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Bachelor of Social Work

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Four years full-time and up to eight years part-time
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Develop your passion for helping others into a rewarding career

Become a registered social worker with Massey’s Bachelor of Social Work. As a social worker, you can advocate for structural change, engage in community development and help people overcome challenges to enhance individual and whānau wellbeing.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Massey is the longest-serving (since 1976) four-year Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our highly sought-after, internationally recognised degree will offer you a lifelong career that can take you across the country and around the world.

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.
  • Massey University is committed to being Te Tiriti o Waitangi led and this is reflected in the School of Social Work and in the social work profession.
  • The degree is recognised by the NZ Social Work Registration Board.
  • Massey graduates make up the largest number of highly qualified social workers in the country. Our programme has a reputation for producing strong, critical thinkers.
  • Social work is a growth industry, with about 7000 registered social workers in NZ.
  • Massey is still the leading university in New Zealand where you can study for your degree through distance learning.
  • You will get vital hands-on experience in the workplace in your third and fourth year of study where you will be supported to undertake placements.
  • We combine both theory and practice, taught by highly qualified staff – all experts in their fields and passionate about their profession.

Our highly regarded degree equips you with all the skills needed to understand and work alongside people and communities in the modern world.

Want to work towards a role that has a positive impact on individuals, families, groups and communities? Want to enjoy a fulfilling career that can give you great employment opportunities and further career development pathways? Open to personal and professional development and keen to work with diverse communities? Then join us today on a journey of self-discovery and 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 in the world
  • Believe in human rights and social justice
Kaysha Whakarau
Ngāti Raukawa raua ko Ngāti Ruanui
Bachelor of Social Work
Care and Protection Social Worker, Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki

“Studying at Massey University was a no-brainer. The social work degree is internationally recognised, providing the opportunity to work further afield if that became an option for me…”

Tihei mauri ora!

The day of a social worker is never the same, encountering different situations and people impacted by social and personal issues. If you are a problem solver, reliable, good at communicating, relatable, understanding, empathetic or willing to learn these attributes you have the potential to make a promising social worker.

Social work is challenging and every day I am learning and adding to my kete. My aim is to continue to inspire and encourage all whānau to thrive and succeed to better not just their own wellbeing but those around them as well.

I am from a big family in which some of my siblings are whangai – being brought up through the social welfare system. I chose social work because all children and their whānau deserve to have opportunities to thrive.

Studying at Massey University was a no-brainer. The social work degree is internationally recognised, providing the opportunity to work further afield if that became an option for me. I chose Massey as I liked how the degree was set up, the selection of courses I could chose and the dedication from the staff to help and support you along the way.

As a Māori I could have easily chosen to study at the many Māori education facilities that are available, however I am glad I chose Massey as the support from not only the Māori staff but my bursary programme Te Rau Puawai was instrumental to my journey to become a social worker and now as a social worker. Te Rau Puawai gave me the opportunities to connect with other students studying and working in the health profession which aided me in completing my studies.

Studying at Massey University has provided me a broad and sound knowledge of what social work is all about. It set me up to face the daily challenges of the “life of a social worker” and has allowed me to reflect not just as a professional but on a personal level. I am able to understand and apply the skills I have learnt throughout my degree to help my whānau, my friends and my clients.


A social work degree means you can work in many different areas. Social workers work across all age groups and you will have opportunities to work in many different areas, in non-government or statutory organisations, for example:

  • Child protection
  • Community work and community development
  • Diversity specific services (eg Chinese, Korean, Sāmoan, Rainbow, Spiritually-based)
  • Hospitals and primary health care
  • Housing
  • Iwi and marae-based social services
  • Management and supervision
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Offenders
  • Policy development
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Residential care
  • Schools
  • Tertiary education
  • Women
  • Youth justice

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey