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Massey University
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Master of Applied Social Work

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


Auckland Campus


Study a Master of Applied Social Work – MAppSW

If you want to become a registered social worker, but don’t have a bachelor’s degree in social work, then this qualification is for you.

The Master of Applied Social Work is designed for those with relevant practice experience, or a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. That could include psychology, education, law, medicine, nursing, sociology, anthropology, theology or case management, or other related disciplines.

This qualification will prepare you for practice and registration as a social worker in New Zealand and most other countries.

Add to social work knowledge

You will be able to make cutting-edge contributions to your discipline. You’ll benefit from our practical, research-informed, forward-thinking and academically credible courses. They’ll help you contribute to knowledge-building in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

Small engaging classes

Classes are small. Our interactive and transformative teaching methods will challenge your attitudes and beliefs. In addition, you will have opportunities to participate in field trips and Marae Noho. There are no exams and all work is assessed through assignments that cater for a range of learning styles.

Study while you work

It is possible to work part-time while completing this qualification. This programme can be completed in two years studying full-time or in up to six years studying part-time.

Gain experience in the field

The Master of Applied Social Work includes two different supervised field experiences organised and supervised by Massey. You will spend a minimum of 120 days over a course of your study in social services settings gaining experience in social work practice. If you’re already working in social services, one of your two placements could be at your current workplace.

A MAppSW is a good fit if you:

have a goal of helping people from all walks of life

believe in social justice

are intrigued by how systems and people work and how to manage relationships.

Entry criteria

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

The Master of Applied Social Work is a selected entry qualification. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Master of Applied Social Work you will:

have been awarded or qualified for an undergraduate degree, either in the social sciences (such as social and cultural studies, psychology, human development) or an alternative degree with substantial relevant experience in a social or community setting

hold a driver's licence that is valid in New Zealand unless otherwise exempted

be selected into the qualification on the basis of a process which includes:

providing a personal statement explaining why you wish to enter the social work programme and profession

providing two character referees – these must not be family or friends

providing a curriculum vitae that includes academic and work history

International English Language Requirements:

  • an IELTS test with an overall academic score of at least 6.5, with no band score less than 6.5, taken within the preceding two years, or
  • a TOEFL internet-based test (IBT) score of 85 or higher with a writing score of 22, or
  • at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school, with at least 10 Level 2 NCEA credits in literacy (five reading and five writing), or equivalent.

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