What will I learn?

UCOL's new Bachelor of Social Services will provide you with specialist knowledge and skills to gain employment in a variety of areas such as community/social services worker, disability support advocate/worker, mental health advocate/support worker, navigator or case manager.

Working with people is a core component of this programme and this course will give you an understanding of how social and community dynamics can impact on individuals, families and groups of people. The programme will provide you with learning opportunities that include face to face, simulation/role play, group work and work experience. At the end of the programme you will have the confidence to work in the community to create change.

Career & Study Outcomes

  • Social Service agencies
  • Community agencies
  • Mental Health and addiction agencies
  • Local and Regional Councils
  • Whanau Ora agencies
  • Government agencies
  • Employment overseas

Year 1: Personal and Academic Effectiveness (15 Credits); Cultural Competence I (15 Credits); Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Ethics and Law (30 Credits); Applied Communication 1 (15 Credits, 25 hours work experiences); Theories of Human Behaviour (15 Credits); The Primary & Community Care Workforce (15 credits); Diversity and Social Inclusion (15 Credits)

Year 2: Applied Communication II (15 credits); Safe and Ethical Practitioner (15 credits); Research for Social Services (15 Credits); Addictions, Substance Use and Co-existing Problems (15 credits); Cultural Competence II (15 Credits, 24 hours work experience); Theory for Practice I (choice of Social Services, Mental Health, Addiction or Disability Support) (15 credits); Integrated Practice I (choice of Social Services, Mental Health, Addiction or Disability Support).

Year 3: Communicating with Families/Whanau and Communities (15 credits); Applied Social Issues and Social Policy (15 credits); Socially Responsible Leadership (15 credits, 50 hours work experience); Practitioner Inquiry (choice of Social Services, Mental Health, Addiction or Disability Support); Theory for Practice II (choice of Social Services, Mental Health, Addiction or Disability Support) (30 credits); Integrated Practice II (choice of Social Services, Mental Health, Addiction or Disability Support)

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
NZ$22,500.00 (US$ 15,950) per year
Start date

7 March 2022


Palmerston North Campus (Main Campus)

Universal College of Learning (UCOL),

18 Princess Street,

Palmerston North,

4422, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have High School Diploma – SATV and SATM (mini composite score 1250). Other English language Requirements: TOEFL (PBT) Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE). PTE (Academic) score of 50.

For international students

Applicants under 20 years of age:

  • University entrance
  • Or equivalent academic achievement OR
  • Successful completion of New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4)
  • Or on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

Applicants over 20 years of age:

  • A person having reached the age of 20 years by the first day of the programme in the year, for which admission is sought, is not required to hold the above entry qualifications.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible) not less than 2 years old at the time of submitting the enrolment application. TOEFL (iBT): Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18); Cambridge B2 First (for Schools), C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency: B2, C1, or C2 with score of 169; no less than 162 in each skill; OET: Minimum Grade C or 200 in all subtests; PToE (Academic): Score of 50 with no band less than 42.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

Pathways options