International Business


Bachelor of Commerce

Bachelor of Arts (minor only)

MGMT228 Study Tour to China

Commerce graduate Luke Gillespie enjoys some sightseeing on the MGMT 228 Culture Study Tour to China.


New Zealand organisations are becoming increasingly globalised and need well-prepared graduates able to operate with confidence in the international business environment. This subject provides the opportunity to gain skills relevant for conducting business in a global, multicultural economy.

Why study International Business at UC?

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 business
  • the market for foreign exchange, currency risk and hedging
  • 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 social sciences such as psychology, sociology, political science, economics 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 language courses as part of the major. This would enhance your immersion in a language and culture, and make the exchange semester even more productive.


100-level courses

UC offers a major and a minor in International Business as part of the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom). You can also study this subject as a minor within the Bachelor of Arts.

The first-year, 100-level courses required to be taken for a BCom majoring in International Business are:

* Language and Cultural courses

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 a language and/or culture 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. The selected language or cultural courses must be approved.

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, depending on what you wish to specialise in and whether you want to take part in an international exchange.

For the complete, three-year Bachelor of Commerce International Business major degree plan, and minor courses, see the UC Business School website.

200-level and beyond

Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level.

International Exchange

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 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.

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 able 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 direct substitutes 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.

Career opportunities

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.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in International Business.

More information

Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Phone +64 3 369 3888

Reception Level 2, Business and Law building - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture 
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Caitlin Dowden

Caitlin Dowden

'Studying and living in UC Accommodation has exposed me to many new situations, people and opportunities...'

Rheuben Burke

Rheuben Burke

'It has since given me perspective on much of the functions of our society...'