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Our History

Established as the Faculty of Economics in 1920, the University of Sydney Business School (as it became known from January 2011) is the oldest of its kind in Australia. The first degree offered was the Bachelor of Economics, which was first conferred by the University in 1914. The first postgraduate coursework degree offered was the Masters of Economics which was first conferred in 1925.

Subsequently, the scope of the programs offered broadened to include studies related to economics in the social sciences, such as industrial relations and government. In 1985, the Faculty of Economics and Business introduced the Bachelor (and Masters) of Economic and Social Sciences, which made available a range of social science subjects.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, study in accounting and business-related fields such as finance and marketing became increasingly popular. In 1993, the Faculty of Economics and Business introduced its third undergraduate degree program, the Bachelor of Commerce, which includes areas of study in accounting, finance and marketing. The four-year Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) began in 1998 and combines business-related studies with studies in the arts, humanities and sciences.

Masters Programs

The Business School has an extensive range of Masters by coursework programs on offer today, including a number of highly specialised programs such as Transport Management and International Business. The Master of Commerce, introduced in 1995, has become hugely popular, as has the Master of Professional Accounting (1997). Most recently, the pre-experience Master of Management and specialist Master of Marketing were introduced for Semester 1, 2009.

In 1999 the Faculty of Economics (as it was known at the time) embarked on a major strategic review of all academic and administrative functions, scholarship in teaching and research, physical and technological infrastructure, and financial resources.

Since then the Business School's academic and administrative staffing has been strengthened at all levels, new disciplines have been introduced, academic programs have been rigorously reviewed and enhanced, an integrated IT capability and support function has been developed, a client-focused student administration operation has been established. The physical environment of the Business School has also been transformed with planning well underway for a new building to open in 2014.

In 2005, the University of Sydney withdrew from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) joint venture with the University of New South Wales, thus opening strategic opportunities for the Faculty of Economics and Business in the area of graduate management and executive programs. In the same year, the Graduate School of Government (GSG) graduated its first cohort and was relocated to the University of Sydney.

In January 2008, as an outcome of the 2006-07 Social Science Review at the University of Sydney, the Disciplines of Government & International Relations and Political Economy were transferred to the Faculty of Arts. This reorganisation has further consolidated the academic arena in which the Faculty of Economics and Business operates and reinvigorated its focus on excellence in business and economics education and research.

In 2010, the Business School embarked on a project to re-introduce graduate management and executive education to its suite of programs, starting with the launch of its innovative Global Executive Master of Business Administration (GEMBA). The Global EMBA program was designed for senior executives with ten or more years' of management experience to develop their leadership potential.

The new Sydney Master of Business Administration (MBA) program was launched in 2013, providing a brand-new approach to the MBA, focussing on both personal and professional development for Business School students.

New Directions

On 1 January 2011, the University of Sydney began implementing a major new strategy in relation to teaching and research in business and the social sciences.

Under these changes, the Discipline of Economics, the Centre for International Security Studies and the Graduate School of Government - previously all in the Faculty of Economics and Business - moved to the Faculty of Arts, which was renamed the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. At the same time, the Faculty of Economics and Business was renamed The University of Sydney Business School.

Today's Business School is committed to quality assurance, continuous improvement, national and international peer review, and excellence in teaching and research. In 2004 the Business School (under the auspices of the Faculty of Economics and Business) was awarded accreditation by AACSB International for both its business and accounting programs, and EQUIS accreditation through EFMD, the European Foundation for Management Development. The Business School is the only institution in Australia to have achieved all three international accreditations. It was awarded an additional  accreditation by AACSB in December 2014 and by EQUIS in May 2013.

As testament to the Business School's reputation and commitment to excellence, in 2008 it became the only Australian member school of CEMS - The Global Alliance in Management Education, a highly prestigious alliance of leaders in business and higher education.

CEMS comprises 28 member schools across four continents, collaborating with over 50 of the world's leading multinationals to offer students a unique blend of high-quality education and professional experience. Along with its international accreditations, CEMS membership consolidates the Business School's profile in the international community of business and economics schools.

In 2013, the Business School began to expand its operations through a range of infrastructure initiatives, starting with a purpose-designed CBD campus, to provide a convenient location for its graduate management and executive education programs, the MBA and Global EMBA. The CBD campus also provides a venue for events held by the Business School and the wider University community.

The most significant change for the Business School began in July 2013, with the commencement of construction of the Abercrombie Precinct. Completed in 2016, the Abercrombie Building a place where students, staff, alumni and partners come together to collectively design solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the business world. Encompassing more than 9100 square metres of flexible teaching and learning space, with the very latest technology and a prime position near the University’s historic main campus, the purpose designed Abercrombie Building will inspire and enable generations of leaders in the business world.