Bachelor of Social Work

Ara Institute of Canterbury

Subject area

Social Work

Check out Fees Free to see whether you are eligible for a year of fees-free study or two years industry training. Contact your provider to confirm your study options meet the criteria.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements
University Entrance - NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher)
which must include:
* 14 credits at Level 3 in each of:
- English or an approved literacy* subject
- two other subjects from the list of approved subjects* and
* Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in
writing and
* Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit
standards 26623, 26626, 26627)
NZ2860 New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) BSW Pathway or
NZ2992 New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) or equivalent
If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate,
Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.
* NZQA approved subjects: see

Alternative Requirements
Applicants who are unable to evidence that they meet Academic Requirements, but who can
demonstrate acquired skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life
experience, may be approved for alternative entry. This may include Recognition of Prior
Learning. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional Requirements
* Provide evidence of good character and personal attributes via two referee reports and a
500-word personal statement.
In your application you need to demonstrate formal or informal experience in a social
work, social services or a related helping role, and the ability to analyse and relate this
experience to a social work context. Your referees reports, word processed personal
statement, and interview (if required) should provide evidence of appropriateness to
study for the social work profession: commitment to social justice, openness to explore
biculturalism, self-awareness and openness to change and being challenged, openness to
participate in interactive group learning, willingness to be honest and reflective about
personal experiences, high level of skill in interpersonal communication and personal
* Consent to Disclosure of Information
Successful applicants will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Vetting Service
Request and Consent Form. The form will be sent by Ara to the NZ Police Vetting Service,
and returned in confidence to the Head of Department. For more information go to:
* Applicants who meet academic entry criteria may be required to attend an interview
* Current Class 1 Drivers Licence unless medical verification is provided in relation to a
disability or impairment that prohibits the applicant from being able to drive.

English Requirements
For students for whom English is not their first language evidence of their English language
skills may also be required as listed below. If students have no evidence of their English
language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, then they can make
contact with Ara for an assessment.
* IELTS 6.5 Academic (no lower than 6.5 in any subtest). Other tests as approved by the
Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) may be used as acceptable alternatives.
* IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining
scores from more than one test is not permissible) and are valid for two years from the
date of the test.

* Students who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements are not
required to provide evidence of English Language Skills.
* All students for whom English is not their first language will be informed of the SWRB
requirement of IELTS 7.0 Academic for registration.

About the course

What can I expect out of this qualification?

The aim of this programme is to prepare social work professionals who can engage in current and future issues of social justice in changing technological, social, cultural, environmental and political contexts and meet the educational requirements for registration in Aotearoa New Zealand.

What graduates earn

Graduates who studied Human Welfare Studies and Services at this level can earn:


Median earnings one year after study


Median earnings two years after study


Median earnings five years after study

Status one year after study

Employment rate two years after study


Employment rate two years after study

Data as at November 2022

Contact details

Main Campus Office

Free phone: 0800 242 476
Phone: (03) 940 8669
Fax: (03) 366 6544

Please contact the provider for details of where this qualification is offered.


NZQA supplies course information based on material from the provider.

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