Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work

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Advance your expertise as a social worker

The Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work provides early career social workers with specialist knowledge and skills in professional areas of social work practice.

What is it like?

Most students undertaking postgraduate study in social work are in full-time practice and study part-time.

Massey is the only university in New Zealand that offers post-qualifying social work courses by distance, so you can study wherever you like, to fit in with your other commitments. The Certificate is taught on line and some courses have contact workshops.

Develop your practice

You will:

  • extend your knowledge in your chosen area of social work practice

  • develop skills that allow the pursuit of scholarly interest in your chosen fields of social work practice

  • master theoretical issues and research methods

  • critically read and analyse bodies of knowledge

  • apply knowledge to your own contexts

  • develop cultural competence in working with Maori and other diverse cultural groups.

Learn from the best in your field

You’ll learn from highly experienced academics and professional social workers.

You’ll be supported all the way

There is always plenty of help at hand. Along with contact with your lecturers, Learning Consultants in the Centre for Teaching and Learning are available to support your study and academic writing skills. Each library has a subject librarian who supports you on campus or at a distance.

A good fit if you:

  • Are a newly qualified or provisionally registered social worker
  • Successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Completed your Bachelor’s degree through a non-university provider and would like to undertake postgraduate study in a University setting
  • Are new to social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand
Hannah Mooney
Lecturer, School of Social Work, Massey University
RSW, MANZASW, MSW (Hons), BSW (Hons)
Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Te Āti awa, Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Pākehā

Hannah is a Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate who now teaches in the MSW at Massey. She studied part-time while working full-time with Māori mental health at the District Health Board.

In social work there is an expectation to continue with professional development.

Postgraduate study is a good option that can assist with developing practice and can also lead to work in leadership and research positions. Hannah believes that, "it is essential that there is a social work voice in these positions of influence, driving client support and change at all levels. It is also essential that more Māori and Pacific social workers consider postgraduate study as an option for career development to enhance knowledge, broaden their career path and increase job opportunities."

A driver for many social workers is making a difference in society. "Postgraduate study encourages you to think more critically about key areas of interest, so you develop knowledge in different fields of practice relevant to social work and community development, policy and practice."

"It was challenging to work and study at the same time however it made the connection between theory and practice stronger."


You’ll already be employed as a social worker. The Postgraduate Certificate in Social Work will aid your professional development as a specialist in professional areas of social work practice. 

Academic advice

Do you need help choosing your courses, or would you like to speak to an Adviser about your study? We would love to help you so please contact us.

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