Otago Polytechnic

Fieldwork placements are an important aspect of your learning experience and enable you to integrate theory into practice.

You will gain valuable experience and forge important industry contacts that will greatly increase your work-readiness and enhance your employment potential. As much as possible we aim to position you in a work placement that will help you to pursue and meet your career and life aspirations.

The School of Services staff are extremely grateful to all the agencies and services that provide fieldwork placement opportunities and support.

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4)

Placement info

Start date: Anytime from late August

End date: Anytime before mid-November

Timeframe: 6 weeks minimum and 12 weeks maximum depending on start date

Days: Negotiated between the student and the mentor (class days are Thursdays and Fridays in Term 3 and Fridays in Term 4 – please do not schedule placement hours on class days)

Hours: 130 (120 hours of placement = daily activities, placement goals and assessment work plus 20 hours of networking)

Placement process 

  • At the beginning of semester two, you will complete placement preference forms.
  • Following this activity, the placement coordinator and the team will discuss your preferences, strengths and any gaps and match you to a placement we feel will be appropriate for you.
  • Campus students and online students living in Dunedin or close by will be allocated a placement by our placement coordinator.
  • Online students and those from outside of Dunedin will need to follow this process:
    • you are required to explore workplace opportunities within your local community and bring placement possibilities to our placement coordinator
    • we encourage you to begin this process as part of your networking requirement in semester one and we will have conversations with you so that you are not doing this on your own
    • our placement coordinator will then work with you and your placement possibilities to negotiate a placement
    • it is imperative that any service providing a placement agrees to meet our placement requirements to keep everybody safe and happy and ensure that you can meet programme learning outcomes.  

Please note: You are required to complete a Police check before commencing work placement. You will also be expected to pay for your travel expenses to and from your placement and any meals.

Bachelor of Social Services

Working with clients is a core component of this programme. You will benefit from the chance to network with other services and gain insight into professional practice.

If you choose the Counselling specialty, you will have the opportunity to work through the Kowhai Centre with clients during your second year and then go on to work placement during your third year.

We are currently in the process of setting up a student-run career service. Second and third-year Careers students will have the chance to offer career support and advice to all Otago Polytechnic students. This exciting opportunity will enable you to gain industry-relevant and real-life work experience by assisting fellow students with a range of scenarios. This could include helping people seek employment, prepare CV’s or working with them to determine if they are enrolled in the correct course for their needs. You will be fully supported during this process to help you provide a professional service. Third-year Careers students have an opportunity to go into the community for your placements. 

All Disability and Mental Health students will go on work placement during their second and third year of study.

Second year – Integrated Practice 1

Engage in supervised practice with clients and peers through fieldwork placements in your area of specialisation. Participate in individual, small group and peer supervision of your integrated practice and demonstrate your application of theory into practice to provide professional and effective support to people.

Third year – Integrated Practice 2

Build upon your experience during the second year and take part in further supervised practice with clients and peers within a community fieldwork placement. Display your advanced application of theory into practice and your ability to meet the membership requirements of relevant professional bodies.

Please note: You must declare any criminal convictions and give permission for a Police check before commencing this qualification. You will also be expected to pay for your travel expenses to and from your placement and any meals/accommodation, so please budget accordingly.

Examples of Year 3 Bachelor of Social Services placements in Dunedin:

  • Anglican Family Care
  • Relationship Services
  • Probation Service
  • Kavanagh College (Counsellor)
  • Adventure Development Limited
  • Methodist Mission.