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.

Certificate in Human Services (Level 4) (Specialty)

During this qualification you will be placed in a service relevant to your specialty.

Workplace practice occurs in the second semester and requires 100 work experience hours spread over approximately ten weeks. While on placement, you are expected to participate in the life of the service: attending staff meetings, networking opportunities and training prospects that arise. You will be required to clarify your role and boundaries, and work within these confines to support a client to achieve personal goals.

Your placement will be organised by our Placement Coordinator who will negotiate with you and take into consideration additional family, work and community commitments. If you are already working within the human services field, you may be able to use your work to complete course requirements. We encourage you to discuss this possibility with the Placement Coordinator.

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.