Course Overview

If you have an interest in social justice and enjoy working with people to improve wellbeing, this qualification will give you the perfect grounding to your future career.

The four-year degree is recognised by the New Zealand Social Workers' Registration Board, and gives you the competency, professional skills and training you need to become a registered social worker.

You learn how to work towards positive health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals and families as you develop your knowledge of social policy, social issues and social justice.

Our course is bicultural in its approach and respects the ‘Ako’ methodology of teaching and learning from each other. Through research projects, critical analysis of issues, case study discussion and collaborative work, you deepen your understanding of te reo Māori, ethical and cultural safety, and mātauranga Māori approaches to wellbeing.

Practical work placements in years 3 and 4 give you a chance to apply your knowledge to real social work situations and prepare you for professional social work practice.

Upon successfully completing the requirements you'll receive the award of:

  • Bachelor of Social Work
Locations Rotorua
Next intake Feb 2025 View more details
Study options

4 years full-time, including holidays (if applicable)

Part-time study available

Total credits 480
StudyLink assistance Available
Indicative Fees $6,584 per year for domestic students View full fees information
Eligibility View entry criteria

To see the information for international students change your location using the button at the top right of the screen.

Career opportunities

  • New Zealand Registered Social Worker
  • Case, Individual, Family and Group Worker
  • Social and Community Development Worker/Advisor
  • Youth Justice Officer
  • Social Policy Analyst
  • Researcher

Topics you'll cover

Year One

  • Te Pū: Foundations of Treaty-based Practice (Te Pū: Tuāpapa Ritenga Tiriti)
  • Introduction to Social Work (Tīmātanga –Toko i te Ora )
  • Introduction to Human Development for Social Work Practice (Tīmatanga Whakawhanake Tangata-Ritenga Toko i te Ora)
  • Effective Communication in Social Work (Pārongo Whaikiko-Toko i te Ora)
  • Introduction to Psychology (Tīmatanga-Te Ao Hinengaro)
  • Introduction to Sociology (Tīmatanga Mātauranga Pāpori)
  • Te Atapō
  • Te Atatū

Year Two

  • Te Ao Hou
  • Te Awatea
  • Te Weu: Developing Treaty-based Practice (Te Weu: Whakawhanake Ritenga ā Tiriti)
  • Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families: Engagement and Assessment (Ritenga Toko i te Ora-Tangata, Whānau: Tomohanga, Aromatawai)
  • Diversity and Difference (Ngā Rerenga Kētanga Whānui)
  • Social Work Practice in Community Development (Ritenga Toko i te Ora Whakawhanake Hāpori)
  • Social Work Practice with Groups (Ritenga Toko i te Ora ā Rōpū)
  • Introduction to Social Research (Tīmatanga Rangahau Pāpori)

Year Three

  • Te More: Transforming Treaty-based Practice (Whakaumu Ritenga ā Tiriti)
  • Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families: Intervention and Evaluation (Ritenga Toko i te Ora-Tangata, Whānau: Mahi Wawao, Arotakenga)
  • Social Policy (Kaupapahere Pāpori)
  • Social Work Placement 1 (Whakataunga Mahi Toko i te Ora 1)
  • Rangahau 2: Practice-based Research (Rangahau 2: Rangahau ā Mahi)
  • Inter-cultural Theory to Practice (Whakamahi Ariā Ahurea ki te Ritenga)

Year Four

  • Advanced Community Development (Whakawhanake Rangatū Hāpori)
  • Advanced Social Work Practice (Ritenga Rangatū Toko i te Ora)
  • Advanced Group Work (Mahi Rangatū ā Rōpū)
  • Social Work Placement 2 (Whakataunga Mahi Toko i te Ora 2)
  • The Professional Practitioner as a Researcher (Te Kaihautu Mātanga hei Kairangahau)
  • Advanced Interpersonal Communication and Social Work Practice
  • High and Complex Needs and Social Work Practice

Course Fees

Indicative Fees * $6,584 per year for domestic students

* Important fee information, and hints and tips

Help with fees

Are you Eligible for Free Fees?

There are several ways to take advantage of free study at Toi Ohomai. Find out how on our Fees Free FAQ page.

Student Loans and Allowances

This course meets the requirements for student allowance and student loan applications through StudyLink.

  • A student loan helps to pay for your course fees (the compulsory fees), study materials e.g. books, equipment, and living costs. You'll have to pay this money back.
  • A student allowance is a weekly payment that can help with your living expenses while you're studying. You don't have to pay the money back.

Find out more and apply at


Scholarships are one way you might be able to get some financial help. Any scholarships specifically related to this course are shown below, otherwise check out the full list of scholarships promoted by Toi Ohomai.

Course Entry Information

Entry criteria

To gain entry to the Bachelor of Social Work you must be:

  • 17 years of age or over
  • a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or have the requisite visa for study purposes
  • able to demonstrate adequate literacy and/or numeracy skills to enable you to meet all academic and health and safety requirements of the course.

Academic Entry Criteria

If you are a domestic applicants under 20 years old you must have:

  • University Entrance as per New Zealand Qualification Authority specifications, OR
  • evidence of recent study at Level 4 or higher on the NZQF.

If you are a domestic applicant 20 years old and over you must have demonstrated academic ability (at NZQA Level 4 or equivalent) to undertake the Bachelor of Social Work and have the ability to succeed through personal attributes, work and life experience.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

You don’t need to supply evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status to apply for this programme. However, some placement providers may require evidence from you that you are fully vaccinated before allowing you to complete a placement at their organisation. Placements are an integral part of this programme and you’ll need to complete these to be able to successfully achieve your qualification.

Other Requirements

If you have had a criminal conviction at any time in the past you must declare the circumstances in confidence as part of the selection process;

All applicants accepted will be required to provide a signed consent form which allows Toi Ohomai to check your record of convictions upon entry, during and prior to completing the degree;

You will be accepted only after the police check is processed. All applicants with any convictions will be required to attend an individual interview with a relevant department staff member; and

Two character references are required. These should be from persons in positions of trust such as an employer, teacher, pastor, kaumātua or kuia. References from family, friends or work colleagues will not be accepted.

Information Session

You’ll be invited to an information meeting. This is your opportunity to find out more about the course content and to make sure you're on the most appropriate course for your career aspirations and current level of experience.

Standard Entry Criteria

Admission, entry, selection, and enrolment into programmes will be in accordance with the Academic Regulations and/or, where approved, specific programme regulations.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic score of 6.5 in each academic category (reading, listening, writing and speaking).

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Course Locations and Intake Information

Attention potential applicants for the Bachelor of Social Work in 2024.  

Our current degree will not be offered next year, as we are moving into a period of transition with a new unified Social Work degree, Te Ata Māhina, scheduled to start in 2025.  

However, we are offering our New Zealand Diploma in Whānau Ora (Level 5) which is identical to Year 1 of our current degree and will start you on our journey as social work ākonga. 

There is no perfect transition from the current Diploma of Whānau Ora to the new unified degree in 2025, however we have a plan in place which we hope will make it as smooth as possible. This includes summer school bridging courses in 2024/2025, or part-time study in 2025 – depending on your preferences and circumstances.

Please use our ‘ask a question’ button if you have any queries at all before you commit to applying, and we will do our best to answer any questions or concerns you raise. 

Location Campus Start Date
Rotorua Mokoia Campus 17 Feb 2025 Apply now

Study options

  • 4 years full-time, including holidays (if applicable)
  • Part-time study available

Important dates

View calendar of start dates and events

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Further Study Options

Courses Offered at Toi Ohomai