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BSW - Social Work as a major

When studying for a Bachelor of Social Work at Waikato, you'll be learning how to make a positive difference in 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.

Social work is both an academic discipline and a practice-based profession that advocates for social change, social development and social cohesion, in order to empower and liberate people and communities.


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Key information

Years: 4
Points: 480
Start Dates: Semester A (February)
Fees (Domestic): $6,120-$7,130 (approx) per year
Fees (International): $24,430 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Faculty:
*Tuition fees shown 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.

Career opportunities

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

Degree Planner

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 is underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge. Social Workers aspire to engage with people, their families, communities and social structures to address life challenges, enhance wellbeing and promote self-determination and autonomy. Principles of human rights, social justice, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to Social Work.

Social Work is available as a specified programme for the BSW, which may be awarded with honours.

To complete the specified programme in Social Work, students must complete the programme set out below. For more information, contact the Programme Convenor for Social Work.

Year 1

Students must take HMDEV100, MAORI150, PHILO103, PSYCH101, SOCIO101, SOCPY100, SOCWK101 and SOCWK102. In the event a required paper (excluding SOCWK papers) is not offered, students may substitute an alternative paper identified and approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor.

Year 2

Students must take MAORI222, SOCPY200, SOCPY201, SOCWK201, SOCWK202, SOCWK205 and SSRES200. In the event a required paper (excluding SOCWK papers) is not offered, students may substitute an alternative paper identified and approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor.

Year 3

Students must take HMDEV340, SOCWK300, SOCWK302, SOCWK303 and SOCWK306 plus a further 15 points at 200 level or above chosen from ECONS200, HMDEV200, HMDEV201, HMDEV202, HMDEV240, MAORI203, MAORI204, MAORI250, PHILO218, PSYCH202, PSYCH211, SOCIO200, SOCIO203, or a paper approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor.

Please note that MAORI204 is not currently offered in Tauranga but is expected to be offered in the future.

Year 4

Students must take SOCWK400, SOCWK404 and either:

i) SOCWK401 plus a further 30 points at 300 level or above chosen from HMDEV300, HMDEV301, HMDEV302, MAORI350, PSYCH302, PSYCH319, PSYCH338, PSYCH344, SOCIO301, SOCIO311, SOCPY300 or a paper approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor OR

ii) SOCWK490.

Students wishing to be considered for the award of Honours must include SOCWK490 in their programme of study.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV100Lifespan Development20A (Hamilton), 20B (Online) & 20B (Tauranga)
HMDEV100 focuses on understanding and enhancing human development through an exploration of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence patterns of development and learning over the lifespan.
MAORI150Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi20A (Tauranga) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper seeks to provide a sound understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It reviews historical and contemporary interpretations and takes into account the interplay of contextual issues of the time.
PHILO103Critical Thinking20A (Online), 20A (Tauranga), 20B (Online) & 20G (Online)
This paper helps students to engage critically with the sorts of arguments encountered both inside and outside the University.
PSYCH101Social Psychology, Health and Well-being20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper will introduce major issues in psychology particularly as they relate to health, wellbeing, mental illness, forensic psychology, lifespan development, and social factors in a range of contexts.
SOCIO101Introduction to Sociology20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper prepares students for further study in a range of social science subjects. It introduces the main sociological theories, concepts and practices that enable an understanding of contemporary societies.
SOCPY100Introduction to Social Policy20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the values behind social policy and introduces students to some of the important issues and debates in New Zealand and other democratic societies.
SOCWK101Introduction to the Social Work Profession20A (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with an opportunity to examine the history and purpose of social work practice internationally, locally, and in the context of Maori and Western traditions. Social work practice will be evaluated as a tool for social change and social control.
SOCWK102Introduction to Social Work Theory20B (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with an introduction to major traditions in social work theory that inform and guide social work practice, including systems, behavioural, psychodynamic, critical, feminist, anti-oppressive and indigenous theories.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECONS200Understanding the Global Economy20A (Hamilton) & 20X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper focuses on developing understanding of contemporary global issues, including economic well-being, sustainable growth, emerging economies, world trade and globalisation.
HMDEV200Child Development20B (Hamilton)
This paper critically explores a diverse range of theories and perspectives that relate to both historical and current discourses to understanding child development.
HMDEV201Adolescent Development20A (Hamilton) & 20G (Tauranga)
The paper promotes a critical study of the construction of theories specific to the developmental stage of adolescence. It introduces theories of adolescence that have been promoted by a range of theorists over time, and considers how these may be socially and culturally constructed. Current discourses about adolescence - and how t...
HMDEV202Adult Development and Ageing20A (Online)
This paper draws on theories from developmental psychology, sociology, demography, philosophy and biology to examine learning and change processes through adulthood, and discusses implications for personal and social development.
HMDEV240Group Work for Life Transitions20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces and applies the use of group work skills in various (un)expected life transitions. This paper uses theory from human development, life transitions and group work.
MAORI203Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
The paper looks at the detrimental effects that research has historically had on Indigenous peoples and the relatively recent creation of research methodologies by Indigenous peoples to counteract Imperial research, and to empower and decolonise.
MAORI222He Ao Hurihuri He Ao Tuakiri: Evolving Māori Culture and Identity20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
A critical examination of the diverse realities of being Maori in a changing world, highlighting local and global impacts on Maori culture and identity.
MAORI250Māori Politics20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper examines Maori and Indigenous politics in a broad sense, from key ideas such as sovereignty, tino rangatiratanga, and autonomy, through to crucial forms of resistance via various political structures including local, Iwi, national and global Indigenous movements.
PHILO218Ethics at Work20G (Online)
A study of ethics as it relates to business and professional practice in New Zealand including material specifically for interest groups: eg computer science, psychology and social work.
PSYCH202Mauri Ora: Social Psychology of Human Flourishing20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
The paper will examine important conceptual frameworks and theory within social psychology and the social sciences generally. Maori perspectives and exemplars will be a significant emphasis within the paper.
PSYCH211Understanding Psychological Research20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper will cover the basic methodological approaches relevant to psychological and social science research, including research design, data collection, data analysis, and the dissemination of research.
SOCIO200Modern Sociology and Western Capitalism: A Cosmopolitan Perspective20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
This paper examines the ascendancy of modern sociology, from the classic works of Karl Max, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber to contemporary themes such as cosmopolitanism, globalisation and individualisation.
SOCIO203Popular Culture20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper offers a sociological perspective on historical and contemporary forms of popular culture.
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
The paper continues the study of social policy at 200 level. The focus of this paper is on the welfare state, the policy cycle as well as social problems, such as poverty.
SOCPY201Social Policy, Families and Children20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper further develops students' theoretical understanding of social policy, while focusing specifically on policy related to families and children, providing insight into the relationships between policy and lived experience.
SOCWK201Social Work Issues20B (Tauranga)
This paper examines the causes and effects of neglect, abuse, and violence across the life span. It examines interactions between biological, psychological, socio-structural, economic, political, cultural and spiritual aspects of abuse, neglect and violence, along with prevention and intervention strategies.
SOCWK202Social Work Approaches and Fields of Practice20A (Tauranga)
This paper discusses various approaches, methods and models of social work practice including Maori modalities and critically examines their application to various fields of practice including mental health, health, addictions and disability.
SOCWK205Community Development20A (Tauranga)
This paper critically explores the evolution, dimensions and practice of community development in Aoteoroa New Zealand including Maori development. It also focuses on the strategies, skills and tools necessary for community development practice.
SSRES200Social Science Research Methods20A (Online) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces the core research methods used in the social sciences. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are introduced, along with consideration of aspects such as ethics and the Treaty of Waitangi.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV300Children's Development in Families20A (Online)
This paper examines the development of children within family and community contexts. Contemporary issues will be investigated with an emphasis on theory and research and their impact on policy and practice.
HMDEV301Critical Issues for Youth in the 21st Century20B (Online) & 20G (Online)
This paper explores new possibilities for human development in a rapidly changing global environment. Analysis and critique of culturally constructed norms sensitive to gender, ability, culture, sexuality and age will be used.
HMDEV302Ageing in a Changing World20B (Hamilton)
This paper considers the issues arising for adults as they age. It will critically reflect on issues around positive ageing in a global context.
HMDEV340Perspectives on Counselling20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the philosophical, psychological and sociological principles that underpin the aims and methods of the helping professions in general, and counselling in particular.
MAORI350Mana Motuhake20A (Hamilton)
A critical analysis investigating tribal reconfigurations of mana motuhake in the 21st century, focusing in particular on economic, environmental, cultural and political development.
PSYCH302Community, Culture and Diversity20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
The focus of this paper is the study of social justice, intersectionality, transformative interventions, and social change strategies that are central to community, indigenous and liberation psychologies. Issues covered include inequalities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and (dis)ability. Key considerations are the broader co...
PSYCH319Infant and Child Development20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
The objective of this paper is to provide students with an understanding of infants' and children's cognitive, emotional, and social development from a psychological perspective.
PSYCH338Mental Health and Well Being20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This course offers an introduction to the definition, assessment, and treatment of mental disorders.
PSYCH344Positive Psychology20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)
This paper will cover research in areas such as well-being, flow, personal strength, creativity, innovation, psychological health, resilience and characteristics of positive groups, institutions and organisations.
SOCIO311Current Issues in Criminal Justice20B (Online)
This paper examines sociological explanations for criminal behaviour and examines issues within criminal justice.
SOCPY300Social Policy20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with experience of the ways in which policy is formulated and enacted. Theoretical perspectives are consolidated and extended to enhance opportunities for employment in the social policy field.
SOCWK300Social Work Placement 120X (Tauranga)
This first placement of 60 days in a social service agency under supportive supervision provides students with the opportunity to apply theoretical learning, skills and social work values to day-to-day social work practice. This paper gives focus to social work competencies.
SOCWK302Bicultural and Multicultural Social Work Practice20X (Block - Tauranga)
The paper critically examines the practice of bicultural and multicultural social work in Aotearoa New Zealand. It also explores the notions of cultural competency and culturally apprpriate services in social work practice.
SOCWK303Children and Young People at Risk20A (Tauranga)
This paper critically examines topics important to Social Workers who work with children and young people at risk. This paper critically examines the application of social work theories and research to practice issues with children and young people at risk.
SOCWK306Social Work Professional Skills20X (Block - Tauranga)
This paper enables students to critically examine, review and develop a range of professional skills required for social work. With a focus on encouraging students to evidence how they apply knowledge and skills into social work practice.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
SOCWK400Social Work Placement 220X (Tauranga)
This 60 day placement in a social service agency enables students to develop practice to a level of competence close to entry-level social work. Under professional supervision, students initiate, develop and sustain relationships with clients, whanau, groups and organisations and demonstrate independent practice. This is the second...
SOCWK401Social Work Decision Making20A (Tauranga)
This paper provides students with a critical research-based approach to support decision-making in social work practice. Students examine and evaluate evidence for its socio-economic and cultural context and develop skills to transfer this learning into practice.
SOCWK404Social Justice, Ethics and Law20A (Tauranga)
This paper critically examines social justice issues, principles and models of justice and human rights. Students develop an understanding of the judicial system in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of social workers.
SOCWK490Social Work Decision Making Research Project20X (Tauranga)
Students plan, undertake and report on a supervised research project on social work decision making. Students critically consider the place of evidence in making choices about appropriate and effective decisions in social work practice.

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Subject links

Social Work Programme


For more information about subject requirements please refer to the catalogue of papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: wfass@waikato.ac.nz


Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4138
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: socw-fass@waikato.ac.nz