Bachelor of Social Work

When studying for a Bachelor of Social Work at Waikato, you'll be learning how to make a positive difference to the lives of others. If you're a person who wants to contribute to society – this is a professional qualification that helps you to do just that.

Kate Dooley

Social Work
It's quite a jump from duty manager at Mitre 10 to family support social worker, but that's what Kate Dooley has done.

Shannon Julian

Social Work
Since a young age, Shannon had wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, so she chose to study a Bachelor of Social Work.

Tracey Lee

Social Work
A mother of five, Tracey began a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Waikato, in Tauranga. The Bachelor of Social Work is a professional qualification for anyone who wants to make a difference to people’s lives and create positive changes to society – a perfect fit for Tracey.

BSW Student

Throughout your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) studies, you'll be learning a range of skills from many different disciplines. The skills you develop and the knowledge you'll gain will give you the level of competence you'll need to thrive as a social worker.

Successful social workers are vital in our increasingly complex society, and you'll be part of a valued and important profession. The Waikato BSW is recognised by the Social Workers Registration Board, and qualified social workers are sought after both within New Zealand and overseas.

You'll study for your BSW at Waikato's Windermere Campus in Tauranga. During your studies, you'll learn about a wide range of topics: social policy and social issues, social science research and social work approaches and decision making. You'll learn about family and children at risk. You'll also develop your knowledge and skills in the areas of community development and bicultural and multicultural social work practices. The BSW may be awarded with Honours.

When you've finished your studies, there are a range of different organisations you might like to work for including district health boards, family services, government agencies, non-profit organisations or iwi social services.

 Career opportunities

  • Case Manager
  • Community Development Worker
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Researcher
  • Social Worker
  • Youth Worker
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Key information

Study Locations Tauranga
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Years 4.0
Points 480
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $5,879-$6,786 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $23,235 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.


These are all the subjects available for the Bachelor of Social Work

Social Work

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Honours programme

Students wishing to be considered for the award of Honours must include SOCW490 Social Work Decision Making: Research Project in their programme of study.

Practical experience

Placement in a work environment is an essential component of the BSW. In the third and fourth year of study, you will develop practical experience through fieldwork placements in social service agencies.

All applicants are subject to an interview and selection process, including a criminal record check, provision of a personal statement and referee check. Selection of applicants is based on academic background, suitability for social work and meeting the requirements of the University and the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board in terms of being a fit and proper person to practice social work. Applicants will be interviewed by the Bachelor of Social Work selection panel. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some first-year papers may have specific prerequisites, so please check the catalogue of papers carefully. If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact as there may be other pathways that you can take to study in this field.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080

Degree Structure

List A – 20 points from: HDCO200, HDCO201, HDCO202, PHIL218, PSYC228, PSYC229, SOCY204, TIKA263, TIKA264, TTWA201 or a paper approved by the convenor.

List B – 20 points from: List A as above or 20 points from HDCO300, HDCO301, HDCO302, PSYC301, PSYC310, PSYC319, PSYC338, SOCP302, SOCY311, TIKA363 or a paper approved by the covenor.

List C – 20 points from: HDCO300, HDCO301, HDCO302, PSYC301, PSYC310, PSYC319, PSYC338, SOCP302, SOCY311, TIKA363 or a paper approved by the convenor.

*Students in the Honours stream take SOCW490 in place of SOCW401 and a 20 point elective.

BSW Degree Regulations
BSW Degree Planner

Degree Planners