Type of qualification
Level of study
Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.
Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.
Time to complete
Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Study a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work – PGCertSW
Most students undertaking postgraduate study in social work are in full-time practice and study part-time.
Massey is the only university in New Zealand that offers post-qualifying social work courses by distance, so you can study wherever you like, to fit in with your other commitments. This certificate is taught online and some courses have contact workshops.
- extend your knowledge in your chosen area of social work practice
- develop skills that allow the pursuit of scholarly interest in your chosen fields of social work practice
- master theoretical issues and research methods
- critically read and analyse bodies of knowledge
- apply knowledge to your own contexts
- develop cultural competence in working with Māori and other diverse cultural groups.
You’ll learn from highly experienced academics and professional social workers.
There is always plenty of help at hand. Along with contact with your lecturers, learning consultants in the Centre for Teaching and Learning are available to support your study and academic writing skills. Each library has a subject librarian who supports you on campus or at a distance.
A PGCertSW is a good fit if you:
- are a newly qualified or provisionally registered social worker
- successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- are new to social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work programme you will:
- have been awarded a Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Social Work with Honours or equivalent.
You will provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Get advice button on this page.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.
- General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.
You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
Structure of the Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work
This qualification is not available for full-time study. It will take a minimum of 1 year to complete it.
Courses and specialisations
- Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
- Course code
- Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
- Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
- Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.
- Courses from the Schedule – 60 credits
Course planning key
- Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
- Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
- Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Course code: 179702 Advanced Research Methods credits 30
An examination of research methods, traditions and techniques used in social and health research. The course is designed to assist the planning of Master and Doctoral theses.View full course details
Course code: 179736 Substance Misuse and Addictions credits 30
An advanced study of current treatment and intervention models in the substance misuse and addictions area.View full course details
Course code: 179740 Social Service Supervision: Theory and Practice credits 30
An examination of the functions and practice and selected theories and models of professional social service supervision.View full course details
Course code: 179741 Social Service Management credits 30
An examination of current management theory and its application to the management, administrative systems and professional practice in social service agencies.View full course details
Course code: 179742 Learning in Social Service Supervision credits 30
An advanced study of learning in social service supervision including identity development in both the supervisor and the person supervised.View full course details
Course code: 179743 Clinical Supervision credits 30
An advanced study of selected theoretical models and clinical supervision skills in professional practice.View full course details
Course code: 179761 Current Issues and Theories in Social Service Practice credits 30
An examination of contemporary practice in the context of current trends in social service delivery. Selected fields of practice are analysed with a view to understanding the theoretical underpinnings of practice. Issues relevant to service delivery are identified, and alternative approaches to practice are explored.View full course details
Course code: 179763 Clinical Practice credits 30
An advanced study of theoretical models, research evidence and clinical skills in professional social work practice.View full course details
Course code: 179771 Child Welfare credits 30
An examination of current social work practice in the area of child welfare. While there is a particular emphasis placed upon child welfare services, programmes and practices in Aotearoa/New Zealand, students are also encouraged to examine international literature and practice.View full course details
Course code: 179773 Disability Studies credits 30
An examination of the experience of disability, the delivery of disability support services, and the disability industry in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Major theoretical and current policy debates in the area of disability both here and overseas are examined.View full course details
Course code: 179777 Disability, Consumer Rights and Advocacy credits 30
A critical examination of the disability rights movement from historical, social and political perspectives. Particular attention will be paid to models of service provision and to consumers as self advocates, parents as mediators and advocates for their children.View full course details
Course code: 179778 Mental Health and Social Work credits 30
An advanced study of the field of mental health from a social work perspective. It considers conceptual and contextual issues, intervention strategies and current debates.View full course details
Course code: 179783 Māori Development and the Social Services credits 30
Themes in contemporary Māori development (kaupapa Māori) with particular reference to the aspirations of Māori people. Emphasis will be placed on the implications of such themes for the social services as well as for the development of appropriate social policies.View full course details
Course code: 279703 Social Policy Studies credits 30
A critical review of social policy in New Zealand with particular emphasis on policy processes, institutional frameworks, social policy delivery systems, outcomes.View full course details
Fees and scholarships
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.
Careers and job opportunities
You’ll already be employed as a social worker. The Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work will aid your professional development as a specialist in professional areas of social work practice.
What our students say
“It is ... essential that more Māori and Pacific social workers consider postgraduate study as an option for career development to enhance knowledge, broaden their career path and increase job opportunities.”
Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Te Āti awa, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Pākehā