Bachelor of Social Services

Working full time while supporting my family and community, I couldn't take 3 years out to study. With Capable NZ I kept working and completed my degree in 12 months using the skills and experience I had.

Angelina Kiore, Bachelor of Social Services

Are you a skilled professional working in New Zealand’s social services?

If you have gained a solid foundation in your field but would like to specialise, or want to have your years of hard-work recognised by a qualification, Capable NZ can help you gain a Bachelor of Social Services. This qualification includes specialities in Counselling, Career Practice, Mental Health, Disability and Social Services.  The Bachelor of Social Services is an applied degree for those with significant experience working in the social services sector.  Please note that it does not enable registration as a Social Worker; for people wishing to gain registration to the Social Workers Registration Board, please contact them directly at

How can CAPABLE NZ help you get a Bachelor of Social Services?

There are two pathways for experienced adults to gain a Bachelor of Social Services. These are Independent Learning Pathways (ILP) and the Partial Independent Learning Pathway (PILP). Generally, the more experienced you are in your field, the more likely it is that ILP will be the most direct route to your desired qualification. However, if there are any gaps in your knowledge and skills, then the PILP may be the best option. We will identify the right pathway for you during the initial assessment of your background and application.

Independent Learning Pathways (ILP)
Are you already an experienced Practitioner in Career Practice, Counselling, Mental Health, Disability or Social Services, but would like your years of hard work measured against a qualification? If so, you could use our ILP process to assess your experience, skills and knowledge for the Bachelor of Social Services.  We generally look for ten years of experience to obtain the ILP pathway.

Partial Independent Learning Pathway (PILP)
Are you working in social services but would like to take your career to another level? If you believe there might be gaps, or new knowledge required, then you may apply for the PILP where you will be supported through this learning journey, having access to new knowledge where needed.  We generally look for five years of experience to obtain the PILP pathway.

Want to know more about the Bachelor of Social Services?

Read more details about the Bachelor of Social Services on the Otago Polytechnic website, including information about entry requirements, programme structure and fees.