Bachelor of Social Work

Programme details

Translation Te Tohu Paetahi Tū Tāngata
Code WR3087
Level 7
Credits 480
Duration 4 years
Scholarship available Scholarships for School Leavers
Domestic student fee $6,388* (per year)
IntakesSemester 1
Study options Full-time, Part-time
Part-time study will take 8 years to complete.
LocationRotorua (Mokoia)
Further study Graduate Diploma in Mentoring and Professional Leadership
*Fees are applicable to study in 2017 and are indicative only; fees will vary depending on the courses selected, and/or course-related costs where applicable.
All of our full-time programmes qualify for student loans and allowances through StudyLink. Many part-time programmes also qualify. Apply online at or phone 0800 88 99 00. Apply early to help avoid enrolment and payment delays.

Programme aim

Scholarships for School Leavers available

Gain foundation knowledge, and professional skills to demonstrate the competencies required by the Social Workers’ Registration Board for provisional registration.

This bicultural qualification is designed to prepare beginning practitioners who are skilled, competent, ethically and culturally safe, research-informed and critically reflective. Graduates will be equipped with the recognised social work knowledge, attitudes and values of professional social work practice locally, nationally and globally.

All applicants who meet the minimum requirements for entry are invited to a selection workshop. This is an opportunity for applicants to learn more about being a professional social worker and the nature and level of the programme.

Career opportunities

Social worker, community or health worker, social policy analyst, youth justice officer, probation officer and health promoter

Award information

Included qualifications

NZ2879 New Zealand Diploma in Whanau Ora (Level 5)

To achieve the award of the Bachelor of Social Work, students must pass a total of 480 credits.

Knowledge and skills you will gain

Graduates will be able to:

  • Work in a bicultural context and acknowledge the centrality of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to social work as a profession and in practice.
  • Demonstrate intermediate level conversational skills in Te Reo Māori.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the origins, purpose and development of Aotearoa New Zealand social work within a global context.
  • Apply anti-oppressive social work values, knowledge and skills to complex situations to stimulate personal and social change in a range of work and social contexts.
  • Work with individuals, families or whānau, communities and groups from diverse ethnic, cultural and indigenous backgrounds.
  • Demonstrate resilience and the ability to manage interpersonal conflict and challenges that arise in the context of social work practice.
  • Demonstrate professional literacy and numeracy, think critically, and effectively analyse, synthesise and apply diverse knowledge, information and research to social work practice.
  • Work autonomously and make independent judgements from a well-informed social work position.
  • Work collaboratively with others in multi-disciplinary teams, organisations and communities.
  • Effectively utilise a critical reflective approach to individual social work practice through supervision, peer review and self-evaluation recognising their own learning needs and participating in continuing professional development.
  • Integrate knowledge of sustainability and contemporary social, political, psychological, economic, legal, environmental, cultural and indigenous issues within Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally into both social work as a profession and practice.
  • Exhibit skills, knowledge attributes and abilities of a new social work graduate.

Entry criteria

New Zealand citizens or permanent residence applicants

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age on entry to study.

Applicants between 17 and 20 years of age require:

  • Evidence of University Entrance (UE).
  • Two character references submitted on the approved form.
  • A signed consent form which allows Waiariki to check the applicant’s record for convictions.

Applicants over 20 years of age require:

  • Evidence of their ability to study at degree level.
  • Two character references submitted on the approved form.
  • A signed consent form which allows Waiariki to check the applicant’s record for convictions.

Students who have a record of convictions will be considered for entry on the basis of:

  • The recency of the convictions
  • The seriousness of the convictions
  • The ability of the student to be accepted for placements and therefore completion of the qualification.

International applicants

  • Evidence of receipt of an appropriate visa.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet the English language requirements.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English are required to have proof of a minimum of IELTS level 6.5 academic in all bands issued within the last two years.
  • Evidence of academic achievement appropriate to the level of study for which the student is seeking admission.

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Compulsory courses

Year 1: SSSW.5104; SSSW.5110; SSSW.5111; SSSW.5112; SSSW.5113; SSSW.5114; TREO.5300; TREO.5301;
Year 2: TREO.5302; TREO.5303; SSSW.6204; SSSW.6210; SSSW.6211; SSSW.6212; SSSW.6213; SSSW.6214;
Year 3: TREO.6304; TREO.6305; SSSW.7304; SSSW.7310; SSSW.7311; SSSW.7324; GENR.7026;

Course details
SSSW.5104 Te Pu: Foundations of Treaty Based Practice
This course aims to develop knowledge and awareness of the cultural milieu within which Iwi and Hapu lived in Aotearoa, as a foundation for practice with Māori within a Māori social context. Students will explore relationships between Māori and settlers including Te Tiriti ō Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi to the...
Credits 15 Intakes Semester 1
SSSW.5110 Introduction to Social Work (Tīmātanga-Toko i te Ora)
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the social work profession, origins of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand, the current social work context and bicultural social work as a concept. Students will investigate their own experiences and their impact on professional social work practice.
Credits 15 Intakes February
SSSW.5111 Introduction to Human Development for Social Work Practice
This is an introduction to human development theories and concepts across the lifespan which underpin social work processes. Students will be able to discuss human development from a cultural perspective and Aotearoa New Zealand view point.
Credits 15 Intakes Semester 2
SSSW.5112 Effective Communication in Social Work
Students will acquire knowledge of and apply a range of interpersonal and intra-personal professional communication techniques for social work practice. Students will develop a variety of technology supported communication skills, culturally appropriate communication techniques, effective engagement skills, and introductory counselling skills for social work practice.
Credits 15 Intakes February
SSSW.5113 Introduction to Psychology
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the core concepts within the field of psychology. Students will be able to identify and describe a range of psychological concepts that underpin social work theory and practice.
Credits 15 Intakes Semester 2
SSSW.5114 Introduction to Sociology
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to sociology, examining the “sociological imagination”, as well as key sociological theories including functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. Students will also examine the key social structures and institutions as well as sociological concepts of particular relevance to social work...
Credits 15 Intakes Semester 2
TREO.5300 Te Atapō
Students will be introduced to te reo Māori vocabulary and basic sentence structures for contextual use. Students will be able to read, write, comprehend and verbalise basic Māori words and sentences in personal and professional contexts.
Credits 15 Intakes February
TREO.5301 Te Atatū
Students will increase their te reo Māori vocabulary, phrases and sentences and further develop, speaking, written and listening skills for personal and professional contextual use. Students will be able to describe and demonstrate tikanga (protocols) in a variety of settings.
Credits 15 Intakes July

Elective courses

Year 4: SSSW.7410; SSSW.7411; SSSW.7412; SSSW.7413; SSSW.7325; TECE.7028;

*Course cost: Standard fee for New Zealand residents only. Fees for non-New Zealand residents will vary, visit the International Programmes and Tuition Fees information page.

Page last updated: 02 Nov 2017