Ara Institute Of Canterbury Social Work

Social workers make a difference in people’s lives by providing advocacy, education and support to individuals, families, groups and communities.

Social workers may do some or all of the following:

  • work to advance the wellbeing of children, young people, their families and communities
  • link people with community resources such as benefits and accommodation
  • talk with clients about their problems and help them make decisions about these problems
  • advise people on their rights and opportunities
  • write reports and case notes
  • support people in crisis situations
  • give advice on social problems

Usually social workers will specialise in a specific area, for example working with certain age groups or communities, or in certain problem areas like mental health, drugs or disability.

Studying Social Work

Our degree in social work will provide you with a solid understanding of the theory and practicalities of social work in New Zealand. We will guide you through the fundamentals of professionalism, research skills, critical thinking and informed decision making, and provide you with extensive practical placement opportunities.

You’ll gain the knowledge and skills required to understand the specific needs of people seeking help, enabling you to respond appropriately, sensitively and professionally.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Supervision
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) – Community Facilitation
  • Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) – Mental Health and Addiction Support
  • Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) – Social Services
  • Study and Career Preparation – Support Work and Social Work Pathway, Level 3