Social Work

Social work in Aotearoa New Zealand is guided by the International Federation of Social Workers (2014) definition, which states that; "social work is a practice-based profession and academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people." Social work practitioners work with people, their families, whānau, communities, and social structures to address life challenges, promote self-determination and autonomy, and enhance wellbeing. The overarching principles of social work are respect for the inherent worth and dignity of human beings, doing no harm, respect for diversity and upholding human rights and social justice. Social work is underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities, and indigenous knowledge.

Study Social Work

Please Note: There will be no new intake into the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from 2022.

The four-year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is located in the School of Social Sciences, within the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology, and Social Sciences. The Social Work Programme aims to advance the values and ethical principles of social work through its teaching and research. The kaupapa of the Social Work Programme is to develop graduates who are critically reflective, ethical professional practitioners and lifelong learners imbued with values of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities grounded in the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Social work photo

Career opportunities

The BSW degree is recognised by the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) and will enable graduates to obtain professional registration as a social worker in Aotearoa New Zealand. Below are some of the common career pathways that our Bachelor of Social Work students have progressed to.

  • Child and Family Services Worker
  • Child Protection Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Kaupapa Māori Services Worker
  • Manager
  • Probation Officer
  • Social Policy Analyst
  • Social Worker
  • Therapist/Counsellor
  • Youth Worker

Have a question? Talk to us

School of Social Sciences

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0800 800 145

General Enquiries

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0800 924 5286