SWRB me te mātauranga
SWRB and education

SWRB staff meeting social work students

The SWRB has two roles in social work education:

  • to recognise social work qualifications that meet our Programme Recognition Standards (PRS)
  • to work with providers and the bodies that set standards for social work education and training in NZ, to promote and set standards.

NZ-recognised social work qualifications

The SWRB recognises two levels of social work qualifications:

  • At the undergraduate level, a four-year, full-time equivalent bachelor’s degree.
  • At the postgraduate level, a two-year full-time equivalent master’s degree.

These programmes are offered by a range of tertiary education institutions: universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga and a private training establishment.

To be eligible to register and work as a social worker in the future, you will need to graduate with a social work qualification from one of the institutions offering an SWRB-recognised programme of study.

Where you can study

There are 18 New Zealand education institutions that offer social work programmes that are recognised by the SWRB. Programmes of study are offered in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Gisborne, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Otaki, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin. All education institutes delivering SWRB-recognised social work qualifications in New Zealand are reviewed on a regular basis by the SWRB. 

You can download a list of the education institutions and the SWRB-recognised social work qualifications they offer:

SWRB-recognised social work qualifications

You can find out more about becoming a social worker and study on our page for Annual education reports

The SWRB compiles a report at the end of each academic year that provides information on student numbers and demographics, as well as field education activities. You can find copies of recent reports below.

2022 Annual Social Work Education Report

You can find previous Annual education reports on our publications page.