Bachelor of Social Work



Bachelor of Social Work

Quick facts

  • Tuition

    28,150 NZD

  • Application fee

    0 NZD

  • Years of study

    4 years

  • PGWP Duration

    3 years

  • Min required GPA

    60 out of 100

Workplace experience


Term start & deadline Deadline
Fall-February 31-October-2021 31-October-2021
Winter-July 01-May-2022 01-May-2022
Fall-February 31-October-2022 31-October-2022
Winter-July 01-May-2023 01-May-2023


Bachelor of Social Work

Develop your passion for helping others into a rewarding career

Become a registered social worker with Massey’s Bachelor of Social Work. As a social worker, you can advocate for structural change, engage in community development and help people overcome challenges to enhance individual and whānau wellbeing.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is highly sought-after and internationally recognised. It will offer you a lifelong career that can take you across New Zealand and around the world.

  • More than 90% of Massey social work graduates find employment within six months of earning their degree.
  • Massey University is committed to being Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led and this is reflected in the School of Social Work and in your learning.
  • The degree is recognised by the NZ Social Work Registration Board.
  • Massey graduates make up the largest number of qualified social workers in the country.
  • Social work is a growth industry, with about 7000 registered social workers in NZ.
  • Massey is the leading university in New Zealand where you can study for your degree through distance learning.
  • You will get vital hands-on experience in the workplace in your third and fourth year of study where you will be supported to undertake placements.
  • The university combines both theory and practice, taught by well-qualified staff.

The university degree equips you with all the skills needed to understand and work alongside people and communities in the modern world.

Note: this programme cannot be commenced via remote learning. Students need to be onshore in NZ for study. International students must be in New Zealand to study this programme by distance learning.

Smart cost estimator

Count of person


Total costs



Cost of living

1 person



1 bed room



1 person

Academic requirements

Students must have successful completion of a qualification equivalent to the New Zealand Year 13 - NCEA Level 3 University Entrance. International students need to check the equivalency of their secondary school qualification by reviewing the Academic Admission Requirements by Country.


  • Senior High School graduation plus successful completion of one year bachelors level study from a recognised institution; or
  • Successful completion of a two year Diploma, or a minimum of two years out of a three year Diploma from a recognised institution; or
  • Completed Gaokao with a tier one score from the related province

India: All India Senior School Certificate (AISSC) or Indian School Certificate (ISC) Year 12 with an overall average of 75% and a minimum of 60% in English.


The Bachelor of Social Work is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Bachelor of Social Work programme you will:

  • meet the requirements set down by the Social Workers Registration Act 2003 for registration as a social worker in New Zealand in terms of being “fit and proper persons to practise social work”
  • provide a curriculum vitae which includes your academic and work history
  • provide a personal statement explaining why you wish to enter the social work programme and profession
  • provide details of two character referees - these must not be family or friends
  • provide details of any convictions or charges pending in New Zealand and/or overseas
  • complete the vetting service request and consent form for a New Zealand Police check
  • provide a current police certificate from any overseas countries you have lived in for twelve months or more in the last ten years.
  • undertake an interview (if required).

Other requirements

About referees

The university requires two people who can act as referees for you. A referee should be someone who has known you for one year or more in the capacity of employer, educator, work colleague or person of community standing, e.g. Kaumatua, Minister or similar. 

Your referee should not be a friend, flatmate, relative or someone who has not known you for at least a year. The information your referee supplies is confidential to those involved in the selection process.


If you do not have the entry requirements

Full Foundation - Certificate in Foundation Studies: Successful completion of this qualification will give you admission to university and prepare you for undergraduate study.

Summer School: If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Required documents

  • Birth certificate or current passport
  • High School graduation certificate
  • Academic transcripts
  • English Language proficiency
  • Course outlines, if applying for credit assessment
  • Evidence of any scholarships
  • A statement of any disability or health condition (If applicable)
  • Official translations of documents in a language other than English
  • CV
  • Personal statement
  • Referees
  • Details of any convictions or charges
  • Vetting service request and consent form for a New Zealand Police check
  • Current police certificate from any overseas countries you have lived

Language requirements

not required
not required








Language pathway (conditional offer) is available

Alternative methods for English requirements during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 impact the university is accepting online testing sites as alternative methods for students to obtain the necessary English requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
  • IELTS Indicator

If you do not have the entry requirements

EAP provides you with flexibility of two entry and exit points depending on your individual goals and pathways: 

Entry pointEntry requirementExit pointExit
Week 1Minimum equivalent to IELTS 5.0 overallWeek 10Foundation Studies – entry requirement equivalent to IELTS 5.5 overall
Week 11Minimum equivalent to IELTS 5.5 overallWeek 20Direct entry into University - entry requirement equivalent to IELTS 6.0 to 7.0 overall
Programme LevelIELTSTOEFL iBT
English for Academic Purposes 1 (EAP 1)5.0 overall61 overall 
English for Academic Purposes 2 (EAP 2)5.5 overall70 overall

Career opportunities

  • Social worker
  • Child and Family Therapist
  • Education mental health practitioner
  • Family support worker
  • Human Resources Coordinator/Specialist
  • High intensity therapist
  • Adult guidance worker
  • Careers adviser
  • Community development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Education consultant
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion officer
  • Life coach
  • Play therapist
  • Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
  • Medical Social Worker
  • School Social Worker

Palmerston North weather chart

Palmerston North weather chart

Related Courses

Related courses in univly