds for alternative exam arrangements.

For more information on the wide range of services that the DLU provide, go to their website or visit them on campus to make a time to discuss your needs.

Further Study: An honours option is available for graduates of the Bachelor of Commerce through the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) course.
Graduate Attributes:

On successful completion of the commerce course, graduates should be able to:

  • explain the basic concepts and theories and institutional arrangements underlying the operations and performance of modern mixed economies using Australia as an example;
  • critically evaluate the economy, commerce and business in the broader social and political context;
  • explain and apply concepts from several economics and commerce disciplines in solving business and policy problems including specialised knowledge developed in one specific discipline;
  • contribute positively to the development of organisations and society particularly related to business, government and the commercial professions.
Generic Skills:

By participating in all scheduled classes and activities and achieving the timely completion of assignments and other forms of assessment, commerce graduates should aquire skills in:

  • effective communication on matters related to economics and commerce through assignment preparation and writing and class discussions and presentations;
  • skills in the use of computer systems and software used in business through practical assignments, exercises and demonstrations;
  • critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, report writing, assignments and discussion;
  • information discovery and retrieval through the competent use of structured and unstructured sources including the internet;
  • applying theory to practice through undertaking recommended reading, writing reports, completing assignments, analysing cases and discussing issues;
  • interpretation and analysis of data with basic quantitative methods through assignments and discussion;
  • attention to detail through assignment preparation, problem-solving exercises and examination revision;
  • teamwork through joint projects and group discussion;
  • understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the analysis of case studies, the contextualisation of judgement, and being open to new ideas and possibilities;
  • time management through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, assignment completion and examination revision.

Download PDF version.