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University of Otago
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Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) (MSCW(Applied))

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


The MSCW(Applied) covers key elements of social work practice: models of practice, family and children, community organisations and policy settings, kaupapa Maori and Indigenous approaches to practice, and research and evaluation skills. Students will also complete two fieldwork placements with social service agencies where they will have the opportunity to learn within a professional setting supervised by a registered social worker.

This programme is available both on-campus and via distance education.

Structure of the Programme

Every programme shall consist of papers worth a total of 240 points, as prescribed in the MSCW (Applied) Schedule.

Duration of the Programme

A candidate shall normally complete the requirements of the degree within two years of full-time study or five years of part-time study.

Entry criteria

Every applicant shall:

i. be a graduate, having completed an undergraduate degree programme of at least 360 points in an area considered to be suitable as background for postgraduate study in Social Work;

ii. have achieved an average grade of at least B in the 300-level major-subject papers for the applicant’s undergraduate degree programme;

iii. provide evidence, to the satisfaction of the Social Work Admissions Committee, that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be a social work student.

iv. provide evidence of prior skills or formal training in: Maori language and culture, the Treaty of Waitangi, social issues in New Zealand society, social research methods, and human development.

Note: For applicants who do not meet some of these criteria, the Social Work Admissions Committee can request completion of coursework (e.g. for Certificate of Proficiency at the University of Otago) prior to admission to the programme.

English language requirements

i. an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 7.0 in the academic band (with no band score lower than 7.0), or

ii. a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet-based test (iBT) score of 95 or higher with a writing score of 22.

These tests must have been completed in one sitting within the previous two years, and evidence must be provided by way of certified results.

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