The Degree of Doctor of Commerce (DCom)

The following regulations apply to students commencing study within the 2018 academic year. For previously published regulations, refer to the Calendar archive (Academic Services website). Find key terms in the Glossary of terms.

Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Commerce

These regulations must be read in conjunction with the General Regulations for the University.


These Regulations came into force on 1 January 2018.


In exceptional circumstances the Dean of Postgraduate Research may approve a variation of these Regulations.

The structure of the qualification
To qualify for the Doctor of Commerce, a student must:
submit a portfolio of works, as prescribed by the Dean of Postgraduate Research; and
have been approved for the qualification by the Dean of Postgraduate Research in consultation with the Dean of Business following examination of the portfolio.
Admission to the qualification

To apply for admission to the Doctor of Commerce, a student must:

hold a master’s degree or doctorate; and
have at least 15 years of research experience following graduation; and
where the student does not hold a degree of the University of Canterbury, they will have at least 5 years of research experience associated with the University of Canterbury.

The subject(s) of this qualification include original contributions in one or more branches of Business or Commerce.

Time limits

There is no time limit for this qualification.

Transfers of credit, substitutions and cross-credits

There will be no transfer of credit or cross-crediting of work.

This qualification adheres to the General Regulations for the University, with the following stipulation:
Work submitted for consideration of a higher doctorate at the University of Canterbury cannot be reconsidered for the degree unless more than 5 years have elapsed since the last submission and the resubmission includes new material.
Any resubmission will require readmission.
Honours, Distinction and Merit

Honours, Distinction and Merit are not awarded for this qualification.

Pathways to other qualifications

There are no advancing or exit qualifications for this qualification.

Examination process
An ad-hoc committee will be appointed by the Dean of Postgraduate Research of no fewer than three persons recommended by the Dean of Business to assess the eligibility of the submitted portfolio for examination.
The ad-hoc committee must submit a report to the Dean of Postgraduate Research of its findings and must recommend names of suitable independent Examiners.
The Dean of Postgraduate Research will determine whether to proceed with the examination.
The portfolio is then submitted to three independent Examiners, of whom, at least one must reside outside of New Zealand.
The Examiners will follow a process prescribed by the Dean of Postgraduate Research. This will specify the requirements to assess the portfolio’s original contribution of special excellence to the subject and of the student’s authoritative standing and international eminence in their field.
The Examiners must provide a recommendation to the Dean of Postgraduate Research on the eligibility of the qualification being awarded.