Business Economics


Bachelor of Commerce

Business class


‌Business Economics applies the tools and rigour of Economics to business situations. Students focus on a broad range of analytical and business skills and take courses that apply economic reasoning and insight to problems in business or the non-profit sector. The focus is on managerial economics and informed decision making.

By incorporating valuable skills from business disciplines in finance, accounting or management, graduates with a major in Business Economics will enhance their work-readiness and ability to engage and connect with the wider world.

Why study Business Economics at UC?

UC is the only New Zealand university to offer a pathway that combines Economics with at least one other commerce discipline in a formal major.

The Business Economics major combines knowledge of an academically rigorous discipline with skills that equip graduates to be work-ready. For example, the third-year capstone course ECON310 Economic Thinking for Business has a strong community engagement emphasis. It looks at the application of economics with regard to incentives, opportunity cost, and constrained optimisation to actual business and real world problems. This sort of learning ensures that graduates can demonstrate the use of skills that employers demand and value.

Students majoring in Business Economics can also take advantage of the Economics and Finance internship courses to further their work-ready skills in real businesses.

While previous study of economics is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied economics at secondary school level. The Business Economics major does not require mathematics.

A broad education, including history and English, is useful to develop the ability to write clearly and analyse written material.


100-level courses

The first-year, 100-level courses required to be taken for a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Business Economics are:

For the complete, three-year Bachelor of Commerce Business Economics major degree plan see the UC Business School website.

200-level and beyond

Students who wish to major in Business Economics are required to take:

Students choosing the Business Economics major must also complete a minor in another commerce subhect as specified in the list of Bachelor of Commerce minors. Further courses can then be taken in order to complete a double major in Business Economics and another commerce subject (as long as you meet all course and degree requirements).

For the complete course requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Commerce.

Further study

This major complements existing programmes within Commerce and acts as a direct pathway to some of UC's Executive Development Programme postgraduate degrees. The addition of a Master of Business Management (MBM) can make for an attractive qualification bundle for those looking to enter the business and commercial world.

Career opportunities

Graduates in Business Economics are well prepared for employment in many areas of government and business, where it is recognised that an economist's education provides valuable training for a professional career as well as good preparation for an executive, entrepreneurial or administrative career.

The inclusion of a second business discipline gives breadth to a degree that requires good analytical and problem solving skills.

Professional business economists are employed to conduct research and give advice on economic matters in various organisations such as government ministries and state-owned enterprises (eg, Treasury, Health, Social Development, Agriculture and Forestry, and Foreign Affairs and Trade). Graduates also find work in marketing organisations, the Reserve Bank, Stats New Zealand, trading and merchant banks, stockbroking, insurance, trade commissions, local authorities, market research and other consultancies, and large businesses.

Those who are passionate about economics and education can also go on to teaching careers in schools or universities.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree at UC.

More information

Department of Economics and Finance 

Phone +64 3 369 3989

College of Business and Law
Reception Level 2, Business and Law building

Postal address
Department of Economics and Finance
College of Business and Law
University of Canterbury
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand


Sam Butcher

Sam Butcher

'We get to make a big difference for a few kids, and a smaller difference to thousands more...'