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Economics as a BCom major

The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree is normally completed in three years

A BCom requires a minimum of 360 points. At least 180 of these points must be for papers above 100 level, and at least 72 of these 180 points must be for 300-level papers.

Students may choose papers worth up to 90 points from outside Commerce. Students must choose sufficient papers (usually 162 points worth) to meet the major subject requirement of at least one Commerce subject.

Core BSNS papers

All students enrolling in a BCom for the first time after 2016 need to include the following papers in their degree programme:

BSNS111 Business and Society: (18 points)
Introduction to the business environment of New Zealand, including important defining characteristics, social and environmental implications of business decisions, and an appreciation of bi- and multi-cultural frameworks as they affect business.

BSNS112 Interpreting Business Data (18 points)
Introduction to types of business decisions and selection of appropriate quantitative or qualitative data gathering techniques. Characteristics of data types, application of tolls, interpretations of results and ethical issues.

BSNS113 Economic Principles and Policy (18 points)
Introduction to concepts central to understanding market economies, including allocation of scarce resources, consumer and business reactions to changing market conditions, and the application of economic principles to personal and business decision-making.
Have you ever stopped to wonder at how easy it is, given you have the cash or credit, to go out and buy almost anything you want? How is it that such a wide range of goods and services are produced in roughly the right amounts, often at surprisingly low cost, and then distributed to the people who want them? This paper builds an understanding of how, and how well, our market-oriented economy gets this done. We use a variety of simple yet revealing graphical models to study the mechanics of markets and the market system and to evaluate market outcomes. We identify factors that can inhibit markets functioning and evaluate public policies used to counteract these inhibitors, both in individual markets and in the macro economy. In particular, we study issues around international trade, business strategy, competition policy, the environment, taxation, and cycles in exchange, interest, unemployment and growth rates.

BSNS114 Financial Decision Making (18 points)
Introduction to some basic characteristics of financial markets. The time value of money, calculations of fair value for bonds and stocks, criteria for financing a business, risk-return trade-offs, regulatory frameworks and ethical considerations are included.
This paper introduces students to business finance, with a primary devotion to making financial decisions in a business setting. We will first discuss the concept of the time value of money in extensive mathematical details together with looking at how we can apply these valuation techniques to real-world examples. We then apply these principles to valuing business projects and financial securities (stocks and bonds).
Since decision making with investments virtually always involves risk and uncertainty, we will then introduce the concepts of risk, followed by the cost of financing in doing business. We close the paper by looking at the relevance of capital structure and dividend policy in corporate performance.
Along the course of the paper, we will examine different regulatory processes that are essential to the principles of corporate governance and ethical trading practices in New Zealand.

BSNS115 Accounting and Information Systems (18 points)
Introduction to financial and management accounting concepts, including reading and interpreting accounting statements and making internal business decisions. Using information systems and communication technology to manage data, with associated ethical issues.

For more information on the core papers (including the transitional arrangements for students who began their BCom prior to 2017, click here

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The major subject requirement (BCom)

In order to fulfil the requirements of the Economics major in the BCom, you will need to complete the following papers:

100-level papers required

BSNS113 Economics Principles and Policy: (18 points)
Introduction to concepts central to understanding market economies, including allocation of scarce resources, consumer and business reactions to changing market conditions, and the application of economic principles to personal and business decision-making.
Have you ever stopped to wonder at how easy it is, given you have the cash or credit, to go out and buy almost anything you want? How is it that such a wide range of goods and services are produced in roughly the right amounts, often at surprisingly low cost, and then distributed to the people who want them? This paper builds an understanding of how, and how well, our market-oriented economy gets this done. We use a variety of simple yet revealing graphical models to study the mechanics of markets and the market system and to evaluate market outcomes. We identify factors that can inhibit markets functioning and evaluate public policies used to counteract these inhibitors, both in individual markets and in the macro economy. In particular, we study issues around international trade, business strategy, competition policy, the environment, taxation, and cycles in exchange, interest, unemployment and growth rates.

ECON112 Principles of Macroeconomics: (18 points)
Continues on from BSNS113, and extends the analysis of predominantly market economies and how they work as a whole, both in New Zealand and international contexts. Topics include: economic growth, business cycles, monetary policy and the role of the Reserve Bank, the global financial crisis (GFC), and fiscal policy and the appropriate role of government.
Specific questions analysed will include:
• Why are living standards higher in some countries than others?
• What causes economic booms and recessions?
• How and why does the Reserve Bank control interest rates?
• What can be done about inflation and unemployment?
• What caused the GFC?
• Did governments respond appropriately to the GFC?

Take a look at the complete list of Economics 100-level papers.

200-level papers required

ECON201 Microeconomics: (18 points)
Provides a working knowledge of microeconomic theories with an emphasis on their application to business and public sector decision making.

OR

ECON271 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory: (18 points)
Presents an analytic approach to intermediate microeconomics. The emphasis is on the fundamental conceptual foundations of microeconomics, illustrating their application with concrete examples. *

* To take ECON271, you must have first passed FINQ102 or an equivalent 100-level MATH paper (e.g. MATH160).

ECON 202 Macroeconomics: (18 points)
Provides a working knowledge of macroeconomic theory and policy.

One further ECON 200-level paper (18 points)

Take a look at the complete list of Economics 200-level papers.

300-level papers required

Any four ECON 300-level papers (72 points)

Take a look at the complete list of Economics 300-level papers.

Examples of BCom programmes in Economics

Below are some examples of programme structures for a BCom Economics major – but please note they are just suggestions that show how you might arrange your study. There are many ways you might structure your programme, and we will discuss your options with you during the course advising period at the start of the semester. (Papers shown in bold type are compulsory for the degree as described. All other papers have alternatives.)

Take a look at some examples of programme structures for a BCom Economics major (PDF, 561KB).

Find out more about studying for a major in Economics.

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