Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga

Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work

  • Level 7
  • 4 years - full-time
  • Fees apply

Programme overview:

Every day in the news we're reminded of the need for services that help us have a thriving society in Aotearoa. We need qualified practitioners who have what it takes to become fully registered social workers.

Do you want to learn how to make a difference in people's lives? Social work is challenging, rewarding and makes a vital contribution to the wellbeing of our society. Get the qualifications you need for a professional career in working with others to make a difference.

On successful completion of this degree you might be eligible to apply to register with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB).

When you pass this degree, you'll get this qualification:

  • Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga - Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work (Level 7)


You’ll learn about:

  • different world views
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi 
  • takepū (principled positions) and their application
  • applying a bicultural lens to your practice
  • Māori and non-Māori theories, models and practice

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 120 credits per year (total 4 years full-time study consisting of 480 credits).

Throughout the first year of the programme you will be required to attend:

Year 1*:

  • 8 x noho marae (25 hours each)
  • 1 x wānanga whāiti per week (4-6 hours)

Additional learning will also need to be completed outside of class time for approximately:

  • 22 hours per week

Some learning activities will need to be completed online. You'll need to have access to an internet-connected device for this programme.

*Years 2, 3 and 4 commitment requirements will be discussed towards the completion of each year.


Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident 
  • reside in New Zealand
  • have completed:
    • Manaaki Tāngata - Certificate in Bicultural Social Services Level 4
    • or any Level 4 qualification of at least 120 credits
    • or have two years full-time work experience within the field of social services
  • provide supportive references from two appropriate people within the field of social services 
  • consent to undergo police vetting
  • demonstrate personal suitability

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You can take this further by enrolling on our Postgraduate Diploma in Bicultural Professional Supervision or applying for our master's degree, He Waka Hiringa - Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge.

I want to use my qualification

With skills at this level you can work in child protection, health, justice, welfare, or other social service providers.


Fee detail

The 2023 fees for this degree are:  

Year 1: $4,348 
Year 2: $3,892 
Year 3: $3,893 
Year 4: $3,896 

GST inclusive 


Are you eligible for fees-free study?

First-time tertiary students studying fee paying programmes may be able to study fee free in their first year. To find out whether you are eligible visit: feesfree.govt.nz.


Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Year 1

Kaupapa Wānanga 1 (Te Whakaohonga Ake) | 15 Credits

Select and examine the impacts and influences of change on Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Define and locate a personal position using Kaupapa Wānanga as a framework for practice within your chosen field of study. Reflect on the purpose and obligations of Kaupapa Wānanga as a model of application in your chosen field of study. 

Tōu Ao | 15 Credits

Explore the impact of the settlement history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Examine and articulate the identity of different cultural groups within Aotearoa New Zealand. Explore and articulate principled-based relationships fundamental to biculturalism. Demonstrate application of reflective practice regarding personal application of principles in social work practice. 

Te Mahi Whakatau (He Āria) | 15 Credits

Explore the bicultural history of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand. Compare and contrast different fields of social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Examine and apply relevant theory, frameworks, values and ethics that inform social work practice when working with individuals. Reflect on current critical issues and discuss their impact on social work practice. Compare and contrast Māori and non- Māori assessment models and related tools.  

Kaupapa Rangahau 1 (Te Whakaemi Pūkenga) | 15 Credits

Identify the key features of research, rangahau and Kaupapa Rangahau. Demonstrate the relationship between research, rangahau, and Kaupapa Rangahau. Examine a body of information to generate new findings. 

Te Tango Mana | 15 Credits

Explore the impacts of settlement periods of Aotearoa New Zealand. Explore, identify and discuss the development of legal systems in Aotearoa New Zealand. Explore and identify the cultural hegemonic practices throughout the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. Reflect on colonial practices in Aotearoa New Zealand and identify the impacts on social work. 

Te Whakamana | 15 Credits

Examine historical and contemporary forms of resistance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Identify and locate historical and contemporary forms of emancipation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Reflect and articulate the historical and contemporary forms of emancipation to inform a whakamana model of social work practice.  

Tōku Ao | 15 Credits

Explore and articulate worldview formation. Examine and apply knowledge of Māori theories as a contribution to development of self and one’s worldview. Examine and apply knowledge of non-Māori theories as a contribution to development of self and one’s worldview. Examine how reflective practice and principles can be applied in social work practice. 

Te Mahi Whakatau 1 (He Pūkenga) | 15 Credits

Distinguish appropriate written communication methods for establishing, maintaining and advancing relationships in a social work practice. Select and apply appropriate oral communication methods for establishing, maintaining and advancing relationships in a social work practice. Compare and contrast cultural factors used in the transmission of various communication methods. Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between takepū and communication methods for a social work context. Reflect on critical issues in communicating to Māori, bicultural and multicultural audiences when engaged in social work practice.  


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