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Bachelor of Applied Social Work

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


4 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023




Professionally-trained social workers are always in demand throughout Northland and New Zealand. Our applied degree programme is aimed at preparing you for the workplace. You’ll focus on how to practice in a culturally safe manner, developing the skills to be critically reflective and maintaining self-care strategies, including ongoing professional supervision. You’ll learn the theory, then practice your skills by carrying out fieldwork in a variety of settings.

This degree responds to the specific and current demands of social services within Tai Tokerau as well as meeting national requirements. It will ensure that you’ll be able to respond to constant change once you're part of the workforce.

What you will learn

Graduates of the Bachelor of Applied Social Work will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a bi-cultural context and acknowledge the centrality of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to social work as a profession and in practice
  • Apply anti-oppressive social work values, knowledge and skills to complex situations to stimulate personal and social change in a range of work and social contexts
  • Have the ability to work with individuals, families or whanau, communities and groups from diverse ethnic, cultural and indigenous backgrounds
  • Demonstrate resilience and the ability to manage interpersonal conflict and challenges that arise in the context of social work practice
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the origins, purpose and development of Aotearoa New Zealand social work within a global context
  • Demonstrate professional literacy and numeracy, critically evaluate scholarship, critique and apply diverse knowledge and research to social work practice
  • Demonstrate an ability to think critically, and effectively analyse, synthesise and apply information
  • Demonstrate the ability to work autonomously and make independent judgment from a well-informed social work position
  • Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with others in multi-disciplinary teams, organisations and communities
  • Demonstrate a critical reflective approach to individual social work practice through supervision, peer review and self-evaluation
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognise own learning needs and participates in continuing professional development
  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively utilise ongoing professional supervision and a commitment to continuing professional development
  • Demonstrate understanding of, and ability to, integrate sustainability and contemporary social, political, psychological, economic, legal, environmental, cultural and indigenous issues within Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally into both social work as a profession and practice
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the level of skills, knowledge, information, attributes and abilities of a new social work graduate

Career pathways and opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Applied Social Work will be able to work both independently and collectively demonstrating competence in interpersonal and intrapersonal communication and practice skills, that can lead to a range of careers including:

  • Social Workers
  • Community support workers
  • Whanau ora workers
  • Community advocates
  • Health workers
  • Drug and Alcohol social workers
  • Mental Health social workers and advocates
  • Housing support workers
  • Maori communities Kaiawhinas
  • Community Advisors
  • Family support workers

Qualification gained

Bachelor of Applied Social Work.

Entry criteria

Completed NCEA level 3 with University Entrance including at least:

  • 14 credits in an English language rich subject, e.g. English, history, art history, classics, geography, economics

Alternative Educational Criteria

  • Minimum of 'B' passes in a relevant Level 4 Bridging Programme Or
  • Evidence of recent successful study in other relevant courses at tertiary level Or
  • Documented verifiable evidence of relevant work life experience (usually the equivalent of two year's full time) that indicates the ability to meet the requirements of this degree. Such evidence would normally include details of roles/responsibilities undertaken, interpersonal skills, other achievements and referee statements. Admission under this provision requires an interview with and approval from the Programme Leader.

English Language Requirements

If English or Maori is not the applicant's first language, or if the applicant did not undertake their secondary schooling in English, candidates will need to have passed an English language proficiency test with an Academic IELTS score of at least 6.5 in all bands.

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