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Social Work

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. The degree programme for the BSW is delivered at the Windermere Campus in Tauranga. This campus is shared in partnership between the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and the University of Waikato.

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Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga; Online

Study Social Work in these qualifications

Social Work as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

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

Year 1

Students must take HMDEV100, MAORI150, PHILO103, PSYCH101, SOCIO101, SOCPY100, SOCWK101 and SOCWK102.

Year 2

Students must take MAORI222, SOCPY200, SOCPY201, SOCWK201, SOCWK202, SOCWK205 and SSRES200.

Year 3

Students must take HDCO340, SOCW300, SOCW303 and SOCW305, plus a further 20 points chosen from HDCO300, HDCO301, HDCO302, PSYC301, PSYC310, PSYC319, PSYC338, SOCP302, SOCY311, TIKA363 or a paper approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor.

Year 4

Students must take SOCW400, SOCW402 and SOCW404 and either i) SOCW401 plus a further 20 points chosen from HDCO300, HDCO301, HDCO302, PSYC301, PSYC310, PSYC319, PSYC338, SOCP302, SOCY311, TIKA363 or a paper approved by the Social Work Programme Convenor or ii) SOCW490.

Students wishing to be considered for the award of Honours must include SOCW490 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.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HDCO100Human DevelopmentThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
HMDEV100Lifespan Development18A (Hamilton), 18B (Online) & 18B (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 Waitangi18A (Tauranga) & 18B (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.
PHIL103Critical ReasoningThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
PHILO103Critical Thinking18A (Hamilton), 18B (Online), 18B (Tauranga) & 18T (Online)
This paper helps students to engage critically with the sorts of arguments encountered both inside and outside the University.
PSYC102Social and Developmental PsychologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
PSYCH101Social Psychology, Health and Well-being18B (Hamilton) & 18B (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 Sociology18A (Hamilton) & 18A (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.
SOCP102Introduction to Social PolicyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCPY100Introduction to Social Policy18A (Hamilton) & 18A (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. The paper will include presentations by guest speakers who are active in implementing social policies in our community.
SOCW101Introduction to the Social Work ProfessionThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCW102Introduction to Social Work TheoryThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCWK101Introduction to the Social Work Profession18A (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 Theory18B (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.
SOCY101Introduction to SociologyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
TIKA163He Hinatore ki te Ao Maori: Introducing the Maori WorldThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
TTWA150Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Introduction to the Treaty of WaitangiThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
WGSTS101Women in Society: Representations and Realities18A (Hamilton)
This paper considers such issues as media representations, beauty ideals, medicalisation of women's bodies, eating disorders, violence against women, difference, and forms of women's resistance.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV240Group Work for Life Transitions18B (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.
MAORI222He Ao Hurihuri He Ao Tuakiri: Evolving Maori Culture and Identity18B (Hamilton) & 18B (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.
SOCP206Social Policy and Social IssuesThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues18B (Hamilton) & 18B (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 Children18A (Hamilton) & 18A (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.
SOCW201Social Work IssuesThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCW202Social Work ApproachesThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SOCWK201Social Work Issues18B (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 Practice18A (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 Development18A (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.
SOCY222Sociology of the FamilyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
SSRES200Social Science Research Methods18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
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.
SSRP202The Practice of Social Science ResearchThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HDCO340Perspectives on Counselling18A (Hamilton) & 18A (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.
SOCP302Social Policy18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on developing a critical approach to the formulation, content and implementation of New Zealand social policy in an international context. It examines a variety of contemporary policy domains, all of which, in some way, affect the wellbeing of children and families. The paper provides knowledge and skills relevan...
SOCW300Social Work Placement 118C (Tauranga)
This first placement enables students to begin their social work practice under supervision in a specific work situation. Students spend 60 days in a social service agency. The supervised fieldwork placement provides students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical learning within the context of an agency and to practise ...
SOCW303Children and Young People at Risk18C (Block - Tauranga)
This paper critically examines topics important to Social Workers who work with children and young people at risk. The paper focuses on the application of social work theories and research to practice issues with children and young people who are vulnerable.
SOCW305Community Development18A (Tauranga)
This paper critically explores the evolution, dimensions and practice of community development in Aoteoroa New Zealand. It also focuses on the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for community development practice, including the key factors and the role of Iwi, hapu and Whanau in Maori development.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
SOCW400Social Work Placement 218C (Tauranga)
This 60-day placement in a social service or community 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 ...
SOCW401Social Work Decision Making18A (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.
SOCW402Bicultural and Multicultural Social Work Practice18B (Tauranga)
This paper critically examines the bicultural and multicultural context and dimensions of social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. It also explores the theories and notions of cultural competency and culturally appropriate services in social work practice.
SOCW404Social Justice, Ethics and Law18A (Tauranga)
This paper critically examines social justice issues, principles and models of justice and of human rights. Students develop an understanding of the judicial system of Aotearoa New Zealand, and the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of social workers.
SOCW490Social Work Decision Making: Research Project18C (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.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
SOCW501Professional Supervision18A (Hamilton)
This paper provides social workers and other health professionals with a critical examination of the practice of professional supervision. This includes modes and models of supervision, theories of learning and development of practice skills. A critical analysis and review of appropriate literature is also required.

Shannon Julian My older sister studied at Waikato, and I knew I could live in Tauranga and do my Bachelor of Social Work while continuing to work and remain close to my family.

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Subject links

Social Work Programme


Social Work is available as a specified programme for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). To complete the specified programme in Social Work, students must complete the programme set out below.

Notes:

  1. SOCW101, SOCW102, SOCW201, SOCW202 and SOCW305 are available to all students who have met any required prerequisites. With regard to SOCW303, prerequisites may be considered met for candidates currently in social work practice upon application to the Social Work Programme Convenor. All other papers with the subject code SOCW are only available to students enrolled in the BSW.
  2. The BSW may be awarded with Honours.

Documents

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Handbook
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Career Moves


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