Master of Social Work (Applied)


The Master of Social Work (Applied) offers the opportunity for students with an approved social science degree to complete a recognised professional qualification over two years.

The programme is able to be completed on a part-time basis, which offers some flexibility to those with family or employment commitments.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. 

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Candidates must have completed any bachelor’s degree with a B average in 300-level courses and courses in social research and human development or have relevant practice experience or qualifying programme.

The programme has a limited number of places available and there is only one intake each year. Prospective students for full-time study need to make a formal application to the Social Work programme. To request an application pack, please contact the programme at admin@sowk.canterbury.ac.nz 

Students need to apply by 30 September of the year preceding entry.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Social Work (Applied) or use the admission requirements checker

Qualification structure and duration

The MSW(App) requires 10 compulsory courses from the schedule. The courses are a combination of distance, and on-campus block courses which students are required to attend. There is also a research project and two fieldwork practicums. For the up-to-date schedule of courses, see the Regulations for the Master of Social Work (Applied).


The full-time programme consists of two parts and will normally be completed in two consecutive years. A part-time programme consists of three parts and must be completed within six years.

Students can begin their studies in February or July.

How to apply

A special application is required – see 'Entry requirements' above.

Find out more information about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Further study

UC offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Social Work (Applied)

For study planning help contact the Social Work programme or the College of Arts:

College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 369 3377
Email artsdegreeadvice@canterbury.ac.nz

Jasvin Lala

Jasvin Lala

'If you are passionate about making a difference, Social Work is for you...'

Tom Reveley

Tom Reveley

'My fieldwork placements are currently giving me a great platform to apply and refine my skills...'