MCom - Management - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

MCom Programme in Management 2017


Graduate Profile and Benefits of the Programme

A Masters degree is an internationally recognised qualification representing a high level of academic achievement.

The aim of the Masters Programme is to graduate students who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement and understand the relationship between theory, research and practice, and who can use this understanding to benefit business, society and academia.

The Department has two Majors in the Master of Commerce (MCom) Programme: An MCom in Management* and an MCom in Marketing. A Masters graduate is well prepared for professional roles within the field of management, marketing and various forms of business consulting. Previous graduates are quickly snapped up by companies with graduate recruitment programmes.

Because the MCom Programme provides a thorough grounding in their Major subject, graduates gain an in-depth academic foundation from which to launch or develop their careers. The programme emphasises analytical, communication, teamwork, and project management skills. Advanced skills in these areas are highly sought after in industry and commerce. These skills also provide an excellent foundation for further graduate study towards higher degrees, if desired.

The MCom Programme is intellectually satisfying in its own right, but is also essential preparation for anyone wishing to undertake a PhD or an academic career in management or marketing-related areas. The MCom Programme also builds students’ skills and mindsets that become valuable in the commercial workplace.

The one-year MCom is a short, but intense programme of study that spans approximately 12 months (February to February inclusive) if completed full-time. Semesters 1 and 2 are made up of in-class coursework. Semester 2 and the summer period are used to complete the MCom Thesis. The degree may also be completed in up to two years of part-time study.

Entry Requirements

Students will be considered for entry into the MCom Programme if they meet all entry requirements below:

They have completed their first degree and have demonstrated high performance by obtaining at least a B+ average across a minimum of 60 points of 300-level courses.

These points must be as follows:

For MCom in Management students, at least 60 points at the 300-level in Management subjects.
For MCom in Marketing students, at least 60 points at the 300-level in Marketing subjects.

Students who are planning to complete an MCom are strongly encouraged to complete a 200 level research methods paper, such as MGMT281.

For Graduates from Other Universities

The above entry requirements are based on courses at the University of Canterbury. Students whose undergraduate degree or diploma is from another University will be asked to supply an official (certified) transcript and course outlines, so that course equivalence can be established.

International Students and holders of a New Zealand Residence Class Visa

International students must also demonstrate that they have a suitable standard of oral and written English language competency. Candidates must have achieved at least 7.00 as their overall score in a recent IELTS test or be assessed at an interview as possessing equivalent or better oral and written language competency.


What to Expect

The MCom Programme differs significantly from undergraduate studies. The smaller classes allow for more interaction with the lecturers and students participate more in the life of the Department.

The MCom Programme allows you to not only learn more about your chosen major, but also how to critically view the world and carry out an independent piece of research.

Academic standards are high and students are expected to take more initiative and responsibility for their own learning by seeking out additional sources of information and managing their study programmes. The academic staff expect to be facilitators rather than directors of students’ learning. MCom students are expected to engage with their lecturers and fellow students, to question and challenge “received wisdom” and to think about how the learning can be applied. In short, students are expected to demonstrate academic and social maturity and to follow a professional work ethic. These are the skills that employers are looking for and we foster them in the MCom Programme.

Each course has its own flavour and assessment requirements. Across the programme, assessment tasks include oral and written assignments, independent study and collaborative activities. Where possible, scope is given for students to tailor their assignments to their personal interests to ensure that their studies are stimulating and relevant to their academic and career goals.

The MCom Programme culminates with the oral and written presentation of the results of a research project. This project can take several forms. It can involve undertaking empirical research or working with the literature to produce a conceptual paper, or a combination of both. Each project is unique, allowing students to match their topic and approach to their interests and abilities according to the supervision opportunities available.

MCom students are provided with access to dedicated computer facilities within the Department. This allows members of the programme to work within the Department and creates an engaging social environment. Past students report that this is one of the highlights of their MCom experience and often facilitates the development of lasting social and professional networks.

MCom in Management Programme Structure

The MCom in Management requires students to take papers and a dissertation worth a total of 180 points.

All students are required to take a 30-point paper on research methods (MGMT 620), which serves as a prerequisite for a 90-point dissertation (MGMT 694), where students carry out an independent piece of academic research.

Students are also required to take 60 points from MGMT 601-643 (excluding MGMT620). Up to 15 points may be replaced by other graduate courses (subject to the approval of the Head of Department).

Course Distribution

The distribution of courses through the year is shown below. Each course typically has 2–4 hours class time each week in addition to independent study and, in some cases, small group activities.

Semester 1

Semester 2

Research Methods for Management Management Dissertation
2 x Subject Courses 2 x Subject Courses

Brief Course Descriptions

Full outlines for MCom in Management courses are available from the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship’s web page.

MGMT 611 – Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management

This course examines current issues in strategic human resource management (SHRM) through readings, case studies and dialogue based on relevant theory and research in areas such as linking HRM to business performance, key general principles in managing people, and managing people in dynamic and complex situations.

MGMT 616 – Leadership

The course looks at Management concepts from a multitude of different perspectives and the latest thinking in management practice and theory.

MGMT 641 – Entrepreneurship

The course introduces students to the content and methods of current research in the Entrepreneurship field, defined to include new venture formation, the growth of small businesses, and the relatively new area of ‘corporate’ entrepreneurship. The objective is to make students conversant with the literature to the point where they could identify viable research opportunities that would advance understanding of the field.

MGMT 643 – Advanced Strategic Management

The course prepares students to undertake strategy activity as reflective practitioners and provides the conceptual background needed for research in the strategy field. The course involves students in debating multiple perspectives on each of the major strategy issues faced by managers. The debate draws on papers by leading strategic thinkers, and applies their ideas to contemporary business cases.

MGMT 620 – Research Methods (Compulsory)

A core course for all postgraduate students in management. This paper provides an overview of the research process, and examines the different types of research philosophies used to help develop theory. An in-depth examination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques is provided to assist students when designing their own research study.

MGMT 694 – Management Thesis (Compulsory)

A course where students complete a written dissertation based upon their research proposal developed in MGMT620.

The Thesis is an individual, self-directed piece of work; however, you will have a supervisor to guide you. Supervisors are assigned based on research area skills and knowledge. For a breakdown of Management and Marketing supervisors’ research interests, see Staff Research Interests. The Thesis takes approximately 9 months to complete; however, more time can be taken if needed (and additional fees are paid).  The following timeline gives an indication of the penalties associated with later submissions:

  • Start: Semester 2 2017
  • Completion with Honours (and without additional fees): 19 February 2018
  • Completion with Honours (and with additional fees): 20 August 2018
  • Completion without Honours (and with additional fees): 20 February 2019

Students are able to submit earlier, if they wish, and their supervisor believes the Thesis is ready for submission.


Fees, Allowances and Financial Assistance

To determine what fees you will pay, click here. Fees are listed for each individual course so you can total the fees for each course you intend to enrol in. For information about fees and student loans, please contact Student Administrative Services on 0800 827 748 (within New Zealand) or email. For information about student allowances, please contact Study Link on 0800 88 99 00. Many scholarships are available for graduate students.  Information on scholarships is available at the following websites:

There are often tutoring and research assistant positions available for graduate students within the Department. If you are interested in these, please contact the Programme Coordinator.

Application Procedure

ALL prospective students need to apply to the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, by applying directly through MyUC. This application must be completed and processed before the applicant completes the online enrolment or face-to-face enrolment at the University. Applicants will receive a letter from the Department notifying them of the outcome of their application.

It is important that you give an up-to-date contact address, telephone number and email address (if possible) so that we can contact you as we may require you to attend an interview. If you will be away from your usual address around the time of enrolment then please state this in your application and give an alternative address and telephone number where you can be contacted.

Applicants who completed their studies from an institution other than the University of Canterbury, submit to MyUC an official verified transcript of the applicant’s academic record. No form will be processed without a verified transcript. University of Canterbury students do not need to submit a University of Canterbury transcript. However, if you have completed courses from other institutions that go towards your degree, please include that transcript as part of your application to enrol.

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS must include evidence of English language proficiency for applicants for whom English is not their first language. The Department will assess the student’s suitability for entry into the MCom Programme.

The Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship will forward its decision and the applicant’s documentation to Admissions. This is because students whose first degree is not from a New Zealand University must be granted admission ad eundem. Admission ad eundem is processed by Admissions. It is the Admissions Office that is responsible for confirming if a student is eligible for entry to the University of Canterbury.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS, enquiries about admission ad eundem should be made by email to, telephone +64 3 364 2459, or by post to Admissions, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.

All applicant enquiries about the MCom Programme can be made by email to

Due date for applications
Students can apply for the MCom at any time.

All applications must be received by 27 January 2017 for Semester 1 start; 2 June 2017 for Semester 2 start.

Early application is advisable as it will ensure you are informed quickly of acceptance or rejection. It will also help us to plan the year’s courses, projects and facilities.


Start Dates and Induction Programme

The MCom Programme commences each year with the Induction Programme in February. For this reason entry into the MCom Programme is normally in February. Entry in July at the start of Semester 2 is possible, but students should contact the Programme Coordinator for more information about study options. Any mid-year enrolment must be approved by the Head of Department.

Compulsory Induction Programme

An Induction Programme is conducted for accepted applicants prior to the start of Semester One. This is COMPULSORY and is scheduled in the week before classes start. In 2017 the Induction Programme will be on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 February.

You will be notified of the exact time and venue of the Induction Programme when you get confirmation of your acceptance into the MCom Programme.

Class Timetable

Subject classes begin on Monday 20 February 2017. A list of class times will be sent to you with your acceptance letter from the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Contact Information

For academic enquiries contact:

Dr Sarah Wright
MCom Programme Coordinator
T: +64 3 369 3762 Ext: 93762

For general information on University courses and enrolment procedures contact Student Services
T: +64 3 364 2555 or 0800 827 748


Staff Research Interests

Staff involved in the MCom Programme have a wide range of research backgrounds and interests. Finding the right balance between your interests and a supervisor's skills is key for attaining the best possible piece of work. Supervisors will be assigned following discussions with students about their research interests, career and study goals. The following lists give students an indication regarding the types of research faculty members in the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship are interested in supervising.

Dr Herb de Vries:

Small business management and entrepreneurship, with a particular interest in entrepreneurship among immigrant and minority groups.

Dr Paul Knott:

The practice of strategy, the nature and impact of the use of tools and concepts in strategy and innovation, strategy and innovation cognition and action.

Dr Tyron Love: Corporate social responsibility, business ethics, critical public relations, organisational communication and indigenous management.
Dr Sanna Malinen:

Organisational behaviour, organisational psychology and human resource management, specifically in the areas of volunteer work, coaching psychology, discrimination in employment, and employee attitudes and attitude measurement.

Associate Professor Colleen Mills:

Organisational behaviour, organisational communication, crisis communication, communication management, diversity management, organisational change, internationalisation, sensemaking, entrepreneurship and small business (SME) start-up (especially in the creative industries).

Associate Professor V Nilakant:

Organisational resilience, Organisational learning, Organisational change, and Human resource management.

Associate Professor David Stiles:

Strategy formulation and implementation in the public or private sectors. Topics of particular interest include: the appliication of strategy in the cultural settings of emerging and transition countries; higher education policy and strategy; joint ventures in China; the interrelationships between strategy, organisational image and identity; and strategy-as-practice in organisations.

Associate Professor Bernard Walker:

HRM and employment studies, focusing on the resilience of individuals and organisations, creating positive working relationships, employee representation, using negotiation and dispute resolution to improve performance, and the role of NGOs / pastoral organisations.

Dr Sarah Wright:

Organisational behaviour and industrial/organisational psychology, emotions in the workplace, emotional climates in organisations and interpersonal relationships at work.