Bachelor of Social Work with Honours
This highly regarded interdisciplinary degree will engage you in both theory and practice, equipping you for a wide range of people-related work.
The Bachelor of Social Work with Honours (BSW(Hons)) at UC is Aotearoa New Zealand’s most established Social Work programme. The BSW(Hons) is ideal for those with a commitment to working with others in overcoming personal and institutional barriers to wellbeing, and promoting the full potential of people.
- Recognised by Kāhui Whakamana Tauwhiro | New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB).
- Internationally recognised qualification.
- The BSW(Hons) has a strong practical component, leading up to 80% fieldwork in your fourth and final year.
- Field placements see students working within social service agencies and the community.
Admission to UC with University Entrance (or equivalent) is required to enrol.
If English is your additional language, you are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
For information on the enrolment process, please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
Entry to the first year of the BSW(Hons) is open to all students with entry to the University.
While no particular secondary school subjects are required, a background in subjects promoting communication skills such as English, history, geography, or te reo Māori is useful. Volunteer work in the community is also good preparation.
Bachelor of Social Work with Honours – example degree structure
Courses chosen from ANTH, CRJU, EDUC, MAOR, POLS, PSYC, SOCI, TREO, or WRIT 101
(1) Choose from CULT 202, HIST 243, HSRV 208, HSRV 210, MAOR 270, MAOR 285, COMS 207, POLS 206, POLS 212, or SOCI 218.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.
This diagram is an example only – other combinations are possible. For specific course requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours.
The BSW(Hons) requires a total of 480 points:
- 405 points of compulsory Social Work courses
- 75 points from a prescribed list of courses
It is highly recommended that you begin your BSW(Hons) degree in February. Those wanting to begin in July will need to contact the BSW(Hons) Coordinator to organise their programme schedule.
The degree takes 4 years full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 8 years.
Limited entry into second year and beyond
Entry to Social Work courses at 200-level and above is competitive. To apply for entry into the second year of the BSW(Hons), you will need to meet criteria identified through an application process and satisfactory Police vetting. Students with English as a second language will also need to provide evidence of their English language ability.
For entry into the third year of the BSW(Hons), you must have completed 240 points from the 100 and 200-level requirements of the degree, and have approval from the programme to continue with the degree.
Applications into the fourth year of the BSW(Hons) must be made by 30 September during the third year. You will need to have completed SOWK 301 and SOWK 308, provide attestations of character and suitability for practice, and agree to observe the Code of Ethics of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (Inc.) and the Code of Conduct of the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board.
For more information on the entry process for each year of the BSW(Hons), see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours or contact a Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts Student Advisor.
Completed courses can be credited to a Bachelor of Arts if you are unable to, or choose not to, continue with a BSW(Hons).
The Bachelor of Social Work with Honours follows a closely prescribed structure, with courses on social services in Aotearoa New Zealand, social work internship placements, and a variety of optional courses in related subject topics, including Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Political Science and International Relations.
See ‘How do I plan my degree?’ above for an example degree structure diagram.
- HSRV 103 Violence in Society
- SOWK 101 Introduction to Social Policy
- SOWK 102 Social Services in Aotearoa
- SOWK 104 Youth Realities
- MAOR 108 Aotearoa: Introduction to New Zealand Treaty Society or MAOR 165 He Tīmatanga: Engaging with Māori
Plus a choice of three 100-level courses selected from:
- Criminal Justice
- Māori and Indigenous Studies
- Political Science and International Relations
- Te Reo Māori
- WRIT 101 Writing for Academic Success
Students will need to complete first year SOWK courses, and an application, for entry into 200-level SOWK courses.
- HSRV 204 Culture, Indigeneity and Citizenship: Critical Debates for the Human Services
- HSRV 212 Family Violence
- MAOR 212 Māori and Indigenous Development
- SOWK 202 Human Behaviour and Human Systems
- SOWK 203 Policy Debates in the Social Services
- SOWK 205 Social Work and Community Engagement
- SOWK 206 Communication for Practice
Plus one of:
- COMS 207 Social Media
- CULT 202 Cultural Politics/Cultural Activism
- HIST 243 Kiwi Culture
- HSRV 208 Gender Sensitivity and the Human Services
- HSRV 210 Gender, Crime and Social Theory
- MAOR 270 Te Ao Hauora Tangata: Māori Health Perspectives
- MAOR 285 Oral Traditions and Modern Histories of Ngāi Tahu
- POLS 206 Introduction to Public Policy
- POLS 212 Global and International Political Economy
- SOCI 218 Crime and Justice
An application and approval from the programme is required for entry to the third year of the BSW(Hons).
- SOWK 301 Theory, Methods and Integration
- SOWK 303 Mental Health
- SOWK 304 Indigenous Practice
- SOWK 308 Social Work Principles and Skills
- SOWK 340 Practice Research for Social Work
Completion of SOWK 301 and SOWK 308, and an application for entry to the fourth year of the BSW(Hons), will need to be made by 30 September in the previous year of study.
Students develop a strong academic and practice foundation in the social sciences and social work at UC, which prepares them to be social workers, policy analysts, and researchers in both statutory and non-government sectors.
Graduates are highly employable overseas, particularly in the UK and Australia.
Social Work graduates are employed in a wide variety of fields including family welfare, child protection, justice, education, community development, and all areas of health and wellbeing.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
See Tuition Fee Structure for more information
|2020||480||Banded Fee - total tuition fee dependent on course selection||$6,213 per 120 points|
|2021||480||Banded Fee - total tuition fee dependent on course selection||$6,281 per 120 points|
|2021||480||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$29,875 (first 120 points)|
|2022||480||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$30,725 (first 120 points)|
For the full degree requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Social Work with Honours.
For study planning help, contact Te Rōpū Takawaenga o UC | UC Liaison Office (new students) or a Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts Student Advisor (advancing students).
For more information on facilities, resources, and staff, see Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts.