Bachelor of Social Services

Bachelor of Social Services

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Not sure if your experience fits?

If you would like to do the course but you are not sure if you have the relevant experience, please contact us. We are happy to talk you through your options.

Course information

Domestic (approx.) $7,948 (this includes a student levy of $266 per year for access to student services). Please enquire for international fees. Fees may vary, please contact us for more information.
Course length
10 months full-time or 18-20 months part-time
Prior experience
7 - 10 years of professional practice experience
Start dates
Monthly intakes: February - November
Distance learning
Full-time 20 hours of study per week; part-time 10 hours of study per week

Are you an experienced social services professional?

This degree will endorse and extend your knowledge and skills in your chosen specialty, progressively enhancing and deepening your understanding. 

As a graduate, you’ll be ready and able to incorporate your learning into an integrated and intentional model of practice in the workplace. 

Please note: The Bachelor of Social Services is not a social work degree. Graduates will not be able to qualify for Social Worker registration. Specialties available are Career Practice, Health and Wellbeing Practice, and Social Services.

Your Study Programme

The Capable NZ process centres you and your own career – you’ll reflect on where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you want to go.

You will:

  • identify early experiences and influences that have shaped you, and how these relate to your working life
  • analyse your work and life experiences and skills, and evaluate your strengths and capabilities
  • identify, access and research relevant practice theories, models, tools, frameworks, and reflect on how these might inform and influence your work
  • complete in-depth case studies that critically explore and analyse key learning experiences from your work or community life, and align these with academic research
  • undertake learning to fill any gaps in your knowledge or experience.

COVID-19 vaccination 

  • As this programme is delivered through distance learning and is based in your workplace, you technically don't need to provide us with a My Vaccine Pass to study it. 
  • However, as this programme is based in workplaces covered by a Government mandated health order, you will need a My Vaccine Pass to be able to complete the work-based learning. 

Multi-year enrolments from 2023 

From 1 January 2023, Otago Polytechnic joins Te Pūkenga, a new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. All learners who start multi-year programmes of study prior to this change, continuing into 2023 and beyond, will graduate with a dual-institution qualification, representing both Otago Polytechnic and Te Pūkenga. 

Angelina Kiore

Bachelor of Social Services

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