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Master of Applied Social Work

Key information

Level of study:
Master's Degree
Tuition fees:
2 years
Start date: Expected February-2022
Auckland Campus
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Course details


Develop your passion for helping others

If you are motivated to make a positive difference in people’s lives, or improve the quality of life in a range of communities, a social work career may be for you.

If you want to become a registered social worker, but don’t have a bachelor’s degree in social work, then this programme is for you.

The Master of Applied Social Work is designed for those with relevant practice experience, or a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. That could include psychology, education, law, medicine, nursing, sociology, anthropology, theology or case management.

This programme will prepare you for practice and registration as a social worker in New Zealand and most other countries.

Add to social work knowledge

You will be able to make cutting-edge contributions to your discipline. You’ll benefit from our research-informed, research-leading, forward-thinking and academically credible courses. They’ll help you contribute to knowledge-building in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

Small engaging classes

Classes are small. Our interactive and transformative teaching methods will challenge your attitudes and beliefs. In addition, you will have opportunities to participate in field trips and Marae Noho. There are no exams and all work is assessed through assignments that cater for a range of learning styles.

Study while you work

It is possible to work part-time while completing this qualification. This programme can be completed in two years studying full-time or in up to five years studying part-time.

Gain experience in the field

The Master of Applied Social Work includes two different supervised field experiences organised and supervised by Massey. You will spend a minimum of 120 days over a course of your study in social services settings gaining experience in social work practice. If you’re already working in social services, one of your two placements could be at your current workplace.


A social work degree means you can work in many different areas. You could be a field operator working in the community or you could be a professional adviser in a hospital or a district health board. You might choose to be a policy expert working with government. Or, you could travel overseas to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to work within a village setting. The options are endless – and endlessly meaningful.

Social workers make a difference in many areas around the world including:

  • hospitals and primary health care
  • mental health and addictions
  • voluntary and community organisations and government organisations
  • child protection
  • youth justice
  • housing
  • offenders
  • residential care
  • management and supervision
  • tertiary education
  • community work and community development
  • refugees and migrants
  • schools.

Entry criteria

To enter the Master of Applied Social Work you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for an undergraduate degree, either in the social sciences (such as social and cultural studies, psychology, human development) or an alternative degree with substantial relevant experience in a social or community setting
  • hold a driver’s licence that is valid in New Zealand unless otherwise exempted

Be selected into the programme on the basis of a process which includes:

  • providing a personal statement explaining why you wish to enter the social work programme and profession
  • providing two character referees – these must not be family or friends
  • providing a curriculum vitae
  • undertaking an interview.

You will provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

If English, Maori or New Zealand sign language is not your first language, you will need to provide official evidence of your English language competency in the form of:

  • an IELTS test with an overall academic score of at least 6.5, with no band score less than 6.5, taken within the preceding two years, or
  • a TOEFL internet-based test (IBT) score of 85 or higher with a writing score of 22, or
  • at least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school, with at least 10 Level 2 NCEA credits in literacy (five reading and five writing), or equivalent.


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