Bachelor of Social Work


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Work experience

You do not need to work in a social work agency while studying, but we strongly encourage you to volunteer in one if you can. This will give you ongoing opportunities to:

  • put the theory you learn into practice
  • communicate with others involved in social work
  • develop an understanding of the sector.

Note: Voluntary work does not count towards the practica days required as part of this qualification.



As part of this qualification you need to complete, and be assessed on, 120 days of supervised practice. You will do practicum placements as part of the following courses:

  • 77225 Becoming Professional: Practicum I - a Level 6, 40 credit course with a 5-day workshop and 60 days of practicum experience; and
  • 77335 Critical Practice: Practicum II - a Level 7, 80 credit course with two 3-day workshops and 60 days of practicum experience.

Practica requirements:

  • practica must be done in at least two different organisational settings 
  • you must be exposed to at least two different fields of practice.

If you are employed in social service work you may be able to complete a maximum of one practicum in your place of work.

The type of agency where you complete your practicum are decided on a case-by-case basis by the Programme Leader, in consultation with you and the agency.

Getting a practicum

Getting a a practicum placement is dependent on a number of factors:

  • there are a limited number of available placement opportunities social work agencies
  • in some cases, you may need to travel to secure a placement for your practicum course
  • you may need to complete your practicum course when there is less demand on placements.

As part of this qualification you need to attend a number of compulsory workshops, noho marae and practica. These include:

  • 3-day noho marae for 77120 – Te Ao Mäori and Social Work Practice
  • 3-day workshop and 1 week voluntary work for 77221 – Exploring Professional Practice
  • 5-day workshop in 77225 – Becoming Professional: Practicum I
  • 3-day noho marae in 77330 – Culturally Relevant Social Work Practice
  • Two 3-day workshops in 77335 – Critical Practice: Practicum II Work Experience.

Noho marae are held in the Wellington area. Workshops are held at the Open Polytechnic campus in Lower Hutt.

If you need to travel to attend noho marae and workshops, you need to cover your own travel costs. Accommodation is provided for the noho marae, but you need to cover your accommodation costs for workshops.