Faculty of Education and Social Work

Bachelor of Human Services

Human Services involves working with diverse and often marginalised populations in the community to improve their participation in society and support them to build better lives.

This programme will not be offered for new students in 2016/17. Prospective students interested in this area of study can consider applying for the Bachelor of Social Work.

Quick facts
3 years or 6 years part-time  
Taught at
Epsom Campus
Points per degree 360
Applications are still open for this programme. Apply now.


  • Gain the professional skills and knowledge you will need for working within a broad range of human service settings, with the option to develop specialist skills and knowledge in areas such as youth work and disability support.
  • Develop an understanding of social, cultural and political issues in New Zealand society.
  • Also suitable if you are already working in human services, and provides a qualification to support your career development.

What you'll learn

In the first year you will:

  • Study psychology and sociology for human services, lifespan development, and professional communication skills.
  • Learn to analyse and assess the importance of legislation that underpins working in the field of human services.
  • Choose one elective course depending on your area of interest.

Over the next two years, you will:

  • Build on your theoretical knowledge base.
  • Study courses in mental health, ethics and social justice, social policy, and human services assessment, service coordination and planning.
  • Gain an understanding of reflective practice and the role of "self" in your practice.
  • Study courses in leadership and management in human services.
  • Take further elective courses.

You will also study two courses from the General Education schedule, allowing you to pursue interests outside your field of study.


Career opportunities

Agencies increasingly seek a degree as a prerequisite for employment, and with a specialised degree in human services you will be well-prepared to enter into this field of work and may even be ready for leadership/management roles depending on your level of experience.

The areas you could work in are varied. You could work in a hands-on support situation, in a coordination, advocacy or assessment role, in training, management, or development projects. These may be government, private or community-based settings.

You might work with youth, people with disabilities, the elderly, people with mental health, addiction or health issues, migrants or refugees. You could also go on to create your own initiatives in terms of programmes and services.


Further study

The University of Auckland offers a range of programmes at postgraduate level enabling you to further develop your skills and to optimise your career and salary prospects. Programmes offered include:

(Note: Most postgraduate programmes require professional experience before you can apply to study.)