Social Services Diploma

National Diploma in Social Services

What is it?

The National Diploma in Social Services is a two year programme. It is a clinical programme, which means that academic studies are complemented by fieldwork placement in year two.

People awarded the National Diploma in Social Services are able to work in the social services industry under professional supervision, but with a considerable degree of autonomy and accountability for achieving outcomes as a social services worker. 

The programme contains both theory and practical skills for those planning a career in social services. The first year provides a broad foundation for social work including academic study, introductory level research skills, critical thinking and informed decision making.

The second year of the programme focuses on skills and knowledge and will enable you to integrate these within supervised social services and community placements. You will develop professional values and attitudes for practice as identified by the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and Practice Standards.

Graduates are not eligible for registration as a Social Worker.

The programme includes a compulsory overnight marae visit and Treaty of Waitangi education.


Create your own history...

He Whakatauki

I e tahi wa
Me mau ke
Ki te toihuarewa
Kia maiangi ake
I nga pororaru o te wa
Ka raparapa ki te uira
Tohu ara hou

There are times
When we must
Grasp the opportunity
Take the risk
And create our own history

Grasp the opportunity

Your future is in your hands 

It is preferable but not necessary for applicants to have experience in a social agency or study in the social services. Entry to the programme will also be assessed by discussing with the prospective student their:

  • Ability to use life experiences as opportunities to learn
  • Ability to integrate life experiences in a way that fosters personal growth
  • Ability to use life experiences to develop empathy for others
  • Ability to be culturally sensitive and work cross-culturally

Entry into the programme will also be dependent on:

  • Health / Personal problems that may impact on their ability to participate in the programme.
  • Criminal convictions past, present or pending. (All prospective students will undergo a Police Check).
  • Literacy & Numeracy


Course Information  

Qualification: National Diploma in Social Services

Level: 6

Credits: 180

Duration: Full-time: 2 years; Or part time available over three to four years

Applications: Can be taken anytime

Commences: Full-time: February 

                     Part-time: According to module dates


  • Full-time: $4,225.86 per year.
  • Part-time: per module cost.
  • Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka pays for Noho Marae visit for student only: $50.00

Extra Costs: 

  • Student Ids: $7.00
  • Code of Ethics $8.00
  • Human Development Book $15
  • Law Course readings and disk $15
  • Mandatory Text List: $767.97 (approx. at of time of printing.  List supplied)
  • Stationery, travel to work placements (Year 2)
  • Photocopying: first 50 pages free then 10 cents a page.
  • Replacement of lost Placement Journal: $30.00
  • Replacement of lost time book:$30.00

Fees must be paid within 1 month of enrolment                   

Location: Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka, Social Services Division, 250 Pages Road, Christchurch.


Te Runanga o Nga Maata Waka is an established and respected provider of private education in Otautahi; our history of successful programme delivery spans more than a decade. We are registered and accredited to deliver programmes to level six on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Currently we are the only Maori organisation in the South Island accredited to deliver Social Work to this level.

We pride ourselves on the delivery of quality education that meets the needs of Maori and non- Maori students. The National Diploma is based on kaupapa Maori and delivered in a way that facilitates bi-cultural learning.

Programme delivery at Nga Maata Waka is designed to acknowledge and value the life experience of adult students. We encourage adult learners to take responsibility for their own learning and we see ourselves as supporting and enabling that to happen in a challenging, yet safe environment. We place great emphasis in our programmes on producing graduates whose ethical and competent practice maintains the integrity of the social service industry.

Take the risk

For more information please contact us now and talk to us about how to enrol. 

If you would like to register your interest in enrolling in the Social Services Diploma, register here.