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Applications close on 1 November each year.

Please read the information below, and then:
Visit the Master of Social and Community Work (applied) qualifications page for more information and to apply.

This is a taught masters (undertaken by papers) that will be offered for the first time in 2018. This masters degree introduces a new 240-point programme which will provide an option for students to undertake study of the discipline of social work. It is intended to provide eligibility to register as a social worker with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB). This programme has been re-recognised by the SWRB. This masters degree will be offered on campus, and by distance to people living in Aotearoa New Zealand. It will consist of two years of full-time study, or the part-time equivalent.

In order to be eligible to apply, applicants will be required to:

  • 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;
  • Have achieved an average grade of at least B in the 300-level major-subject papers for the applicant's undergraduate degree programme;
  • 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. This is evaluated through character references and assessment of evidence of practice experience in community or voluntary organisations and/or a period of professional social services employment. Applicants will also be subject to New Zealand Police and Children's Act 2014 safety checks (further information);
  • 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. International applicants shall be assessed as to whether they require further study on issues in New Zealand society.

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.

The Social Work programmes (BSW and MSCW(Applied)) have English language standards as follows:

All applicants whose primary language is not English, Māori or New Zealand Sign Language must 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.

Visit the Master of Social and Community Work (applied) qualifications page for more information and to apply.

Further information:

If you would like more information on the programme or requirements, please contact

View the list of papers offered

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