Otago Polytechnic

Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Career Practice), (Disability Support and Coordination) or (Mental Health Support)

Location

Dunedin 

Duration
One year full-time; three years part-time
Delivery

On campus with fieldwork placements 

Credits
120
Level
7
Start
February
Apply
Until start date
  • Location
    Intake
    Study breaks
  • CapableNZ
    1 January 2019
  • Dunedin
    17 February 2020
Want to broaden your Bachelor of Social Services degree with a second specialty? Or add a focused specialty to a generic degree?

This one-year programme will enable you to gain a vocational specialty by working with clients and studying professional practice and theory.

The demand for qualified individuals in the community services will remain strong as the world faces a growing and ageing population, and a general increase in social problems, and this qualification will broaden your opportunities to work across social services fields.

Gain current and industry-relevant training during this programme so you know exactly what to expect when you enter the workforce. You will have placement opportunities during your progression through the programme which are an exciting opportunity for you to work with people in supervised settings.

The nature of this programme is such that you will benefit from the chance to network in a specialist area and forge important industry contacts and relationships. As such, you will graduate as an effective and recognised professional practitioner who is able to meet professional association competency standards and access employment opportunities within relevant fields both nationally and internationally.

Upon successful completion, you will graduate with either a Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Career Practice), Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Disability), or a Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Mental Health).

Entry requirements

Applicants must have:

  • the Bachelor of Social Services or the Bachelor of Social Services (endorsed in Counselling, Disability Support and Coordination, Mental Health Support, or Career Practice), OR
  • an equivalent qualification, OR
  • be able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or educational experience of an appropriate kind. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Completing your application

You must supply:

  • certified copies of proof of identity
  • academic records
  • proof of residency (where appropriate)
  • referees' reports and curriculum vitae

To meet requirements of placement providers and professional accreditation, you must also supply:

  • a declaration of criminal convictions
  • a mental health and substance history status.
  • Click here for your applicant information form
  • Click here for the referee report you need to give to your chosen referees to complete 
Selection procedure

Eligible applicants will be selected based on academic entry criteria and evidence of personal suitability demonstrated in written work and an interview. Numbers in this programme are limited. Should the number of applicants exceed the places available, a waitlist will be compiled in date order of application.

In addition, the number of students accepted into each specialty will be determined by the number of placements available. Please note that we unfortunately cannot guarantee your choice of specialty.

Additional costs

You will undertake work placements during this qualification and will need to budget for these accordingly. You will be expected to pay for your travel expenses to and from your placement and any meals/accommodation. 

Your workload

This full-time programme consists of 120 credits. Courses are either 15 or 30 credits. A 15-credit course equates to 150 hours of work, and a 30-credit course equates to 300 hours of work. This is spread across 32 weeks which works out at an average of 37.5 hours per week.

Programme structure 

To be awarded this qualification, you must successfully complete 120 credits, all compulsory courses, and the specific specialty courses.

Level Credits
6 45
7 75
Total 120
Pathway for Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Career Practice) 

Level 6 courses

 Credits

Contemporary Issues in Career Practice

15

Theory for Practice A (Career Practice)

15

Integrated Practice A (Career Practice)

15

Level 7 courses

 Credits

Working as a Dual Practitioner

15

Theory for Practice B (Career Practice)

30

Integrated Practice B (Career Practice)

30

Pathway for Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Disability)

Level 6 courses

Credits 

Addictions, Substance Use and Co-Existing Problems OR

Negotiated Study*

15

Theory for Practice A (Disability)

15

Integrated Practice A (Disability)

15

Level 7 courses

 Credits

Working as a Dual Practitioner

15

Theory for Practice B (Disability)

30

Integrated Practice B (Disability)

30

*Students who have previously completed the Addictions, Substance Use and Co-Existing Problems course or an equivalent will complete the Level 6, 15-credit Negotiated Study course instead. 

Pathway for Graduate Diploma in Social Services (Mental Health) 

Level 6 courses

 Credits

Addictions, Substance Use and Co-Existing Problems OR

Negotiated Study*

15

Theory for Practice A (Mental Health)

15

Integrated Practice A (Mental Health)

15

Level 7 courses

 Credits

Working as a Dual Practitioner

15

Theory for Practice B (Mental Health)

30

Integrated Practice B (Mental Health)

30

*Students who have previously completed the Addictions, Substance Use and Co-Existing Problems course or an equivalent will complete the Level 6, 15-credit Negotiated Study course instead.

You will study and placements

You will focus on gaining knowledge in one area of specialisation. Your chosen area of specialisation is designed to build on the concepts and knowledge developed from your entry qualification e.g. the Bachelor of Social Services (Speciality) to re-focus your learning into a second area of specialisation.

You will develop a sound knowledge base, and have opportunities for applying and integrating that knowledge in the workplace though workplace practice settings. 

You will undertake a placement during which you will work within the scope of an agency from your selected specialist field and gain valuable experience that will increase your employment potential. We appreciate all of the support from the community that enables us to provide quality placements to our students.

This overall programme structure allows you to progressively enhance and deepen your understanding which in turn enables you to gain mastery in professional practice and theory. This ensures that, by the completion of the graduate diploma programme, you are able to incorporate the knowledge and skills gained into an integrated and intentional model of practice in the area of your specialty.

Further study options

Our Graduate Diploma in Social Services pathway enables you to gain a further specialty with one year's additional study and provides the opportunity for entering employment with the knowledge and work experience of two specialty areas.

Alternatively, you could increase your career prospects with postgraduate study at Waikato, Massey or Auckland universities.

Student loans and allowances

Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances.) Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit: www.studylink.govt.nz

Recognition of Prior Learning

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification in the course of your life. www.capablenz.ac.nz

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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