Master of Social Work (by thesis)
The Master of Social Work degree requires candidates to complete a thesis on a full or part-time basis. The MSW is particularly aimed at practitioners with specialist practice, supervisory, management, or policy analysis and development responsibilities.
The programme of study and research can be designed to meet each candidate’s professional needs and interests.
The degree may be awarded with Distinction or Merit.
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 one of the following:
- Bachelor of Social Work degree with First Class or Second Class honours Division 1, or
- bachelor’s degree and the Graduate Diploma in Social Work (if conferred before 2009), or
- bachelor's degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work with a B+ average or above, or equivalent, or
- completed a qualifying course prescribed by the Head of the Department of Social Work and Human Services, and approved by the Dean of Arts of a standard to the prerequisite courses.
The MSW by thesis is accessible only to those students who have obtained a professional qualification in Social Work. This means they have completed fieldwork requirements. For more details, contact the Social Work programme.
Qualification structure and duration
The MSW degree requires candidates to complete a thesis on a full or part-time basis. It can take one to three years full-time or up to six years part-time. Students can begin their thesis at the beginning of any month.
How to apply
Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
UC also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work.
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.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Social Work.
For study planning help contact the Social Work programme or the College of Arts:
College of Arts
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800