IIE Bachelor of Commerce

The IIE Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree provides graduates with a broad-based business qualification that is invaluable in forging a career within the world of business. The BCom degree offers students a quality learning experience in the contemporary, dynamic and interesting field of Business with the opportunity to choose a core discipline in Strategic Management, Marketing Management, Financial Management and Finance and Accounting. This Bachelor’s degree is designed to prepare students for the increasingly complex demands that they will face in the professional business environment. Graduates will enter the business world with solid theoretical knowledge; supported by strong problem solving, critical thinking, decision-making and strategic skills. This degree gives students a highly marketable balance of knowledge, practical application and skills.

A National Senior Certificate (NSC) with Degree admission- A minimum of 30 % for English coupled with a minimum of 50% for four x DESIGNATED NSC subjects (This excludes Life Orientation which is a 10 credit subject); OR

  • A National Certificate (Vocational) NC(V) with Degree admission – A minimum of 60 % in English on either First Additional Language or Home Language level AND Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy AND Life Orientation , with a minimum of 70% in the four vocational subjects is required; OR
  • A Senior Certificate (SC) (with endorsement) or equivalent; OR
  • Alternatively a Higher Certificate, an Advanced Certificate or 240 or 360 credit Diploma in a cognate field may satisfy the minimum admission requirements to degree studies.

If a Higher Certificate, Advanced Certificate or 240 or 360 credit Diploma is not in a cognate field, then at least 20 % of the credits of such qualification must relate to academic literacy or academic skills in order for an applicant to be admitted to degree studies. Such applications will be reviewed by the relevant HoF at The IIE CAT in collaboration with the Registrar.

If you are an international student, you must ensure that:

  • you have an equivalent qualification to the aforementioned;
  • your equivalent qualification is evaluated by Universities South Africa;
  • you have a valid study visa issued in the name of The IIE that covers the duration of your studies.

If you have not met these minimum entry requirements but have an NSC with higher certificate or diploma entry into higher education, you may wish to consider registering for The IIE’s Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice (HBPP) first as a pathway to this degree. Further information on this qualification is available from our student advisor team.

Other considerations

Mature Age Exemption:

  • Candidates having attained the age of 23 before or during the first year of registration with a senior certificate or equivalent with a minimum of 40% in at least four higher or standard grade subjects, at least three of which shall have been passed simultaneously and one of which shall be a recognised higher grade subject and passed on higher grade; OR
  • Candidates must have attained the age of 45 before or during the first year of registration.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Candidates can demonstrate suitability for admission in terms of Senate’s resolution 6.6 of 20 October 2005 which allows for Senate’s discretionary conditional admission (if applicable).
Please note, requirements for entry to this qualification are correct at the time of printing, however, these may change. At the time of registration, please check that the entry requirements have not changed.
National Benchmarking Tests
All applicants wishing to study an IIE undergraduate degree on a full-time basis including international students, are required to write the National Benchmark Test (NBT) Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL). Applicants wishing to enrol for The IIE Bachelor of Arts degree need to complete the NBT in English.
The applicant is exempt from writing the NBT AQL test if he/she:

  • is 23 years old or turns 23 during the first year of registration.
  • has successfully completed a higher certificate (or equivalent), an advanced certificate or diploma.
  • has previously been admitted to degree studies elsewhere (proof must be supplied).
  • is admitted on the basis of mature age.

For applicants wishing to enrol on a distance programme, the writing of the NBT AQL test is recommended but not compulsory.
Please note an applicant's Academic Literacy (AL) score of the NBT AQL test is used for placement in student support programmes and does not replace the admission requirements for a specific degree programme. Applicants may, on provision of an AL score of the NBT AQL test of 64 or above, be exempted from one or both Academic Literacy modules, namely Introduction to Scholarship A (ITSA010) and Introduction to Scholarship B (ITSB010), if and only if these are non- credit bearing modules in the qualification. Applicants who achieve an AL score of the NBT AQL test lower than 64 are required to register for and successfully complete ITSA010 and ITSB010.
Applicants who do not write the NBT AQL test prior to registration, will automatically be registered for ITSA010 and ITSB010 whether or not they are credit bearing modules in the qualification.
Furthermore, students who are completing ITSA010 and ITSB010 as a result of the lower than 64 AL score or who did not provide an AL score, will be required to successfully complete these modules before their third year as they are a pre-requisite for entrance onto third year studies. Students enrolled on a distance programme will have access to ITSA010 and ITSB010, but it would not be a pre-requisite for registering for any third year modules.
Where ITSA (ITSA5111) is credit bearing in the qualification concerned, successful completion of this module (depending on the curriculum structure) is also a graduation requirement.

Please note - this qualification is offered in the distance mode

What is this Degree’s accreditation status?

The IIE’s Bachelor of Commerce degree is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as a 366-credit qualification on level 7 (SAQA ID: 84706).The IIE - accredited by The British Accreditation Council The IIE has been internationally recognised and accredited by The British Accreditation Council (BAC). The BAC has been responsible for setting standards within the independent further and higher education sector for 25 years. Their accreditation is held by hundreds of colleges in the UK and overseas. They provide the leading mark of educational quality for the sector, which is used by students, parents, agencies and beyond as a guarantee of standards.
For more information please visit

What career areas can I pursue once I have completed this Bachelor’s degree?

This degree will open up an attractive range of career options; this degree is a perfect stepping stone to a diverse and exciting range of business related career opportunities, depending on which core discipline you choose. Marketing Management core discipline

  • General Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Market Research
  • Consulting
Financial Management core discipline
  • General Management
  • Corporate Accounting
  • Financial Services
  • Consulting
Finance and Accounting core discipline
  • Corporate Accounting
  • Financial Services
  • Consulting
Strategic Management core discipline
  • General Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Management
  • Consulting

How is this Bachelor’s degree structured at Varsity College?

The IIE BCom degree is a three year degree. The academic year runs from February to November. The modules are delivered on a full-time basis with lectures and tutorials being scheduled during the day from Monday to Friday. In addition to attending lectures, you will be expected to spend time conducting your own study plan as well as research and work on assignments. Learning material is of the highest quality and offers students a blended learning experience where the face-to-face teaching sessions are supplemented with specific online learning activities, digital content/study material, relevant current textbooks and assessments. To gain the most from the blended learning experience and VC’s Wireless classrooms and campuses, students are required to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) mobile device – netbook, laptop or tablet – to develop the necessary academic and digital literacies over the three years of this degree.

The IIE’s Bachelor of Commerce degree is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at level 7 - the same level as other equivalent undergraduate degrees at South African universities. The opportunity to apply for a postgraduate certificate/diploma or honours degree at Varsity College or any South African university exists subject to meeting specific programme entrance requirements.
Students who choose the Finance and Accounting core discipline will have a broader scope of access into postgraduate qualifications.

Varsity College is offering alumni of The IIE BCom degree the opportunity to count their IIE Bachelor’s degree toward a UK Honours degree with the Open University. The Open University (OU), United Kingdom, recognises the IIE as a degree awarding body. Specifically, The IIE BCom degree has been given a General Credit Exemption rating of up to 240 credit points of credit transfer towards The OU Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) Open degrees with Honours. The IIE BCom degree therefore provides you with a pathway towards studying a BA or BSc Open degree with Honours from the Open University.
For more information please visit:

How do I find out more about these further study opportunities?

As a registered student at Varsity College, we will support you to explore the possible postgraduate options that align to your chosen career area. Each year we also provide our students with a postgraduate information pack. It is important to remember that your academic results remain a key factor when applying for further studies. The option exists to study the Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Management degree with the IIE. For further details regarding entrance criteria and course content, please speak to your Student Advisor.