A long history
It's in our blood. Massey has been growing skilled social workers through our qualifications for nearly 50 years since 1976.
Join the crowd
Social workers are in demand, and our graduates make up the largest number of qualified social workers in New Zealand.
Spoilt for choice
Explore your area of interest. Massey has a wide range of health qualifications, with many courses to choose from.
Striving to be Tiriti-led
We work to uphold the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi – and to empower all New Zealanders, especially Māori.
Change the world for good. From addiction support to child protection, aged care to mental health services, social work offers a rewarding, life-long career.
Learn from world-class lecturers and researchers with expertise in areas such as social work practice, decolonisation, Pacific models of practice, or rural social work. Delve into the latest theories and practice. Explore how best to engage with people you'll work with.
Gain practical experience during placements (similar to internships) at district health boards, local high schools, Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, or non-profit organisations. Graduate work-ready and eligible to register as a social worker.
Social work is a good fit if you:
- enjoy school subjects such as social studies, psychology or social sciences
- want to contribute to human rights and social justice
- want to help people overcome challenges and enhance wellbeing.
Social work courses may cover:
- addiction and mental health
- ethics and codes of conduct
- human development
- Māori health, drawing together four dimensions of wellbeing – taha tinana (physical health), taha wairua (spiritual health), taha whānau (family health) and taha hinengaro (mental health)
- social policy
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) in New Zealand society.
How to study social work
Discover what we offer if you’re interested in social work – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.
Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in
When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.
Postgraduate bachelor's degrees with honours
PhD and other doctoral degrees
Relevant research areas at Massey
Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to social work at Massey.
What our students say
“I had thought about getting a qualification in youth work, but then someone suggested social work as it provided greater scope in terms of areas I could work in.”
“Completing a Master of Social Work has taught me how to do research. It has enabled me to explore what I am passionate about: Whānau Ora, whānau-centred practice, kaupapa Māori practice and going beyond crisis intervention by focussing on the moemoeā (dreams and aspirations) of whānau. ”
Ko Ngapuhi te Iwi, Ko Ngati Hine te hapu. Māori, Niuean, Samoan, Irish and English.
“Massey provided an environment that enabled me to realise my potential and thrive academically. My studies prepared me very well to become a social worker who is highly adaptable, with critical thinking skills that have provided me with opportunities to offer more in any work setting.”
Pacific Regional Resource Centre
The centre is for social work educators, social service practitioners, researchers, policy makers, government bodies, NGOs and Pacific regional organisations who wish find out about or connect with Pacific social work. The centre is run by a collaboration of five schools of social work across the Pacific, including Massey's School of Social Work.
Jobs in social work
Social work careers can range from aged care to child protection, addiction support to mental health services. Then there are diversity-specific services such as Chinese, rainbow, Samoan, or spirituality-based services. Some of our graduates become researchers, or work in local or national government.
Job prospects are good in New Zealand and overseas, with demand for qualified and empathetic social workers.
Social work careers include:
- case managers, who organise care plans
- community workers
- policy analysts or advisers, who work for government or businesses
- service designers
- social workers.
Annual salary ranges for jobs
- Community development worker – $42,000 to $75,000
- Policy analyst or adviser – $47,000 to $150,000
- Social worker – $47,000 to $100,000
Becoming a social worker
Our Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Applied Social Work are recognised by New Zealand's Social Work Registration Board, so graduates are eligible to register as social workers.
As part of our bachelor's degree, social work students do 120 days of work-integrated learning in areas such as:
- mental health social work
- women's health social work
- youth social work.
Salary ranges disclaimer
Indicative pay rates are:
- in New Zealand dollars
- based on careers.govt.nz data.
Which social work qualification?
Examples of where our qualifications may take you.
|Jobs||Examples of what you could study|
|Addiction support adviser||Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health and Addiction)|
|Community advocate||Bachelor of Arts (Social Policy)|
Bachelor of Arts (Social Policy)
Master of Arts (Social Policy)
Bachelor of Social Work
Master of Applied Social Work if you have a degree in a related subject, or a degree and substantial practical experience
Accreditations and rankings
New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board
Our professional qualifications are accredited by the Social Workers Registration Board. Students who complete the Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Applied Social Work can immediately apply for provisional registration as a registered social worker.
Get an information guide
Download our guide to find out more about studying social work at Massey.