Master of Social Work
The Master of Social Work degree requires candidates to complete a thesis on a full or part-time basis. The MSW is particularly aimed at practitioners with specialist practice, supervisory, management, or policy analysis and development responsibilities.
The programme of study and research can be designed to meet each candidate’s professional needs and interests.
The degree may be awarded with Distinction or Merit.
UC also offers the Master of Social Work (Applied) involving taught coursework.
Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from an Aotearoa New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.
You are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
Specific entry requirements
Candidates must have completed one of the following:
- Bachelor of Social Work degree with First Class or Second Class Honours Division 1, or
- bachelor’s degree and the Graduate Diploma in Social Work, or
- bachelor's degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work with a B+ grade average or above, or equivalent, or
- completed a qualifying course prescribed by the Head of the Department of Social Work and Human Services, and approved by the Dean of Arts (Academic) of a standard to the prerequisite courses.
The MSW by thesis is accessible only to those students who have obtained a professional qualification in Social Work. This means they will have completed fieldwork requirements. For more details, contact the Social Work programme. Students who do not have a professional qualification in Social Work may instead consider the Master of Social Work (Applied).
How to apply
You can apply online at MyUC. Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The MSW degree requires candidates to complete SOWK 695 MSW Thesis on a full or part-time basis.
It will take 1 year full-time, or up to 3 years part-time. Students can begin their thesis at the beginning of any month.
Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement, and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Social Work.
For study planning help contact the Social Work programme or the College of Arts:
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800