Full time undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne usually take eight subjects each year for three years. Each subject in the Bachelor of Commerce has a point value, and all students must complete a total of 300 points in order to graduate. This usually means completing 24 subjects in total. In selecting subjects, a Bachelor of Commerce student needs to complete a certain number of points from three broad groups of subjects – compulsory subjects, core or major subjects and breadth subjects.

Compulsory subjects

Compulsory subjects in the Commerce degree are designed to provide a solid foundation in business. All Commerce students, regardless of the major they choose, are required to complete these subjects in the first and second year.

Core subjects and your major

Core subjects refer to those that you take in the different Commerce disciplines - Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Most of the core subjects you take would contribute to you completing the major/s of your choice.

The Bachelor of Commerce course structure results in a flexible degree that allows students to explore different fields of study in business and economics as well as other complimentary disciplines. As a Bachelor of Commerce student, you will have the opportunity to make an informed decision on what you would like to study before you are required to choose a major. You would usually choose your major at the beginning of second year. Depending on subject choices, you can complete a double major.

Please note that if you intend to pursue actuarial studies, accounting or a three-year Master of Engineering after the Bachelor of Commerce, you are required to choose specific subjects from first year.

Read more about majors

Breadth subjects

Commerce students can choose up to 6 subjects from disciplines outside the core program. We call this the 'breadth' component, and it allows you to gain knowledge and understanding across a broader range of disciplines. As a Commerce student, you must take between 50 and 75 points of breadth (usually 4 to 6 subjects) from a range of subjects offered in other undergraduate courses; these could include, for example, biology, philosophy, geography, and/or music. The choice of which subjects to undertake as breadth is completely up to you. To help you make the most of your breadth studies, the University of Melbourne has introduced breadth 'tracks', approved sets of three or more subjects that progressively develop knowledge and skills relevant to a theme, topic or issue. Breadth tracks are not compulsory, but you are encouraged to take one in order to get the most from breadth studies.

Note: Students majoring in Accounting or Actuarial studies have restricted breadth options in order to fulfil professional accreditation requirements.

Read more about breadth

First year

Most first year subjects in the Bachelor of Commerce are designed to introduce you to the range of disciplines available and expose you to the fundamental theories upon which studies in business and economics are based.

Most students use their first year as an opportunity to explore the various commerce disciplines and decide upon their major.

In the first year, most students complete these five subjects:

You would also do three other subjects from both the core program and breadth studies.  Students majoring in actuarial studies, and other students interested in pursuing a sequence of subjects in mathematics, probability and statistics, do not take Quantitative Methods 1.

Due to subject and accreditation requirements, if you intend to major in actuarial studies or accounting or to meet the requirements for a three-year Master of Engineering following your Bachelor of Commerce you must commence relevant subjects from the beginning of your degree.

Second year

If you have not already chosen a major in first year, you will need to do so at the beginning of second year. You are also required to take two compulsory subjects in second year:

and one of:

Note: Actuarial Studies students are required to complete a specified maths sequence to meet the level-2 compulsory quantitative requirement.

Third year

To complete a major, you must complete at least three Level-3 (third year) subjects in a particular discipline. In addition you must normally complete at least one Level-3 breadth subject. Note that Level-3 subjects normally require completion of prerequisite subjects in Level-1 and/or Level-2, so keep that in mind when selecting subjects.


Honours is an optional fourth year of study following the completion of a three-year bachelor degree. It provides an opportunity to undertake specialised study and research in an area of interest, builds upon analytical and research skills and offers a pathway to graduate research programs, including the PhD.

Read more about Honours