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.
Social work is a valuable and necessary profession in our society, particularly as society grows increasingly complex. Social justice and human rights principles are fundamental to social work practice in assisting the improvement of social functioning and social well-being.
Social workers work with individuals, families, whānau, groups, schools and communities, especially with disadvantaged members of society, for whom they may provide advocacy and other skills and services. It is also important that as a profession, social workers have a capacity to carry out research and build a foundation of knowledge to further work in the field, as well as the capacity to analyse, influence and, when necessary, challenge social policies.
Social Work is available as a specified programme for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) only. Graduates of the BSW will be equipped with these skills and abilities and more. The BSW can be awarded with Honours.
Study Social Work in these qualifications
Study Social Work as a specialisation of
- Child and Family Services Worker
- Child Protection Worker
- Community Worker
- Policy Analyst
- Probation Officer
- Social Worker
- Youth Worker
Available Social Work papers
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.
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.
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.
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
Students wishing to be considered for the award of Honours must include SOCWK490 in their programme of study.
Prescriptions for the PGCert (SocWork), PGDip (SocWork), Master of Social Work (MSW)
To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Social Work papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 400 level Social Work papers or all their undergraduate Social Work papers. Candidates who do not meet this requirement may be considered for admission based on academic merit and relevant experience, at the discretion of the Academic Board.
To complete a PGCert (SocWork) students must complete 60 points at 500 level, from SOCW501, SOCW502, SOCW503, SOCW504 or SOCW505.
To complete a PGDip (SocWork) students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including SOCW506 or another approved research methods paper and at least 60 points from SOCW501, SOCW502, SOCW503, SOCW504 or SOCW505.
To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSW, a student must have completed a BSW or a BSW(Hons) and have gained at least a B average in all of their undergraduate Social Work papers.
Students must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including SOCW506 or another approved research methods paper; and at least one of SOCW501, SOCW502, SOCW503, SOCW504 or SOCW505; and a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis, or a 60 point dissertation; with any remaining points taken from the papers listed for the MSW.
|Code||Paper Title||Occurrence / Location|
|HMDEV100||Lifespan Development||20A (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.|
|MAORI150||Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi||20A (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.|
|PHILO103||Critical Thinking||20A (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.|
|PSYCH101||Social Psychology, Health and Well-being||20B (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.|
|SOCIO101||Introduction to Sociology||20B (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.|
|SOCPY100||Introduction to Social Policy||20A (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.|
|SOCWK101||Introduction to the Social Work Profession||20A (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.|
|SOCWK102||Introduction to Social Work Theory||20B (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.|
|Code||Paper Title||Occurrence / Location|
|ECONS200||Understanding the Global Economy||20A (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.|
|HMDEV200||Child Development||20B (Hamilton)|
|This paper critically explores a diverse range of theories and perspectives that relate to both historical and current discourses to understanding child development.|
|HMDEV201||Adolescent Development||20A (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...|
|HMDEV202||Adult Development and Ageing||20A (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.|
|HMDEV240||Group Work for Life Transitions||20B (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.|
|MAORI203||Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples||20A (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.|
|MAORI222||He Ao Hurihuri He Ao Tuakiri: Evolving Māori Culture and Identity||20B (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.|
|MAORI250||Māori Politics||20A (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.|
|PHILO218||Ethics at Work||20G (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.|
|PSYCH202||Mauri Ora: Social Psychology of Human Flourishing||20B (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.|
|PSYCH211||Understanding Psychological Research||20A (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.|
|SOCIO200||Modern Sociology and Western Capitalism: A Cosmopolitan Perspective||20A (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.|
|SOCIO203||Popular Culture||20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)|
|This paper offers a sociological perspective on historical and contemporary forms of popular culture.|
|SOCPY200||Social Policy and Social Issues||20A (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.|
|SOCPY201||Social Policy, Families and Children||20B (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.|
|SOCWK201||Social Work Issues||20B (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.|
|SOCWK202||Social Work Approaches and Fields of Practice||20A (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.|
|SOCWK205||Community Development||20A (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.|
|SSRES200||Social Science Research Methods||20A (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.|
|Code||Paper Title||Occurrence / Location|
|HMDEV300||Children's Development in Families||20A (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.|
|HMDEV301||Critical Issues for Youth in the 21st Century||20B (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.|
|HMDEV302||Ageing in a Changing World||20B (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.|
|HMDEV340||Perspectives on Counselling||20A (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.|
|MAORI350||Mana Motuhake||20A (Hamilton)|
|A critical analysis investigating tribal reconfigurations of mana motuhake in the 21st century, focusing in particular on economic, environmental, cultural and political development.|
|PSYCH302||Community, Culture and Diversity||20A (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...|
|PSYCH319||Infant and Child Development||20B (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.|
|PSYCH338||Mental Health and Well Being||20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Tauranga)|
|This course offers an introduction to the definition, assessment, and treatment of mental disorders.|
|PSYCH344||Positive Psychology||20A (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.|
|SOCIO311||Current Issues in Criminal Justice||20B (Online)|
|This paper examines sociological explanations for criminal behaviour and examines issues within criminal justice.|
|SOCPY300||Social Policy||20B (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.|
|SOCWK300||Social Work Placement 1||20X (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.|
|SOCWK302||Bicultural and Multicultural Social Work Practice||20X (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.|
|SOCWK303||Children and Young People at Risk||20A (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.|
|SOCWK306||Social Work Professional Skills||20X (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.|
|Code||Paper Title||Occurrence / Location|
|SOCWK400||Social Work Placement 2||20X (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...|
|SOCWK401||Social Work Decision Making||20A (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.|
|SOCWK404||Social Justice, Ethics and Law||20A (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.|
|SOCWK490||Social Work Decision Making Research Project||20X (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.|
Scholarships and prizes
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For more information about subject requirements please refer to the catalogue of papers for the most up to date information.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
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