New Zealand organisations are becoming increasingly globalised and need well-prepared graduates able to operate with confidence in the international business environment.
This major provides the opportunity to gain skills relevant for conducting business in a global, multicultural economy. You will study activities and transactions that involve: the crossing of borders both from the viewpoint of a firm and the individual; decision making and management in cross-cultural settings; how firms can configure their activities to achieve their owners' objectives in an evolving operating environment; the strategic and cross-cultural aspects involved in international marketing; the market for foreign exchange, currency risk and hedging; and from the viewpoint of a country, the reasons for and the welfare effects of international trade and trade policies such as tariffs and export subsidies.
You will also study a foreign language and/or culture. International Business students are encouraged to spend a semester studying at an overseas partner university. This provides a great opportunity to learn about a different culture, gain insight into different business environments and practices, and form new contacts.
There are no formal requirements for those wishing to study International Business. An interest in human behaviour and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, political science and education is advantageous as these areas are present in all areas of management.
Good communication skills, both written and interpersonal, are important. Those who have studied English to an advanced level at school will benefit from the skills they have developed. A sound understanding and previous study of statistics is also useful.
Former studies in a foreign language would be beneficial and allow the inclusion of more advanced level language courses as part of this major. This would enhance your immersion in a language and culture, and make the exchange semester even more productive.
The first-year, 100-level courses required to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business are:
- ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
- ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 199 (a STAR course for secondary school students)
- INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology*
- MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
- STAT 101 Statistics 1
- One of MKTG 100 Principles of Marketing, MATH 101 Methods of Mathematics or MATH 102 Mathematics 1A
- 30 points in a single subject from Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian or Spanish. The selected language or cultural courses must be approved by the International Business Director.
Spending a semester or a year abroad as part of your UC degree is an opportunity not to be missed. This major is designed to make it easy for you to go on exchange in semester two of your second year of study (you will need to apply by 1 July in your first year at UC. Note: some applications are as early as 31 May). For further information consult the interactive degree plans for the International Business major.
Language and cultural courses
While both language and cultural courses are important, we recommend that if either English or Māori is your native language and you do not have prior exposure to a foreign language that you take language courses. You will be directed to the appropriate level of courses based on an assessment of your language ability. This will be carried out by the relevant language department.
Native speakers of a foreign language are not permitted to take courses in that language/culture for credit towards the major.
Finance and/or Marketing and Strategy pathways
There are at least four distinct pathways in the International Business major: specialisation in Finance with or without an international exchange, and specialisation in Marketing and Strategy with or without an international exchange. If you are interested in the Marketing and Strategy pathway you need to complete MKTG 100 Principles of Marketing. If you are interested in the Finance pathway you need to complete MATH 101 Methods of Mathematics or MATH 102 Mathematics 1A.
For the complete, three-year BCom International Business major degree plan see the School of Business and Economics website.
Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level.
During your first year, you are encouraged to apply for an international exchange, taken in Semester 2 of your second year. Courses credited from other universities will be complementary to the International Business major and allow progression.
You are encouraged to go on exchange to a country whose language/culture you have studied. However, this may not be possible due to restrictions placed on the number of students that can go to a particular exchange university. You are not permitted to go on an exchange in your country of origin.
In some circumstances it may be best for you to go on your international exchange in your third year. In this situation, if you wish to complete your degree in three years, it is crucial to choose an exchange university that offers courses which are directly substitutable for the required third-year International Business major courses.
While only 30 points of language and cultural studies are required, further language and/or cultural studies would be highly beneficial. Semester 2 in second year provides a great opportunity for such studies either here at UC or at a partner university during an international exchange.
One further year of study is required for the Bachelor of Commerce with Honours degree. The Master of Commerce degree requires one further year of study beyond honours and involves a research thesis. A number of students also progress to doctoral (PhD) study.
Graduates will have completed coursework covering financial accounting, marketing, microeconomics and international management. They will have specialised knowledge and an understanding of the international business environment. Graduates' advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in international business will prepare them well for higher-level employment opportunities or for entry into advanced research degrees.
Typical job opportunities include import/export agent, foreign currency investment advisor, foreign sales representative and international management consultant. Frequent employers include government departments, banks, import/export corporations, multinational manufacturers, consulting firms, international non-governmental organisations, electronics and transportation companies, and tourism and hospitality organisations.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers
Department of Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship
Telephone: +64 3 364 2606