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The Social Work programme at the University of Otago offers two main qualifications designed for different career stages of professional social workers:
- The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is designed for students wishing to obtain a first qualification in Social Work that qualifies them to apply for registration as social workers in New Zealand.
- The Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is designed for mid-career social workers who are already registered but wish to undertake further professional development in a more focused area of professional practice.
Entry into the BSW programme via one of two pathways:
- Students can undertake a four-year undergraduate programme by first enrolling as Social Work Pre-professional students (under the BA programme) and then applying for entry into the third-year stage of the BSW programme (the Social Work Pre-professional years count as the first two years of a four-year BSW programme).
- If students have already completed another bachelor’s degree majoring in a relevant subject such as Psychology or Sociology (other options may be suitable), they can apply for admission directly into the third-year stage of the BSW programme.
Students are welcome to contact the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work for clarification of the information provided or to discuss their individual circumstances.
Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
|1st and 2nd stages|
First Stage Compulsory Papers
SOWK 111 Working with People: The New Zealand Context
SOCI 101 Sociology of New Zealand Society
MAOR 102 Māori Society
MAOR 110 Introduction to Conversational Māori
EDUC 102 Human Development
orPSYC 112 Human Thought and Behaviour
Second Stage Compulsory Papers
SOWK 201 Fields of Practice
SOWK 236 The Treaty and Social Services
SOCI 201 Sociological Research in Practice
SOCI 205 Social Inequality
SOCI 207 Families and Society
First and Second Stage Elective Papers
Additional approved papers from Arts and Music Schedule C to make a total of at least 234 points (normally 13 papers)
Third Stage Compulsory Papers
SOWK 301 Theories and Methods of Social Work
SOWK 302 Social Work for Children and Families - Analysis and Theory
SOWK 303 Communities and Organisations - Analysis and Theory
SOWK 304 Kaupapa Māori, and Indigenous Approaches to Social Work
SOWK 320 Introduction to Professional Practice
SOWK 392 Fieldwork Practice 1
Fourth Stage Compulsory Papers
SOWK 402 Social Work for Children and Families: Advanced Practice
SOWK 403 Communities and Organisations - Advanced Practice
SOWK 480 Research Project
SOWK 492 Fieldwork Practice 2
Note: (1) For information on prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions, refer to the Prescriptions in the Guide to Enrolment.
(2) Prospective BSW students should initially apply for the Social Work Pre-professional (BA) programme.
Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be determined by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) on the advice of the Social Work Admissions Committee.
- To be admitted to the programme at the Third Stage, an applicant must have passed papers worth 234 points from the First and Second Stages as specified in the schedule of papers for the degree, or have completed the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Science (majoring in Psychology), or Bachelor of Education Studies, or have completed a degree at another tertiary education institution (in the same, or similar, subject areas) and have taken an approved course in Maori language and tikanga.
- Candidates will be selected on the basis of their academic record, personal suitability and proven experience in the social services. The Social Work Admissions Committee must be satisfied that applicants meet the requirements of the Social Work Registration Act 2003.
Structure of the Programme
- Every programme shall consist of papers worth not less than 480 points, as prescribed in the programme requirements above.
- The Head of the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work may approve variations from the normal sequence of papers.
Prerequisites, Corequisites and Restrictions
Every programme of study shall satisfy the requirements for prerequisites, corequisites and restrictions set out in the Prescriptions (published in the Guide to Enrolment).
Duration of the Programme
A candidate shall follow a programme of study for not less than four years of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.
A candidate who is enrolled for the degree of Bachelor of Social Work concurrently with another degree, or who has completed one of the two degrees and is proceeding with the other, may cross credit 100- and 200-levels papers which are common to both degrees up to a maximum of 180 points.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.
1. Student numbers may be limited by the capacity of the social services to provide opportunities for fieldwork placements.
2. The due date for applications for enrolment in the Third Stage in the BSW programme is 1 November in the year before admission to the Third Stage.
3. Applicants with appropriate previous qualifications or prior learning and experience may be eligible for ad eundem credit or RPL (recognition of prior learning) credit towards the programme.