Bachelor of Social Services

Otago Polytechnic

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

Applicants who meet the entry criteria become eligible for selection.
Applicants will be selected into the programme on the basis of the following criteria:
* University Entrance:
* NCEA Level 3 including:
* 14 credits at Level 3 or above in three NZQA approved subjects, and
* Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of
o 5 credits in reading and
o 5 credits in writing,
* Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of
o specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR
o package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required)

* Demonstrated good health and good character via referee reports, a health declaration and a Police Check sufficient for safe and effective practice in social services.

Applicants must submit references and a health declaration, declare any criminal convictions and give permission for a Police Check (to demonstrate good health and good character sufficient for safe and effective practice in social services).

International ākonga
* International ākonga must meet the same entry criteria as those listed above and those for whom English is not their first language must also meet the language requirements listed below.
New Zealand University Entrance OR
Overall Academic IELTS 6.5 with no individual band score lower than 6.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR
Acceptable alternative evidence of the required IELTS

Experienced ākonga
Those ākonga who may already have completed prior qualifications in social service or related fields and can provide evidence of having met particular learning outcomes for certain courses, can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Alternatively, ākonga
who have extensive work experience and knowledge in social services can apply to the College of Work Based Learning to complete either the BSS or GDSS via the Independent Learning Pathway. Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL) Work Based Learning
as per relevant policies.academic policies AP501 and AP900 (Assessment). Please note: this pathway is only applicable to Bachelor of Social Services (Social Services), (Career Practice), or (Health and Wellbeing Practice) specialties and the GDSS (specialty)

An Independent Learning Pathway for the Counselling specialty is managed from within the taught on-campus BSS team. Entry criteria for the Counselling specialty are:
* a two-year NZQA Level 6 Diploma in Counselling, and
* extensive experience (7+ years) working in a professional capacity as a Counsellor.

About the course

What can I expect out of this qualification?

The Bachelor of Social Services is designed to prepare graduates who can work across a
range of social service settings, by applying models of practice that are informed by theory
and research, in accordance with professional standards and expectations in an area of
specialty practice. Graduates are prepared for employment opportunities across the social
services sector both nationally and internationally.

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 762 786
Phone: (03) 477 3014
Fax: (03) 471 6870

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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