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Study undergraduate Social Work

The Social Work Programme

Bachelor of Social Work - BSW

There are two ways in which you can enter the professional social work undergraduate programme at this University:

  • Pathway 1 Social Work Pre-Professional (BA):

    You can enrol to take two years of 'pre-professional' papers at 100 and 200-level and then apply for entry into 'professional' social work and complete 300 and 400-level. If you take this pathway, you will graduate with a BSW degree after 4 years. When you enrol through the eVision portal, select 'social work pre-professional (BA)' as your programme of study.

  • Pathway 2 Second Degree:

    If you have already completed a degree in another discipline (usually in a subject that provides good companion information to social work) you can cross credit up to 180 points towards your BSW, and complete your BSW in two and a half years of full time study (years three and four plus extra points and content requirements). If you have extra points from your first degree and have covered all content requirements, it may be possible to complete your BSW in two years.  See below for application information.

Admission to 100-level study in the social work pre-professional programme can be done through the university's eVision portal. If you are a new student or a returning student applying for the social work pre-professional (BA) for the first time at the University of Otago, you need to apply by 10 December in the year before your proposed study.  The due date for returning students continuing in the same programme is 15 January.

Admission to full professional social work at 300-level in the BSW requires a formal selection process which checks your academic achievements, suitability, and requires police checks and referees reports. Safety checking, as required by the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, will also be completed (further information).  The application process takes time, and you need to apply through eVision in the year before you want to enter professional social work at 300-level. To give the admission committee enough time to consider this material the eVision portal opens for applications for professional social work on 1 August and closes on 1 November. We strongly advise commencing the process of enrolling through eVision as early as possible.

The Social Work programmes (BSW and MSCW (App)) have English language standards as follows:
All students who do not have English, Māori or New Zealand sign language as their primary language demonstrate either:

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