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Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) (MSCW(Applied))

  • Masters (Coursework)

The Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) (MSCW(Applied)) programme is designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree to attain a qualification that will allow them to become professional social workers.

Key details

Degree Type
Masters (Coursework)
Course Code
Applied) (MSCW(Applied)

About this course

The Master of Social and Community Work (Applied) (MSCW(Applied)) programme is designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree to attain a qualification that will allow them to become professional social workers. It is also suitable for mid-career social workers who are looking for a recognised professional qualification in social work.

The MSCW(Applied) covers key elements of social work practice: models of practice, family and children, community organisations and policy settings, kaupapa Maori and Indigenous approaches to practice, and research and evaluation skills. Students will also complete two fieldwork placements with social service agencies where they will have the opportunity to learn within a professional setting supervised by a registered social worker.

This programme is available both on-campus and via distance education. Applications close each year on 1 November.

Entry requirements

  1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) on the advice of the Social Work Admissions Committee.
  2. Every applicant shall

    1. be a graduate, having completed an undergraduate degree programme of at least 360 points in an area considered to be suitable as background for postgraduate study in Social Work;
    2. have achieved an average grade of at least B in the 300-level major-subject papers for the applicant's undergraduate degree programme;
    3. provide evidence, to the satisfaction of the Social Work Admissions Committee, that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be a social work student. This shall normally be evaluated through character references and assessment of evidence of practice experience in community or voluntary organisations and/or a period of professional social work/social services employment. Additionally, applicants must consent to checks in light of the Children's Act 2014, which shall include verification from the New Zealand Police and Department of Courts (and/or equivalent for international applicants) that the applicant has no undeclared criminal charges or convictions; and
    4. provide evidence of prior skills or formal training in: Maori language and culture, the Treaty of Waitangi, social issues in New Zealand society, social research methods, and human development. International applicants shall be assessed as to whether they require further study on issues in New Zealand society. For some applicants, experience and skills in these areas may have been gained through employment or other relevant experience.
  3. Note: For applicants who do not meet some of these criteria, the Social Work Admissions Committee can request completion of coursework (e.g. for Certificate of Proficiency at the University of Otago) prior to admission to the programme.

  4. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant who is not a graduate may be considered on the basis of alternative qualifications or appropriate training and experience in management, administration, or leadership in social service organisations. Applicants must provide proof of experience and performance equivalent to that acquired in completing an undergraduate degree. The applicant must also provide evidence of ability to undertake advanced-level academic study. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may require such an applicant to pass one or more prescribed papers either before admission or concurrently with the programme.

Study locations

Dunedin