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Bachelor of Social Work


  • Semester 1 starts February 2018
  • WITT starts February 2018
  • The Bachelor of Social Work can be completed in four years fulltime or 8 years part time study. Part time students will be required to follow a set part time programme
  • Fees: ​​$6,373* per year (International students: Please click here​ for ​fee information​)
  • City Campus, Hamilton  
  • Also offered in New Plymouth through WITT​

There is a shortage of social workers throughout New Zealand and this degree prepares you to be work-ready for the challenges of this rewarding industry.

​​The Bachelor of Social Work is designed for you if you wish to pursue a professional career in social work. The programme provides in-depth knowledge and skills relating to social work practices in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. It is practice-focussed using an experiential approach to learning that links together work, education and personal development. The programme also has an explicit commitment to Treaty-based practice and multiculturalism is embedded through the programme in keeping with the changing face of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

A career in social work means you'll enjoy interacting with people from various walks of life and different backgrounds; you will work with individuals, groups, other professionals as well as with communities. Your services will be frequently sought after to assist people in your community, provide advice, advocacy and support to individuals or groups to empower and help them realise their full potential and be able to function independently.
This four year programme will give you the knowledge base, skills, and attributes required for practice in a variety of social work fields such as schools, hospitals, community groups or government organisations.

You will develop the skills to:

  • Promote the principles of human rights and social justice and promote social change.
  • Work collaboratively with other professionals in multi-disciplinary teams, organisations and communities.
  • Work with individuals, families or whānau, and communities that are from diverse ethnic, cultural and indigenous backgrounds.
  • Undertake practice according to the ethical, legislative and professional boundaries.
  • Work confidently in a bi-cultural context integrating the Treaty of Waitangi into your practice.
  • Work autonomously and make independent judgements from a well –informed social work position, based on knowledge of theories of human behaviour and social systems.
  • Critically reflect on own social work practice through supervision, peer review and self-evaluation.
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with different user groups.
  • Provide or facilitate the provision of social services, in fields such as healthcare, schools, government and non-government agencies.
  • Undertake your practice according to the ethical and legislative boundaries.
  • Incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi into your practice.
  • Have social and political awareness, and to think critically about the structures, behaviours, and processes that disadvantage and oppress people.
  • The Bachelor of Social Work programme will prepare graduates to enter the social work workforce at a beginning practitioner level with provisional registration with the Social Workers Registration Board.

Programme Content

The Bachelor of Social Work is a 4-year, 480-credit bachelor level qualification. There are 16 compulsory modules comprising 450 credits and two 15-credit electives. Graduates will be able to enter the social work workforce at a beginning practitioner level. 
It is an Applied programme with practice at the centre. In Year 1 students will be introduced to service users in the classroom. In Year 2 they will undertake 40 hours of voluntary work in a social service agency. Field placement is a significant element in the programme. In each of years 3 and 4 they will undertake a 60-day supervised placement.​


Schedule of Modules

Group A: Compulsory Modules

Module CodeModule Title​LevelCreditsPre-RequisitesCo-RequisitesAssessment Standard
HSSW501Introduction to Society

HSSW502Introduction to Social Work Practice​


HSSW503Human Development and Psychology


HSSW504Introduction to Professional Practice

HSSW505Te Pu


HSSW601Applied Social Policy

HSSW602Introduction to Social Research

HSSW603Applied Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities

HSSW604Applied Social Work Practice with Individuals, Family and Whānau

HSSW605Applied Professional Practice

HSSW606Te Weu

HSSW701Applied Social Research

HSSW702Advanced Social Work Practice

HSSW703Advanced Professional Practice


HSSW704Te More

HSSW705Advanced Social Policy and Community Development

HSSW601​​ N/A
HSSW706Integrated Professional Practice

​​​​​ ​

Group B: Social Work Specialist Practice – Electives

Two 15 credit modules to be completed. Elective module details will be provided to you.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Social Work may lead to employment in the health field, child protection (including Child Youth and Family), government agencies, community agencies, probation service family support agencies and other non-government organisations.

Entry Criteria

  • Candidates are required to have gained:
  • ​NCEA Level 3 comprised of 60 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher and 20 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher, including:
  • 14 credits each at NCEA Level 3 in three approved subjects; and
  • Literacy (10 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above made up of 5 credits each in reading and writing); and
  • Numeracy (10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or above made up of specified achievement standards or a package of three specified unit standards); or
  • A relevant qualification at Level 4 on the NZQF; or
  • Equivalent.

Candidates aged 20 or over who do not meet these entry requirements may be considered for special admission. In such cases entry will be dependent on whether candidates can demonstrate a reasonable likelihood of success in the programme.

Candidates who have English as an additional language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) academic score of 6.5 across all components; or equivalent.

Application Process

  1. Check that you meet the entry criteria (see above).
  2. Submit your Application to Enrol form as well as the completed additional information form.
  3. On this form, you will be requested to provide contact details, including email addresses, for referees who will then be sent a link to complete a reference online.
  4. Receive acknowledgement of your application.
  5. Application assessed by the review panel.
  6. Group process where participants share their experiences that have led them to the social work programme – this is facilitated by the social work tutors.
  7. Interview with one of our tutors - This is an opportunity to review your study plans and discuss opportunities within the Centre for Health and Social Practice.
  8. There is a written exercise that applicants will need to complete at the time of their interview. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing and comprehension skills.
  9. Application outcome - You will receive a letter advising you of the outcome of your application.
  10. Confirmation of entry - You will be sent a letter of offer - you need to sign and return the letter to accept your place.

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