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School of Healthcare and Social Practice

Welcome to Healthcare and Social Practice, based at our Waitākere campus. We offer programmes in nursing, medical imaging, social work, and community development, and our core focus is on creating positive whānau and community change through wellness and modern health care. 

School overview


A nursing qualification from Unitec opens up lots of career paths for students in primary health care, acute hospital care, and rehabilitation. During their studies, students have the opportunity to visit health care organisations like the North Shore or Waitākere Hospital, and the Mason Clinic. They also spend time at the Education and Practice Simulation Centre at Waitākere Hospital – a high-tech, simulated hospital environment. Students leave Unitec work-ready and prepared to make a difference. 

Unitec’s Medical Imaging programme offers students lots of hands-on experience using the most up-to-date technology in a clinical environment. Students spend block periods of time practicing what they have learnt in the classroom in a radiology facility. This practical approach to learning ensures our students graduate with both the theoretical and clinical knowledge needed to work as a medical imaging technologist. 

Social Practice 

Social practice students are taught in a learning environment which prepares them for highly-sought after professions both in New Zealand and overseas. Students are supported through their studies by passionate, knowledgeable staff who have real-world, first-hand experience. We work from a rights-based approach and our staff share an active commitment to social justice and community activism. 

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. 

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing - Community Facilitation 4 Full-time for one year. Disability support worker, Caregiver, Health and disability advocate, Whānau Worker, Youth worker, Forensic staff, Aged care worker, Navigator
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing - Mental Health and Addiction Support 4 Full-time for one year. Mental Health Support Worker, Peer Support Worker, Addiction Support Worker, Psychiatric Assistant, Drug Treatment Support Worker
New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing - Social Services 4 Full-time for one year. Support worker, Caregiver, Health and disability advocate, Rehabilitation support worker, Whānau Worker, Housing Coordinator, Youth worker, Forensic staff, Aged care worker, Navigator
Bachelor of Health Science (Medical Imaging) 7 Full-time for three years Medical imaging technologist (requires registration with MRTB)
Bachelor of Nursing 7 Full-time for three years District nurse, Nurse educator, Plunket nurse, Practice nurse, Public health nurse
Bachelor of Social Practice 7 Full-time for four years or part-time options available Social worker, Childcare and protection social worker, Social worker in schools, Health/mental health social worker, Community developer, Family/Whanau worker, Social practitioner
Master of Applied Practice (Social Practice) 9 Domestic students: Full-time for 18 months or part-time for two to six years. Not open to international students. Community development worker, Counsellor, Not-for-profit practitioner, Social practitioner working for a government agency, Social practitioner working for a non-government agency (NGO)