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University of Canterbury
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Master of Social Work (Applied)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Canterbury


The Master of Social Work (Applied) offers the opportunity for students with an approved degree to complete a recognised professional qualification over two years.

The programme is able to be completed on a part-time basis, which offers some flexibility to those with family or employment commitments.

The MSW(App) requires 10 compulsory courses. The courses are a combination of distance, and on-campus block courses which students are required to attend. There is also a research project and two fieldwork practicum.

Subjects and courses

Students complete these taught courses as Part I:

  • SOWK 611 Human Behaviour and Mental Health
  • SOWK 612 Mana Motuhake, a Bicultural Analysis
  • SOWK 614 Social Work Theory, Research and Practice
  • SOWK 615 Social Work Principles and Skills
  • SOWK 616 Law, Society and International Social Work Practice
  • SOWK 617 Qualitative Research and Programme Evaluation Strategies

Part II involves practical fieldwork and research:

  • SOWK 624 Social Policy Theory and Practice Integration
  • SOWK 670 Research Project
  • SOWK 671 Fieldwork Practicum 1
  • SOWK 672 Fieldwork Practicum II

Students complete Part I before proceeding to Part II. The fieldwork courses in Part II are taken simultaneously.

Further study

UC offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, possible into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

You must have completed any bachelor’s degree with a B Grade Point Average in your 300-level courses, and have completed either courses in social research and human development, or have relevant practice experience or another qualifying programme.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application details:

Students need to apply by 30 September of the year preceding entry.

If you are also applying for admission to the university, please ensure you apply several weeks before this date, to allow time for your application to be processed.

As this programme is offered mainly online with only 4 one-week blocks on campus throughout the year, it may not meet Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Student Visa requirements for students who want to study on-campus in New Zealand. Attendance at the block courses is compulsory and you will need to be in New Zealand during these block courses. Students may need to apply for an alternative visa with a variation allowing study by distance. Please visit the Immigration New Zealand website for more information or to contact Immigration New Zealand to discuss your options.

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