Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Note: Not all papers are available on all campuses each year
  • Available for international students studying in NZ
Apply now! ▸

Develop your passion for helping others into a rewarding career

As a social worker, you can help people overcome challenges and empower them to make the most of their lives.

What is it like?

Massey boasts the best, the biggest and the longest-serving (since 1976) four-year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in the country. And our highly sought-after, internationally recognised degree guarantees you a lifelong career that can take you across the country and around the world to countries such as Canada, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and the United States. Just to name a few.

Eight more compelling reasons to study social work at Massey

  • More than 90% of Massey social work graduates find employment within six months of earning their degree
  • Your degree is recognised by the NZ Social Work Registration Board, so you can immediately apply for provisional registration
  • Massey graduates make up the largest number of highly qualified social workers in the country
  • Social work is a growth industry - with 4,000 registered social workers in NZ, the government needs more
  • Massey is the only university in New Zealand where you can study for your degree through distance learning
  • We guarantee you a national network of hands-on field experience and work placements for our Year 3 and 4 students
  • Whether you choose to study with us by distance from halfway around the world or face-to-face on campus, you will benefit from the widest range of university courses in social work and social policy in New Zealand.
  • We combine both theory and practice (including the only university paper on Maori development), taught by highly qualified staff - all experts in their fields and passionate about their profession.

Every year, we find work experience for more than 200 students like you in placements throughout New Zealand to make sure you get that vital hands-on experience in the real world.

Our highly regarded social work degree equips you with all the skills needed to understand people and communities in the modern world as you work with them to better their lives.

Want to start making your mark on the lives of others? And enjoy a fulfilling career that can take you right to the top of the profession around the world? Then join us today on a journey for success. Our promise to you? We’ll be with you every step of the way. So what are you waiting for?

A good fit if you:

  • Dream of helping people from all walks of life
  • Want to make a real difference to your world
  • Believe in social justice
  • Are intrigued by how systems and people work and how to manage relationships
  • Are determined to lead a meaningful life
Riki Niania
Bachelor of Social Work
Manager - Public Health

“The BSW programme is an excellent basis on which to advance one's working career and perspective on life…”

The BSW provides an excellent opportunity to develop: sound analytical skills; knowledge around theory; an ability to work with people; and practical social work skills. Coupled with this is an excellent group of lecturers and teaching staff who provide support to students both inside and outside of lecture times. It is a whanau-orientated programme that can lead to many opportunities. These learning outcomes help set the students up for a range of working opportunities both internal and external to the social work field. Since completing the BSW degree I have worked with NZCYPS as a social worker, at polytech as a tutor of sociology, at a hospital in Māori health, and currently as Manager of Public Health in Wanganui. Much of my success I owe to the BSW programme and staff. It's well worth the four years of hard, but enjoyable, study


The New Zealand Social Work Registration Board has approved this four-year degree. It is one of the few internationally recognised social work qualifications in New Zealand, and many of our graduates are working in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

What kind of jobs can you get in social work?

A social work degree means you can work in many different areas. You could be a field operator working in the community or you could be a professional advisor in a hospital or a district health board. You might choose to be a policy expert working with government. Or you could travel overseas to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to work within a village setting. The options are endless. And endlessly meaningful. Social workers make a difference in many areas around the world including:

  • Hospitals and primary health care
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Voluntary and community organisations and government organisations
  • Child protection
  • Youth justice
  • Housing
  • Offenders
  • Residential care
  • Management and supervision
  • Tertiary education
  • Community work and community development
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Schools
Join the engine of the new New Zealand
Apply now! ▸

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