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 Diploma in Social Work – PGDipSW
Take your social work practice and your career to the next level. The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work meets an increasing professional demand for a post-qualifying pathway for professionally qualified and registered social workers.
Flexible professional development that fits your lifestyle
Massey is the only university in New Zealand that offers post-qualifying social work courses by distance. This means you can study wherever you like, to fit in with your other commitments.
Extend your social work knowledge and expertise
In this qualification, you’ll extend your knowledge of your chosen area of social work and apply this knowledge to your own contexts.
You’ll learn to read and appraise the latest social work research. You will master methodological and theoretical issues and research methods. You’ll also deepen your knowledge of cultural competence as it relates to research and practice principles with Māori and other diverse cultural groups.
Become a leader in your field
The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work will prepare you for leadership in specific areas of social work practice. This is through the dissemination of information in workplaces. It is also through clinical supervision and mentoring of students and beginning practitioners.
A PGDipSW is a good fit if you:
- are a professionally qualified social worker
- want to do further study, or
- completed your Bachelor of Social Work through a non-university provider.
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Postgraduate Diploma 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 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.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the 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 be 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 Diploma in Social Work
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 – 120 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: 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
Enhance your career progression
You’ll already be employed as a social worker. The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work strengthens your professional development as an advanced practitioner and specialist in your field of practice.
“I needed to challenge myself further and continue my development as a social worker”