Course details

Bachelor of Social Work
Domestic tuition $6,360 per year
NZQF Level 7

About the course

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 is an applied professional programme with a focus on producing social work graduates ready to practise with a beginner competence. Practice skills and field placements are core components of  study, with fieldwork placements will be negotiated between the Fieldwork Practice Leader, the Placement Supervisor and the student. This four-year programme is recognised by the Social Work Registration Board of New Zealand. Part-time study options are available and should be indicated on application.

Programme outline

Social Work is a profession which aims to help people, communities and societies to develop their full potential. Social workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities.

The focus of the programme is to develop safe, competent and reflective professional social workers who are committed to ethical practice and accountability.

Year One​

In the first year, students learn to be learners and develop an understanding of the Aotearoa New Zealand context.

Bachelor of Social Work Year One Course Outlines

Year Two

In the second year, students consolidate their learner experiences, and develop their social worker identity.

Bachelor of Social Work Year Two Course Outlines

Year Three

In the third year, students are able to maintain safe practice for themselves, their clients and the organisation they are undertaking field placement in.

Bachelor of Social Work Year Three Course Outlines

Year Four​

In the fourth year, students continue to build and consolidate their practice competence, taking responsibility for their actions, informed by the many dimensions of social work knowledge​.

Bachelor of Social Work Year Four Course Outlines

Entry criteria

University entrance or equivalent academic/work experience; evidence of suitability based on safety check, referee reports and interview

Bachelor of Social Work applicants for whom English is an alternative language and who have not undertaken secondary education in English, Māori or New Zealand Sign Language: IELTS 6.5 academic in each band.


The interview determines the applicant's preparedness for study, ability to meet the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (if applicable) and any registration board requirements in terms of being fit for registration. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • effective interpersonal communication skills
  • understanding of, and capability to, work in the professional health and social services sector
  • commitment and motivation to succeed

Safety check

As required by the Children's Act (2014), students who may work with children during the course of their study must be safety checked. Safety checking includes reference checking, work history, identity check, police vet and an overall assessment of the applicant's safety to work with children. 

International students

Proven equivalence of entry requirements plus IELTS 6.5 in each band.

* International fees shown here do not include insurance and administration (currently approximately $780 per year of study)

How to apply

You will need additional forms and documents for your application, please read the steps and download the required forms through the link below.

How to apply

Hear from our students

Entry requirements

Whitireia degree entry requirements: or equivalent academic/work experience; evidence of suitability based on interview, health screening, safety check and referee reports. Applicants for whom English is an alternate language and who have not undertaken secondary education in English, Maori or New Zealand Sign Language: IELTS 6.5 academic in each band.

About the provider

Whitireia is a wholly-owned Crown entity subsidiary company of NZIST, known for its high student success rate and culturally diverse student body. Established in 1986, Whitieria has grown to become a highly respectable Tertiary Institution in Wellington, Porirua and Auckland. 

We have highly-skilled teaching and support staff who work hard to support you every step of the way, with over 200 programmes of study covering masters, postgraduates, degree, diploma and certificate levels along with a number of short courses. 

We welcome learners at every life stage: school leavers. University graduates, those preparing to re-enter the workforce. and current workers wanting to upskill or retain. We have a wide range of excellent support services to ensure you achieve your career goals.