Human Services


Certificate in Arts
Bachelor of Arts
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Graduate Diploma in Arts 
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Master of Arts 
Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Commerce (minor only)

Senior lecturer Yvonne Crichton-Hill

Head of the Department of Human Services and Social Work, Senior Lecturer Yvonne Crichton-Hill


Human Services is referred to as the study of the professions. Human Services (HSRV) programmes and courses are now being taught at universities in New Zealand and internationally, with human services among the fastest growing fields of employment.

Studying Human Services gives you the opportunity to learn research skills and choose courses in particular areas of study, maximising your ability to develop more focused career directions within your degree.

Students majoring in subjects such as PsychologyLawEducationManagement and Sociology also have the opportunity to strengthen the human service component of their studies by including HSRV courses.

Why study Human Services at UC?

At UC, courses include a focus on professional contexts and issues such as workplace bullying, management and supervision, and the dynamics of the worker-client relationship.

There are five broad pathways within the Human Services progamme at UC:

  • Health and Family Systems – for those interested in health and well-being
  • Work and Organisational Systems – gain knowledge to implement change in organisational systems, to consider critical debates within policy, as well as to develop skills in organisational communication
  • Youth Development – looks at youth culture, youth work and relevant development organisations
  • Local and Global Community Development – an area of growing popularity in New Zealand and overseas
  • Violence and Criminal Justice Systems – many Human Services courses make use of UC staff specialisation in the areas of violence and provision of services across different contexts. Most of these courses consider violence as a contemporary and historical issue.

The College of Arts is home to Te Awatea Violence Research Centre, a community resource offering information, research and education to a wide number of individuals, groups and communities interested in violence reduction, prevention and intervention.

To participate in Human Services courses at UC all that is required is an enquiring mind, an openness to diversity and an interest in what people do to and with each other. Mature students are often able to bring a wealth of life experience to the study of Human Services. 


See all Human Services courses

100-level courses

Students intending to major in Human Services are required to take 30 points at 100-level.

The prerequisites for Human Services courses at 200-level are two courses (30 points) taken from the following 100 level course options:

200-level and beyond

A range of courses is offered at 200 and 300-level. At these levels, course topics are dynamic and contemporary, and closely related to staff research and practice interests. Courses at 200-level include topics such as:

  • communication
  • human behaviour
  • policy debates
  • gender sensitivity
  • culture, citizenship and indigeneity
  • child protection and family welfare
  • women and criminal justice
  • non-governmental organisations and social development
  • research methods for human services.

At 300-level students have the option of applying for an internship. This is a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience and integrate that experience with your theoretical knowledge.

Further study

UC offers a full range of postgraduate options in Human Services, up to doctoral level. To qualify for entry into Bachelor of Arts with Honours and Master of Arts Human Services courses, students must have 60 points with a B average in courses at 300-level approved by the Head of School. Students completing postgraduate study in Human Services have the opportunity to pursue knowledge in a specific human service area and maximise their ability to follow more focused career directions.

Career opportunities

Human Services courses are designed for students wanting to pursue careers within fields such as education, law enforcement, health, community and other social service/support organisations including international organisations.

Graduates may find roles in policy analysis, research, administration, management, supervision, community development, youth work, and various types of support work.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Human Services.

More information

School of Language, Social and Political Sciences

Phone +64 3 369 3377

Level 3, Psychology building - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Latesha Murphy-Edwards

Latesha Murphy-Edwards

'My research experience has supported my development as a clinician...'

Awhina whakarua

Awhina Whakarua

'My degree helped me get my current job and I couldn't be happier...'