Bachelor of Social Work


2 locations available

Program Description

What is like?

Massey is the longest-serving (since 1976) four-year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in New Zealand. Our highly sought-after, internationally recognised degree will offer you a lifelong career that can take you across the country and around the world to countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and the United States. Just to name a few.

Eight more compelling reasons to study social work at Massey

  • More than 90% of Massey social work graduates find employment within six months of earning their degree.
  • Your degree is recognised by the NZ Social Work Registration Board, so you can immediately apply for provisional registration.
  • Massey graduates make up the largest number of highly qualified social workers in the country.
  • Social work is a growth industry - with about 7000 registered social workers in NZ, the government needs more.
  • Massey is the only university in New Zealand where you can study for your degree through distance learning.
  • We guarantee you a national network of hands-on field experience and work placements for our Year 3 and 4 students.
  • Whether you choose to study with us by the distance from halfway around the world or face-to-face on campus, you will benefit from our wide range of university courses in social work and social policy in New Zealand.
  • We combine both theory and practice taught by highly qualified staff – all experts in their fields and passionate about their profession.

Every year, we find work experience for more than 200 students like you in placements throughout New Zealand to make sure you get that vital hands-on experience in the real world.

Our highly regarded social work degree equips you with all the skills needed to understand people and communities in the modern world as you work with them to better their lives.

Want to start making your mark on the lives of others? And enjoy a fulfilling career that can take you right to the top of the profession around the world? Then join us today on a journey for success. Our promise to you? We’ll be with you every step of the way. So what are you waiting for?

A good fit if you

  • Dream of helping people from all walks of life
  • Want to make a real difference to your world
  • Believe in social justice
  • Are intrigued by how systems and people work and how to manage relationships
  • Are determined to lead a meaningful life

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Four years full-time and up to eight years part-time
  • Available for international students studying in NZ


The New Zealand Social Work Registration Board has approved this four-year degree. It is one of the few internationally recognised social work qualifications in New Zealand, and many of our graduates are working in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

What kind of jobs can you get in social work?

A social work degree means you can work in many different areas. Social workers work across all age groups and in many fields of practice including:

  • Hospitals and primary health care
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Voluntary and community organisations and government organisations
  • Child protection
  • Youth justice
  • Housing
  • Offenders
  • Residential care
  • Management and supervision
  • Tertiary education
  • Community work and community development
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Schools

Entry requirements

Admission into the Bachelor of Social Work is by selected entry. Entry requirements are detailed in the 'Regulations' button.

The closing dates for applications for 2019 are:
Semester One 2019 start: closing date for applications is 8 February 2019.
Semester Two 2019 start: closing date for applications is 10 June 2019

As well as meeting the criteria to enter the University, for the BSW Selected Entry application process, you will need to:

  • Meet the requirements set down by the Social Workers Registration Act 2003 for registration as a social worker in New Zealand in terms of being “fit and proper persons to practise social work”
  • Provide a curriculum vitae which includes your academic and work history
  • Provide a personal statement explaining why you wish to enter the social work programme and profession
  • Provide details of two character referees - these must not be family or friends
  • Provide details of any convictions or charges pending in New Zealand and/or overseas
  • Complete the Vetting Service Request and Consent Form for a New Zealand Police check
  • Provide a current Police Certificate from any overseas countries you have lived in for twelve months or more in the last ten years.
  • Undertake an interview (if required)

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

For more than 80 years, Massey University has helped shape the lives and communities of people in New Zealand and around the world. Its forward-thinking spirit, research-led teaching, and cutting-edge ... Read More

For more than 80 years, Massey University has helped shape the lives and communities of people in New Zealand and around the world. Its forward-thinking spirit, research-led teaching, and cutting-edge discoveries make Massey New Zealand’s defining university. Read less
Auckland , Palmerston North , Wellington + 2 More Less