Bachelor of Social Services


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

For selection into the programme in accordance with the criteria in 2.5, all applicants are required to:

a) declare any previous criminal convictions prior to admission being confirmed. Convictions of any offence may not necessarily exclude applicants from enrolment; the decision is at the discretion of the Programme Leader; and
b) authorise UCOL to obtain a background check from the New Zealand Police Licensing and Vetting Agency; and
c) authorise UCOL to obtain a background check in accordance with the Children's Act 2014; and
d) provide a curriculum vitae; and
e) provide two referee reports from persons of standing in the community who are not friends or relatives and who can attest to the applicant's academic and personal suitability for social services education; and
f) complete a health declaration form; and
g) provide certified copies of all relevant documentation.

Application is via the UCOL application form.

Under 20 years of age applicants:
Applicants under the age of 20 years must be selected into the programme in accordance with section 2.5 and have:

University Entrance
Equivalent academic achievement
The New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) Level 4
On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean
Provisional enrolment

Provisional enrolment is defined by NZQA as being Discretionary Entrance and includes the following clauses:

Discretionary entrance may be granted to those applicants under the age of 20 who:
* Are New Zealand or Australian citizens and permanent residents under 20 years of age
* Must have a minimum of 14 credits in an approved subject at Level 2 towards NCEA
* Must also have met the literacy and numeracy standards required for University Entrance

Students accepted under the provisional admission requirements must pass all Year One courses before progressing to Year Two.

Over 20 years of age applicants
Applicants over the age of 20 years must be selected into the programme in accordance with section 2.5.

English Language Proficiency:
In addition to the above, the minimum entry requirement for students whose first language is not English is IELTS Academic score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent including NZCEL Level 4 (Academic) or TOEFL). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).

About the course

What can I expect out of this qualification?

The aim of the Bachelor of Social Services programme is to develop a range of skills, competencies, knowledge and attributes that will enable graduates to meet the vocational requirements of careers in social services, mental health, addiction or disability support work.

The mental health major will focus on mental health and illness, in Aotearoa historically and contemporary, stigma, recovery, co-existing problems (CEP) and the connection between physical health and mental health. Screening, assessment and treatment including medication and therapeutic approaches. Policy, legislation and the national direction of mental health including Te Pou workforce programme and He Ara Oranga.

The addiction major will include all of the above with a focus on addiction in the widest sense (for example gambling), the harm caused to Aotearoa, including advertising of addictive substances (tobacco, alcohol, gambling) and its links to crime and, at an individual and whanau level withdrawal, harm minimiszation and other treatments.

The disability major will focus on disability in Aotearoa historically and contemporary, the social model of disability, stigma and barriers that prevent full participation in society, this will include intellectual as well as physical disabilities. Policy and legislation including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the national direction including the New Zealand Disability Strategy (2016 - 2026), Enabling Good Lives, accessibility work, carer support and Te Pou workforce programme.

The unendorsed degree in social services will focus on the development of multidisciplinary skills and approaches that enable holistic responses to client needs across a broad range of needs including housing, advocacy, health, workforce engagement, finance, and community development.

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

Phone: (06) 952 7000
Fax: (06) 952 7023

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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