Department overview

Our teaching style is practice-based and we have a collaborative relationship with hundreds of agencies and active professionals. Our research is focused on working with individuals, families and communities to improve practice and address inequalities.

Our staff are active in their own communities and professions, often taking on leadership roles in local organisations. Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring new and interesting perspectives to classroom discussions. Our programmes reflect the importance of collaborative learning where diversity is celebrated.

Find out more about what the Department of Social Practice is up to by reading our latest newsletter.

Social Practice Newsletter Issue 6, June 2014 (PDF) »

Social Practice Newsletter Issue 5, May 2013 (PDF) »

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
PROGRAMMELEVELDURATIONCAREER OPTIONS
Bachelor of Social Practice (Community Development)7Full-time for three years or part-time options availableCommunity social service co-ordinator, Community worker or community advocate, Local government adviser, Maori community kaiawhina, NGO community development worker, Policy analyst
Bachelor of Social Practice (Social Work)7Full-time for three years or part-time options availableSocial worker in organisations such as Child, Youth and Family, District Health Boards, schools, non-government and community agencies or the Department of Justice, Case manager, Community worker, Counsellor (children, adolescents, adults, families), Maori community kaiawhina, Mental health worker, Probation officer, Youth worker
Postgraduate Certificate in Social Practice8Full-time for six months or part-time for up to two yearsCommunity development worker, Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO) 
Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Practice (Social Practice)8Full-time for six months plus half-time for six months or part-time for one to four yearsCommunity development worker, Counsellor, Not-for-profit practitioner, Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO)
Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling8Part-time for 18 monthsCounsellor, Relationship counsellor, School counsellor
Postgraduate Diploma in Social Practice8Full-time for one year or part-time for up to five yearsCommunity development worker, Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO)
Master of Applied Practice (Social Practice)9Full-time for 18 months or part-time for two to six yearsCommunity development worker, Counsellor, Not-for-profit practitioner, Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO)
Master of Social Practice9Full-time for two years or part-time for up to five yearsCommunity development worker, Policy adviser , Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO), Social worker

Staff

Register of supervisors

NamePreferred methodologiesSupervision areas
Dr Geoff Bridgman
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5071
gbridgman@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative Research
Quantitative
Research
Multi-methods Research
Mental health
Deaf culture 
Disability
Impacts of media on mental and general health
Cross-cultural research
Sustainability research
Aileen Cheshire
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5011
acheshire@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchNarrative and collaborative 
Therapeutic practices 
Teaching and learning collaboratively
Dr Helene Connor
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5010
hconnor@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative Research
Biographical research
Auto/biographical texts
Biographical texts of wahine Maori
Biography as research methodology 
Personal narratives
Aspects of Mothering
Exploring constructions of multiple identities
Cultural representations
Intersections between gender and ethnicity
Women’s herstories
Women and HIV
Women’s experiences of prison, prisonization
David McNabb
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext  5024
dmcnabb@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchThe development of professional social work and the workplace context
Social work education
Social work and mental health services
Social work leadership
Clinical Governance and quality improvement in health services
Sue Elliot
Masters level supervision
selliott2@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchRefugee and Migration 
Human rights
Civil society and NGO practice and policy
David Epston
Masters level supervision
depston@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative Research
Clinical research
Topics related to narrative therapy
and community work
Associate Prof Helen Gremillion
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5137
hgremillion@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative Research
Ethnographic research
Critical approaches to psychology, psychiatry, and
medicine
Gender Studies, feminist theories, and
sexuality studies
Body image and consumer culture
Narrative Therapy and community work
David Haigh
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5055
dhaigh@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchCivil society
Not for profit organisations
Community development organisation/programme evaluation
Ian Hyslop
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5006
ihyslop@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchChild advocacy
Child protection
David Kenkel
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 8283
dkenkel@unitec.ac.nz
Cooperative inquiry
Participatory action research
Child advocacy
Preventing violence
Human Rights
Dorothea Lewis
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5011
dlewis@unitec.ac.nz
Cooperative inquiry
Participatory action research
Collaborative practices 
in therapy and in teaching and learning
Reflexive practice
Dr Ksenija Napan
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5080
knapan@unitec.ac.nz
Cooperative inquiry
Participatory action research
Effective teaching/learning processes
Spirituality and social practice
Transcultural communication
Creativity 
Ethics and values
Whole people learning
Reflexive practice
Special needs
Strengths perspective
Integration of theory, practice and experience
Research into human condition
Collaborative inquiry
Co-creation
Gavin Rennie
Masters level supervision
+64 9 815 4321 ext 5070
grennie@unitec.ac.nz
Qualitative ResearchPolitical Activities of Social Workers
The links between Social Work Community Development
and Theology
The construct of Social Practice
three strands of three disciplines? 
Just Practice a new paradigm for Practice the
New Zealand experience