The Master of Commerce typically requires two years of full-time study. The curriculum is generally concentrated on one subject area — such as accounting, actuarial science, business management, corporate governance, human resource management, economics, statistics, finance, marketing or supply chain management — and emphasizes underlying theory. Relatedly, programs usually include a thesis component, and may be exclusively research based.
Given this structure, the MCom differs from other business and management degrees: Its concentration on one area distinguishes it from generalist degrees, such as the MBA. Some universities offer the MCom in general management, although this is more similar to the Master of Management than to the MBA; see also Master of Business. As compared to specialised Professional degrees - such as the Master of Science in Finance or Master of Accounting - the MCom places more emphasis on theory than practical experience; see also Master of Science in Management.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) is a master's degree in business administration (management). The MBA degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, managerial economics, management, marketing and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.
Most programs also include elective courses and concentrations for further study in a particular area, for example accounting, finance, and marketing. MBA programs in the United States typically require completing about sixty credits, nearly twice the number of credits typically required for degrees that cover some of the same material such as the Master of Economics, Master of Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Management.
The MBA is a terminal degree and a professional degree. Accreditation bodies specifically for MBA programs ensure consistency and quality of education. Business schools in many countries offer programs tailored to full-time, part-time, executive (abridged coursework typically occurring on nights or weekends) and distance learning students, many with specialized concentrations.