Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor of Social Work

Qualification code OP7400

Social work is a profession based on principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversity. The Bachelor of Social Work will prepare you for working with people and their environment. You’ll learn about people through their life span, societies and helping traditions from both western and indigenous perspectives. 

The Bachelor of Social Work is a professional social work degree at Level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. It is designed for people who want to study full-time or part-time by distance and become qualified with a degree. It will prepare you to become a confident, analytical and critically reflective practitioner. You will gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to be a competent social worker in social service settings in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A social worker can be employed as a generic social worker or within a specialist area such as drug or alcohol addiction, child protection, schools, disability, crisis response, violence, or community development.

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  • Level 7  
    Credits 480 
  • Workload

    Approximately 10-12 hours study per week for each 20 credit course. This may be higher at assessment or exam time.

  • Study type Trimester  
  • Cost $19,572 NZ Domestic

    Approximate cost for the full qualification based on 2018 fee information, not including annual administration fees, fee increases, textbooks, course materials or external exam fees.

  • Student loan

    Eligible for student loans, if you meet the criteria. Student loans and eligibility

For information about selecting courses to study towards this qualification, check out the Choose courses tab.

Contact Time

This Degree includes a number of compulsory workshops, noho marae and practica. The initial noho marae and all workshops are expected to be held in Wellington. Students will need to cover their own travel costs to attend noho marae and workshops and their own accommodation costs to attend workshops. Accommodation is provided when students attend the noho marae.

You will need to attend the following:

  • 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.
2018 dates for workshops and Noho Marae


77221 Exploring Professional Practice. Week 4: July 24th – 26th

77120 Te Ao Māori and Social Practice. Week 10: September 18-20 (was previously September 4th – 6th)

77335 Critical Practice. Week 14: October 1st – 3rd

Work experience

You are not required to work in an agency while studying; however we strongly encourage you to volunteer in a social work agency if you can. This will provide you with ongoing opportunities to:

  • Put the theory you learn into practice
  • Communicate with others involved in social work
  • Develop an understanding of the sector.

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


The qualification requires that you complete and are assessed on 120 days of supervised practice while on practica. The practicum experience is associated with 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.

The practica must be completed in at least two different organisational settings and 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. Decisions about the type of agency where you will complete your practicum are made on a case-by-case basis by your Programme Leader in consultation with you and the agency.

A practicum placement is dependent on a number of factors:

  • There are a limited number of available placement opportunities for students in social work agencies.
  • In some cases, you may be required to travel to secure a placement for your practicum course; or
  • You may need to complete your practicum course at a time where there is less demand on placements.

Note: The practice skills workshop held before a practicum placement includes an assessment of student readiness for placement. If you are assessed as not ready for placement you may be withdrawn from the courses you enrolled in and a refund will be provided.

Alex Wong - Bachelor of Social Work Graduate - graduate speaker 2017

Watch Alex's inspiring speech at our 2017 Wellington graduation ceremony.

Key dates

This degree is run on a trimester basis.

Trimester 2, 2018

2 April 2018 - Applications for Admission open (new students)
20 May 2018 - Applications for Admission close (new students)
Mid-late May 2018 - Shortlisted applicants contacted for interviews
Late May-early June 2018 - Interviews held
Early June 2018 - Successful applicants contacted
24 June 2018 - Enrolments Close for Trimester 2 (re-enrolling students)
2 July 2018 - Trimester 2 officially begins
29 July 2018 - Last day for withdrawing (with refund)
23 September 2018 - Last day for withdrawing (no refund)
15-19 October 2018 - Trimester 2 Final Exams
21 October 2018 - Trimester 2 officially ends

If this programme is offered in Trimester 3, and subject to completing the admission process and being accepted in to the programme, new students enrolling before 20 May 2018 will start studying in Trimester 2. 
If the admission process extends beyond mid June 2018 new students accepted on to the programme will start studying in Trimester 3, 2018.

Trimester 3, 2018

16 September 2018 -  Applications for Admission close (new students)
Mid-Late September 2018 - Shortlisted new applicants contacted for interview
Late September – Early October 2018 Interviews held
Mid October 2018 - Successful applicants contacted
21 October 2018 - Enrolment Applications Close (re-enrolling students)
29 October 2018 - Trimester 3 officially begins
25 November 2018 - Last day for withdrawing (with refund)
20 January 2019 - Last day for withdrawing (no refund)
13-15 February 2019 - Trimester 3 Final Exams
17 February 2019 - Trimester 3 officially ends

Enrolment dates

Assessment and exam

Every course is assessed differently - some require assignments and others exams. Check the individual course pages for more information.

Information about assessment and exams

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