Programme overview

Please note: This programme has been replaced by the new Bachelor of Social Practice.

Develop the skills for a career in community development. The Bachelor of Social Practice (Community Development) helps you gain a critical awareness of social and cultural contexts, social justice, class, gender and other issues. Explore community and organisational change, community empowerment, social policy and legislation, sociological analysis, and narrative ideas in counselling and social practice. Further your knowledge of Pakeha, Maori and Pacific Island cultural practices, psychology, mental health and risk assessment.


  • The only programme of its kind in Australasia.
  • Industry recognition: the Bachelor of Social Practice (Community Development) is recognised by the Social Workers Registration Board for registration.
  • Relevant to a wide range of social, counselling, disability, mental health and education services.
  • Emphasis on the practical application of theory.
  • A critical focus on social justice.
  • Work placement in a community organisation.
  • Two years to decide if you want to specialise in community development or social work.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements


Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.


Courses and timetables

The following courses are valid for 2015. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

Concepts of Psychology (CSTU5880) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will provide foundation level knowledge in psychology. The course gives students a grounding in the psychology of social behaviour, working in groups, human development, memory, cognition and learning and their motivational and neuropsychological concomitants in relation to different cultural contexts.
Ripene Tahi (CSTU5910) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to basic Maori language, cultural values and protocols, and to explore the implications of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in relation to the historic and contemporary cultural and socio-economic development of Maori.
Whanaungatanga, Gender and Social Practice (CSTU5911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This Course explores the nature of whanau / whanaungatanga, and the construction of gender roles in society within Aotearoa / New Zealand society.
Professional Practice (CSTU5930) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course offers an introductory overview of professional practice focusing on safety and effectiveness. It will consider social practice as a tool of social change and control and will show the place of supervision in safe and effective social practice. Major theories used in social practice will be explored as well as practical application. Development of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes essential for effective practice is the main purpose of the course.
Foundations of Social Practice (CSTU5950) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to acquire a basic experiential introduction to collaborative counselling practices for diverse social practice environments. Students will have opportunities to examine the influence of social and cultural contexts as they impact on professional and ethical practice.
Intro to Sociology and Community Development (CSTU5970) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The aim of this course is to introduce students to sociological theory which will enable them to explore the nature and effect of international and New Zealand social, economic and political structures. Students will also develop an understanding of community development theory and practice.
Disabilities and Mental Health (CSTU6230) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The course will provide students with an overview of the theoretical approaches around treatment, causation, rehabilitation and therapy, assessment processes, and values and societal issues with regard to disability, mental illness and substance abuse. Skills in establishing equitable relationships with people with a disability and in assessment of substance abuse and mental health issues will be developed.
Social Practice in Action (CSTU6912) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will enable students to develop bi-cultural collaborative practice skills for diverse social practice environments and further integrate collaborative values, knowledges, skills and attitudes including risk assessment and safe practice.
Fieldwork Placement (CSTU6914) 45 credits (0.375 EFTS)To provide students with an opportunity to integrate their theoretical and skills learning within the constraints of an agency and to practice the day-to-day skills of social practice.
Social Policy, Treaty Relations and Law (CSTU6930) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will enable students to explore the historical development, function, and formation of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand and to examine legal frameworks and legal issues relevant to social practice with particular reference to Treaty of Waitangi relationships.
Child Protection Studies (CSTU6970) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The aim of this Course is to equip students with a contextual understanding of the contemporary challenges and opportunities related to Child Protection in Aotearoa / New Zealand, with specific reference to policy parameters, organizational issues, theoretical influences, and the processes, skills, and knowledge required for safe and creative practice.
Community Development and Social Change (CSTU6990) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course provides students with a theoretical understanding of community development and social change. It explores theories of community development and models of social change and applies these in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The course builds on these theoretical perspectives to offer students a range of practical skills useful in community work.
Management and Organisational Change (CSTU7911) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will provide an opportunity for students to become familiar with and understand the historical development of a variety of contemporary management theories, and practices that includes understanding of both organisational culture and change. Students will acquire leadership and management skills that are relevant to human service delivery within the various sectors of social practice.
Research Methods (CSTU7920) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will allow students to pursue an area of interest and to develop, but not implement, a research project of relevance to social practice.
Just Practice (CSTU7951) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an opportunity to develop critical awareness and skills in Social Practice that will enhance social justice and social change. It involves interaction with advanced practitioners from the field of Social Practice. Students have the opportunity to reflect on the experience of these practitioners and through collaboration develop strategies to develop their own models of Just Practice.
Community Development Practicum (CSTU7962) 45 credits (0.375 EFTS)This practicum provides an opportunity for students to engage in community work in a nominated community and develop a tested model of community development under the guidance of a community agency
Advanced Community Development Theory (CSTU7970) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course provides students with an advanced study of the theoretical basis of community development. Emphasis is placed on the critical exploration of the theoretical frameworks which form the basis for community development practice. The course focuses on theoretical explanations, an examination of models of facilitation, and an evaluation of the relationship between current issues in theory, research and practice.
Working with Refugee and Migrant Background Communities and Families (CSTU5512) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)Explore the history and development of migrant and refugee communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and the immigration policy context in which they have developed.
Discourses of Social Practice (CSTU5920) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)In this course students will be introduced to key approaches currently dominant within social work and counselling and examine the social, political and cultural construction of these approaches.
Creative Social Practice (CSTU6910) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course explores creative ways of working in a range of social practice settings. It addresses possible ways of unleashing a creative potential in practitioners and explores ways of helping clients to access their own creativity.
Negotiated Study (CSTU6950) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide the opportunity for students who have been advised by the programme director that a suitable course does not already exist in the current available programme to study in an area relevant to the Bachelor of Social Practice.
Family Violence Studies (CSTU6960) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The aim of this course will be to introduce students to a range of analyses of and advocacy skills for working with domestic and family violence, with an emphasis on the interaction between culture, gender and domestic violence and the Power and Control paradigm.
Introduction to Counselling Practice (CSTU7352) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will enable students to develop an experiential and theoretical understanding of the philosophy and skills of collaborative practices. Students will develop practical skills and responses to a range of client issues. Bi-cultural and ethical issues are an essential component of this course. Studendents will experience a marae noho on the Unitec marae. The course will enable students to set up and negotiate an approprate placement to meet the requirements of the Counselling practicum course.
Research Practicum (CSTU7921) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To implement a research project of relevance to the social practice major selected.
Counselling in Action (CSTU7945) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop competence and confidence in collaborative counselling skills
Advanced Principles and Theories in Social Work (CSTU7960) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The course provides an advanced critical study of the principles and the theoretical basis for social practice. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge base relevant to the practice of social work, namely conceptual explorations, research practice principles, models of intervention and current issues in theory and practice.