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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Whitireia New Zealand
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Bachelor of Social Work

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

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Help people develop their full potential. Become a social work professional whose practice is underpinned by reflective and critical thinking. Understand the context of individuals, families and communities. Work towards Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) registration.

The Bachelor of Social Work Degree programme provides a framework for individuals to gain a qualification that enables them to develop social work practice capabilities, professional scholarship, and provides for extensive career opportunities on completion.

This four-year full-time programme is designed to meet the professional and educational requirements of the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) and New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) and in doing so provides those who choose to study at Whitireia with a sound social work education, a recognised qualification, and a pathway to higher qualifications.

More detail about this qualification

Teaching and learning

Theory hours are usually 9:00 am-3:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays during theory weeks. Tutorials are compulsory and these are on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Tutorial times are negotiated by the lecturers at the beginning of the year, so students can plan their study ahead of time. A variety of teaching processes are used in the programme including lectures, tutorials, learning packages, workshops, student presentations and online learning.

Fieldwork placements

Students must complete their fieldwork placement experience of 12 weeks (60 days) in both Years 3 and 4. Over this 12-week period, students can expect to complete 60 days full time, with varied hours of work. Please note, fieldwork placements may not be in the area that you live. The cost of transportation to and from fieldwork placements is the student’s responsibility. If students are working part-time priority must be given to attending fieldwork placements

Year one

The first year is centred on developing the student’s understanding of their individual and collective responsibilities as a social work learner.

Year two

The second year of the programme is centred on consolidating the learner experiences that will continue to support positive study habits, maintain the student’s enthusiasm to learn and more directly focus them on the social work curriculum.

Year three

The third year of the programme is centred on preparing students for their first field placement. They will have developed sufficient skills to undertake a monitored and supervised field placement where they will observe and participate in service delivery.

Year Four

students are enabled to confirm the competencies expected of them as work-ready, new social work practitioners. They take responsibility for their actions, are informed by the many dimensions of social work knowledge, and critically reflect on their own actions and responses, as well as those of others.

Entry criteria

Whitireia degree academic entry requirements (i.e. University Entrance) or equivalent. Applicants for whom English is an alternative language and who have not undertaken secondary education in English, Maori or New Zealand Sign Language: require IELTS 6.5 academic in each band.

TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT) score of 60 (with a writing score of 20)

Cambridge English: FCE with a pass at Grade B

Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PToE (Academic) score of 50

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