Bachelor of Social Work


Closed to new enrolments
Watch Bachelor of Social Work graduate Alex's story

Admission process

This programme's enrolment dates differ from our standard dates.


This programme has an admission process. This is so we can check that you meet the requirements of the Social Workers Registration Act 2003 and Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

You will need to complete a safety check, which includes:

  • a police vet
  • two professional referees
  • an interview.

Your acceptance into the degree is subject to meeting our admission criteria, and approval by the Bachelor of Social Work programme staff.

Social Workers Registration Act 2003



As part of the online enrolment application you need to provide the details of two confidential referees. One should be your most recent employer.

Ensure you have their name, email address and telephone number before you start the enrolment process.

Your referee cannot be a family member or friend.


Police vetting

When you apply, you need to complete a Vetting Request and Consent form. This form authorises the New Zealand Police to share information about you with Open Polytechnic*. All information is confidential.

When you return this form, you need to include two forms of identification. These must be verified by a trusted referee.

You can download the form and details of how to complete and return it during the online enrolment process.

Vetting Request and Consent Form


Workforce restrictions for children's workforce

If you have a criminal conviction, and you are studying toward a qualification that will lead to a job in the state funded sector (including teaching or providing youth services) working directly with children, you need to check whether your conviction could prevent you from working in some roles in your chosen field.

This is due to the Vulnerable Children's Act 2014. This prevents state sector agencies and government-funded service providers from hiring people with convictions for specified offences to work with children in some roles.

Read the list of specified offences

This information has been supplied by the Children's Action Plan Directorate and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Entry requirements

You must be at least 17 years of age at the start of the programme and have one of the following:

  • NZ University Entrance (Visit for details)
  • passes in NZ certificate/diploma qualifications/courses considered appropriate by the programme leader
  • an overseas qualification assessed to be equivalent to either of the above by the programme leader.

Contact us if you don’t meet the above criteria to discuss your study options.


Computer and online access

Most of the courses in this programme are  online. This means you will access the course content and submit assignments online. 

For online learning you need a  regular access to a computer or device, and reliable internet.

Set texts

You will need set texts for these courses. These are additional cost and not included in your course fees.

A list of the set texts can be found on our Textbook page, under Degree and Associated Diploma Textbooks.


International students and domestic students living overseas

This qualification is not available to international students or New Zealand citizens living overseas.


English language requirements

If you do not have English, Māori or New Zealand sign language as your primary language you need to have passed an English language proficiency test with either:

  • an IELTS academic score of 6.5, with no band score lower than 6.5; or,
  • a TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) score of 85 or higher, with a writing score of 22.

These tests must have been completed and passed in one sitting, and within the previous two years.

If you do not meet the above admission requirements, you may still be able to apply for admission. Contact us for more information:


Computer and internet requirements

This programme is delivered online. To complete this programme you will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, reliable broadband internet connection and a data plan able to support online learning such as streaming of videos (including YouTube), downloading content, and writing and submitting online assessments. If you are unsure if your current computer or internet access allows you to complete your online learning with us, please contact us before applying to enrol.