social worker talking to client

Bachelor of Social Work


Course details


This programme is for those passionate about social justice who want to support and empower individuals, families, whānau, and communities. Students will gain the skills to provide advice and support, and will learn how to advocate for both individuals and groups.  They will help their communities realise their full potential with the goal of functioning independently and positively in society.

This four-year programme combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on learning. You will gain the knowledge base, skills, and attributes required to practice in a variety of Social Work fields and environments such as schools, hospitals, community groups, or government organisations.

Students 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 their 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 their 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 their practice according to the ethical and legislative boundaries.
  • Incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi into their practice.
  • Increase their 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.

Take advantage of our flexible course delivery. Short on-campus learning blocks in Hamilton are combined with study that students can do online at home in their community. We provide a supportive study environment, with qualified professionals who are here to guide students to success.

Wintec offers a blended delivery approach to the Bachelor of Social Work programmes. Full-time study expectations are 30-35 hours per week. This is made up of a combination of face-to-face sessions, online classes, online directed activities and video conferencing (Zoom).

What you'll learn

The Bachelor of Social Work is a four 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.

This 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 Years 3 and Year 4 students will undertake a 60-day supervised placement.

View programme modules

Group A: Compulsory modules

Module codeModule title​LevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
HSSW502Introduction to Social Work Practice​


HSSW504Introduction to Professional Practice


HSIP501Te Pu


HSIP503Te Ahurea/Cultural Identity 15  
HSIP504Te Hapori/Sociology 15  
HSIP502Te Whanaketanga/Human Development 15  
HSIP505Te Hinengaro/Psychology 15  
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




HSIP601Te Weu





HSSW701Applied Social Research

HSSW702Advanced Social Work Practice

HSSW703Advanced Professional Practice





HSSW704Te More

HSSW705Advanced Social Policy and Community Development

HSSW706Integrated Professional Practice


Group B: Social Work specialist practice – electives

Two of the following 15 credit modules to be completed

Module codeModule title​LevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
FSSW708Rural Social Work




HSSW707Social Work with Children and Youth


HSSW708Health Social Work


HSSW709Family and Whānau Violence


HSSW710Specialist Social Work Practice Directed Study


 HSIP705Assessing Addiction Issues and Co-existing  15 
 Any other approved 15 credit module (level 5, 6 or 7) 15  

NB: Each delivery site has the option to offer those elective modules deemed relevant to their local communities; additional elective modules may be video-conferenced where required.

Group C: Option

Module codeModule title​LevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
DFNZ701Design Factory 1

The 30 credit module DFNZ701: Design Factory 1 can be offered as an option within any Wintec degree programme, wherever the degree programme structures allows such an option.  Admission into the Design Factory module is on negotiation with the Centre Director or delegated authority and selection into the module is in line with the Design Factory process.

Design Factory NZ

In their third year of study, students can apply to study the 30 credit Design Factory NZ module. This experience teaches a range of problem-solving methodologies, which students will apply to a real-world challenge provided by an industry partner. Students will work in a multi-disciplinary team alongside students from engineering, business, IT, sport and exercise science, media arts, and more. 

Joining Design Factory NZ will provide students with the opportunity to learn and work in new ways, prototype solutions to complex problems, and develop their soft skills of creativity, empathy and communication - all in high-demand for the workplace of the future.

Read more about Design Factory NZ here.

Design factory NZ logo small size

Career/further opportunities

Graduates will be able to enter the Social Work workforce in a variety of fields such as schools, hospitals, community groups, or government organisations, at a beginning practitioner level with provisional registration with the Social Workers Registration Board.

Application process

  • Apply online, or download and complete an Application to Enrol Form
  • Complete the online Self-Disclosure Form.
  • Ask your referee to complete the online Referee Questionnaire
  • If you are unsure if you meet the entry criteria, complete the Additional Information Form so that your situation can be further assessed.
  • If you have them, provide certified copies of your prior academic transcripts. Find out more about supporting material for enrolment here.
  • Your identity (legal name and date of birth) and/or residency status may need to be verified:  
    • For domestic students, this may be possible to validate through your National Student Number (NSN).
    • If not, you will be requested to supply verified copies of your birth certificate or passport.
  • A confirmation will be sent to you once your application has been received - you will be notified if anything further is required from you.
  • Your application will then be assessed, and if eligible to proceed you will be invited to attend a selection interview that includes both a group session, an individual interview, and a written exercise:  
    • At the group session participants share the motivations that have led them to the social work programme of study – this is facilitated by the social work tutors.
    • Individual interviews are conducted one-on-one with a Social Work tutor - this is an opportunity to review your study plans and discuss study opportunities. 
    • The written exercise is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing and comprehension skills.  
  • You will be informed of the outcome of your interview session within the week following. 
  • Candidates who have been accepted to study will receive an acceptance letter and an offer of place. You must accept this to confirm your place on the programme.
  • Click here to find out more about enrolment and accepting your offer. 

After you’ve accepted your offer

  • During your induction, you will be required to complete several safety checks to comply with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.
  • More about the safety check process and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 can be found here.

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.

Selection criteria

1. Candidates must meet the SWRB Fit and Proper criteria for entry. A candidate may be deemed unfit if:
1.1. That person is unable to perform adequately the functions required to practice social work satisfactorily;
1.2. That person is not of good character and reputation
1.3. That person has a conviction, in New Zealand or overseas, for an offence that is punishable by imprisonment for 3 months or more, and an offence where the nature and circumstances of the offence reflect adversely on a person’s ability to practice social work.

2. Candidates are required to indicate whether they have been convicted of, or are being prosecuted for, a criminal offence. Prior to commencing the programme all successful candidates will be required to complete a police vetting form. The Clean Slate Act does not apply and some types of criminal conviction may limit the ability to secure practicum placements and therefore complete the programme. Candidates should also be aware that, under the Social Workers Registration Act (2003) some types of criminal conviction may result in the Social Workers Registration Board refusing to allow a person to register as a Social Worker. The board considers that conviction for offences of the following nature would lead to a reasonable person concluding that a person is not fit and proper to practice Social Work -section 47(1)-
2.1. Homicide or manslaughter
2.2. Sexual offending including pornography
2.3. Violence against a person or persons
2.4. Fraud or dishonesty
2.5. Offences towards children or other dependant persons
2.6. Serious alcohol and drug related offences
2.7. Weapons or firearms offences.

3. In order to comply with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children’s Act, 2014 and Child Protection Policies for all ‘specified organisations’ providing a ‘regulated service’, all candidates/students will be subjected to safety checks. These will include but are not limited to;
3.1. A Formal Interview
3.2. Referee Checks
3.3. A Police Vet Check
3.4. A Risk Assessment

Any unsatisfactory result arising from the full safety checking process may result in the candidate/student being precluded/declined entry or withdrawn from the programme of study. Furthermore, students must declare any pending or new convictions arising during any stage throughout the entire enrolment period. A conviction or failure to declare a conviction may also result in the student being immediately withdrawn from the programme. Persons who are convicted of ‘specified offences’ will not be accepted onto any programme that requires that Person to work in an organisation providing a regulated service.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?


Health and social practice pathway diagram

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our Welcome page.


What you will need

Pen and paper to make notes.
Smart phones, laptops, and or, any other portable devices that you may be going to use to complete your studies.

Timetable information

All timetables are available via Timetable Net on our website.

How to find your way around

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking. Find out about discounted bus services here.

Wintec pōwhiri/nau mai, haere mai

Wintec extends a warm invitation to all new students to attend a Pōwhiri to welcome the semester ahead. After formalities, light refreshments will be served in the marae dining room, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa, Wintec City Campus.

Click here to find out where and when the next Pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course related costs

You will be required to pay for your own travel and parking when undertaking practicum placements.

Additional information

Wintec is required by law, under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, to safety check students enrolled in programmes that include placements where they could be working with children or young people under 18 years old.
The safety check will be completed at your induction and will require you to complete an NZ police vetting form, a questionnaire and provide the contact details of a referee we can email, as well as additional forms of ID (one of which must be a photo ID).
If you would like more information about the Vulnerable Children Act or the safety checking process you can visit,


Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

Hamilton-based supplier

  • Bennetts (Bennetts has a store operating on campus at the University of Waikato, Hamilton)

New Zealand-based suppliers

General book suppliers

First aid certificate

Health status



Clinical placement

You will be required to pay for your own travel and parking when undertaking practicum placements.

Please note, that while you are on placement you will need access to a computer and the internet so you can undertake assessment and communicate with your tutor etc.

Prospectus (course guide)

The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

Request an email or posted copy of the Prospectus.

The Prospectus (course guide) is available in both digital and physical formats. Click on the document below to download a copy or fill in the form below to receive a copy via either email or the post.

Request an email or posted copy of the prospectus

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