Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work

Make a difference with a career in Social Work, studying a bachelor’s will help you to develop a practice model that integrates non-indigenous and indigenous theories, models, thinking and skills, which can help to enhance working with family and whānau and more in the community.

Programme outline

Before applying for this qualification please ensure you have read the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

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

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet both the academic and suitability entry requirements.

Academic Entry Requirements

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, Māori or New Zealand Sign Language: require IELTS 6.5 academic in each band.

Suitability Requirements

Attend an interview to determine the applicant’s preparedness for study and ability to meet the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (if applicable), as well as 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 Suitability will also be assessed with reference to the applicant’s health screening, safety check* and referee reports.

*Safety Check: The Children's Act (2014) requires all students, who may work with children during the course of their study, to 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.


Find your country's equivalent academic entry requirements here

*International fee displayed is for 1 year of study (equivalent to 120 credits) and does not include insurance and administration (approximately $924 per year of study).


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all students applying for entry to a health or social practice programme are strongly recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Course related costs

Health screening*: $250
Stationary: $150

*Health Screening: In years three and four, health screening/vaccinations may be a prerequisite for attendance at some of the fieldwork placements. Students will be advised whether this is a requirement when their placement is confirmed. Please note students are responsible for any costs involved.

How to apply

Applications for this programme close Friday 10 December 2021. Applications received after this date will only be processed if places are still available.

Before you start your online application, you will need to have the following documentation available to upload when requested:

  • Completed Supplementary Application for Health and Social Services Programmes
  • Referee report
  • Verified ID
  • Verified official transcripts

Give the referee report to someone who is willing to be your referee. Ask them to complete the forms and either return to yourself (so you can upload with your application), or scan and email to within 10 days. Please note applications will not be processed until the referee report has been received.

Credit recognition

If you have relevant skills and knowledge through study or experiences in work or other activities, you may be able to receive credit for them when enrolling in a programme of study. Credit recognition may not exceed two-thirds of your chosen programme and cannot be attributed to practicum courses (SOWK7321, SOWK7322, SOWK7341, SOWK7342).

Offering institute

This qualification is offered by Whitireia.

From 2023, Whitireia and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. All programmes offered by Whitireia and other subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga are under review, to ensure they are portable, consistent and aligned with the needs of industry. The programme you have enrolled in may change over time.

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