Bachelor of Social Work

When studying for a Bachelor of Social Work at Waikato, you'll be learning how to make a positive difference to the lives of others. If you're a person who wants to contribute to society – this is a professional qualification that helps you to do just that.


Throughout your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) studies, you'll be learning a range of skills from many different disciplines. The skills you develop and the knowledge you'll gain will give you the level of competence you'll need to thrive as a social worker.

Successful social workers are vital in our increasingly complex society, and you'll be part of a valued and important profession. The Waikato BSW is recognised by the Social Workers Registration Board, and qualified social workers are sought after both within New Zealand and overseas.

You'll study for your BSW at Waikato's Windermere Campus in Tauranga. During your studies, you'll learn about a wide range of topics: social policy and social issues, social science research and social work approaches and decision making. You'll learn about family and children at risk. You'll also develop your knowledge and skills in the areas of community development and bicultural and multicultural social work practices. The BSW may be awarded with Honours.

When you've finished your studies, there are a range of different organisations you might like to work for including district health boards, family services, government agencies, non-profit organisations or iwi social services.

Career opportunities

  • Case Manager
  • Community Development Worker
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Researcher
  • Social Worker
  • Youth Worker

Practical experience

Placement in a work environment is an essential component of the BSW. In the third and fourth year of study, you will develop practical experience through fieldwork placements in social service agencies.

Admission and enrolment

All applicants are subject to an interview and selection process, including a criminal record check, provision of a personal statement and referee check. Selection of applicants is based on academic background, suitability for social work and meeting the requirements of the University and the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board in terms of being a fit and proper person to practice social work. Applicants will be interviewed by the Bachelor of Social Work selection panel. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some first-year papers may have specific prerequisites, so please check the catalogue of papers carefully. If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact as there may be other pathways that you can take to study in this field.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated July 10, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
4 years
- Domestic Fees:$5,879-$6,786 per year / International Fees: $23,235 per year
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