Human Service agencies provide support services across a number of areas, such as education, health, housing, justice, police, mediation and welfare. Such services are people-oriented and have a developmental, preventative, remedial or rehabilitative function.
Internationally, Human Services is a growing discipline and career pathway. Statutory and not-for-profit agencies require highly qualified staff to attend to the complex needs of a diversity of clients.
Human Services is also referred to as the study of the professions. At UC, courses include a focus on professional issues such as workplace bullying, management and supervision, and the dynamics of the worker-client relationship.
Students majoring in subjects such as Psychology, Law, Education, Engineering, Management, and Sociology also have the opportunity to strengthen the human service component of their studies by including HSRV courses.
This programme provides students with the opportunity to choose courses in particular areas of study, maximising their scope to develop more focused career directions within their degree. There are four broad pathways within the Human Services progamme at UC:
- Interpersonal and Family Systems
- Organisational Systems
- Global Systems
- Violence and Criminal Justice Systems.
The four streams, and complementary courses, are suggested pathways rather than prescriptive. This aspect maximises students’ ability to develop more focused career directions.
Interpersonal and Family Systems
Students majoring in Human Services can develop a study pathway in accordance with a career goal to work for the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ), New Zealand Police, or a variety of non-statutory community agencies. Courses relevant to this career pathway include HSRV 102, HSRV 103, HSRV 104, HSRV 202, HSRV 204, HSRV 206, HSRV 301, and HSRV 303.
Students with an interest in organisational systems have an opportunity to complement their accountancy or management courses with Human Services courses. The combination of these courses provides students with the knowledge to understand and implement change systems, consider critical debates and trends within policy, as well as to develop skills in the area of communication. Courses relevant to this career pathway include HSRV 101, HSRV 103, HSRV 201, HSRV 202, HSRV 203, HSRV 204, HSRV 301 and HSRV 306.
This cluster of courses will prepare students to pursue human service employment with an international perspective both nationally and internationally. Courses relevant to this career pathway include HSRV 101, HSRV 103, HSRV 104, HSRV 204, HSRV 211, HSRV 301, HSRV 302 and HSRV 306.
Violence and Criminal Justice Systems
The Human Services courses make use of staff specialisms in the areas of violence and human services provision across contexts. Most of these consider violence as a contemporary and historical issue within broader content. A number of Human Services courses focus more specifically on the contemporary topic of violence, and offer students the opportunity to consider violence in a more focused, theoretical and practical manner. Courses relevant to this career pathway include HSRV 102, HSRV 103, HSRV 104, HSRV 204, HSRV 206, HSRV 301, HSRV 302, and HSRV 303.
Human Services courses can be complemented by courses from other subjects, such as Sociology, Psychology, Law, Social Work, Management, and Māori and Indigenous Studies.
A range of courses is offered at 200 and 300-level. At these levels, course topics are dynamic and contemporary, and closely related to staff research and practice interests. Courses at 200-level include:
- Communication in the Human Services
- Human Behaviour and Human Systems
- Policy Debates in the Human Services
- Gender Sensitivity and Human Services
- Indigenous Issues and the State
- Social Organisation: Community Development and Global Change
- Child Protection and Family Welfare
- Te Tiriti: The Treaty of Waitangi
- Women, Offending and Victimisation: Perspectives
- Non-Governmental Organisations and Social Development
- Perspectives on Ageing in Human Systems.
To qualify for entry into BA(Hons) and MA courses, which offer a broad range of applied and theoretical topics and may include a thesis, students must attain a satisfactory standard in two appropriate courses at 300-level together with an undergraduate degree. Students completing postgraduate study in Human Services have the opportunity to pursue knowledge in a specific human service area and maximise their ability to follow more focused career directions.
Courses in the postgraduate programme cover issues such as violence, policies and politics of sex, criminal justice, communication, non-government organisations, public policy and the law, research methods, development and postcolonialism, indigenous and cross-cultural issues, service co-ordination, youth development and culture, child protection and ageing.
Students are encouraged to talk with staff about their interest in the postgraduate programme and to apply for scholarships that may be available to assist them in their studies.
The Human Services programme is designed for students wanting to pursue careers that involve working with people (for example in community work, health, housing, employment, education, accident rehabilitation, work-and-income, and the police), but who are not interested in a specialist professional training programme, such as those offered in Social Work, educational or clinical psychology, Communication Disorders, and so on.
Possible employment options for graduates with a BA in Human Services include human service agencies, organisations, and departments at the local, national and international level.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers