The UCT Commerce Faculty: BBusSci and BCom

BBusSci and BCom

Struggling to decide between BBusSci and BCom? Jason gives you insight into the difference between the two and which could best suit you.

BBusSci and BCom Breakdown

So you know you’re into business and want to study commerce, but a there are choices yet to be made… Bachelor of Business Science (BBusSci) or Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)? And then there’s still a whole bunch of majors -of which you have no clue are all about- to sift through! This article intends to clear up some of these issues.

A Bachelor of Business Science

-This a four-year degree that encompasses a wide range of commerce-related courses. It effectively equips you with the same skills as a BCom Honours, though without the prestige of the ‘Honours’ title. Whether simply because it is a longer degree, or perhaps the rarity of graduates with the degree, a BBusSci is usually held in higher esteem than a BCom. Entrance requirements are tougher than those of a BCom. High number of applicants to this degree stream makes it difficult to get in to. The curriculum leaves much room for discretionary electives (courses that a student chooses to do, that are not compulsory in obtaining the degree). For example, in third year, Business Science students are required to take a 6-month, 18-credit law course, but you may opt to take any of several such courses, perhaps Commercial, Business or Tax Law.

A Bachelor of Commerce

-This a three-year degree aimed at providing an overview of commerce in general. Although not held in as high esteem as a BBusSci, the BCom program is a far more direct route of obtaining, for example, a CA (chartered accountant) qualification. Entry requirements are lower than those of a BBusSci, and the program is, at least initially, very generalized, giving students much leeway in terms of a career choice even after enrolment. The curriculum focuses primarily on quantitative analysis and organizational behaviour, and provides students with a broad understanding of a variety of commerce-related subjects. Though I have said it already, emphasis must be placed on the big plus that BCom graduates will so gladly relay about their degree, this being that the program does not delve too deeply into any one subject (except your major), but provides diverse business skills that are so coveted by modern entities.

The specifics of each degree are not within the scope of this text, however they should not be taken too much into account when making a decision as to which degree to apply for, because it is not a major that you are accepted for, but the degree: University admissions departments accept people into a degree, not a combination of degree and major, so when applying, don’t pay any heed to which major stream to specify. If you ever feel like changing streams, for example from a BCom (Accounting) to a BCom (Economics), you can easily do this in a matter of days. And because the first 1-2 years of a degree for any stream are much the same, you only have to make up your mind within those first couple years.

Moral of the story?… Do Business Science if you are looking for education on an extensive variety of subjects, want to delve fairly deeply into those subjects, would like to take a number of elective courses, and can stomach maths! Do a Bachelor of Commerce if you are aiming for general business literacy, an overview of commercial subjects, and if you want a CA qualification, because it is a full year quicker to get a CA through a BCom than through a BBusSci, and once you have that CA certificate, the way you got it becomes null-and-void… And do NOT worry about the major stream you are applying to, it really doesn’t matter!

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