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Do you want to study towards a Social Work qualification, but don't have a bachelor's degree in Social Work?

The Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) might be for you if you do not have a bachelor's degree in Social Work.

Applications close on 1 November each year.

This Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) is a taught masters (undertaken by papers) that engages students in critical approaches to theory, evidence and practice in social work.

This 240-point programme provides an option for students to undertake advanced-level study of the discipline of Social Work. The Masters in Social and Community Work (Applied) provides eligibility to register as a social worker with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB). This masters degree is offered both on campus, and by distance to people living in Aotearoa New Zealand. It consists 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.
    Read about the New Zealand Police and Children's Act 2014 safety checks
  • 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

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.

Further information


Further information about the Master of Social and Community Work (Applied)

Social Work papers

Social Work papers

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