It takes a special kind of person to work with people.
Now more than ever, our communities need social workers and support workers.
Get the special skills you need to help people of all ages and cultures, from individuals to families and whānau. Learn specialist techniques in communication, dealing with challenging situations through self-awareness and self-insight, and gain the tools to safely work with a diverse range of clients in a social services environment.
Our classrooms are supportive learning environments that promote independence and confidence.
Be the change you want to see in your community.
“The social work degree programme is suitable for people who have a passion to help people. It doesn't really matter what your background is, it doesn’t matter what experiences you have had. It’s about whether you are committed to helping your community and families. Your experience and your backgrounds – they do not define your future. As long as you are committed, and you have the passion then the degree is for you.
In social work, we focus on people, and we focus on relationships. So, we often have events and activities, and we mix year one, year two, year three and year four, in together.
As a social worker, we have to be prepared that the day will be busy. Often, we can't really go with what we planned for, and we have to be very adaptable, and accept changes.
After our students finish the degree, they can work in any government agency, hospitals, schools, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or pursue further studies.
Study social work at MIT.”
MIT senior lecturer
"It’s very practical at MIT and that’s what I love about it. Learning is very engaging because we’re always very involved, it was very hands-on. What’s being taught to you is exactly what you need when you go out into the world when you get that job.
From the beginning, you’re in a position to get to know a lot of interesting people and form relationships with not only the students but with the lecturers.
I wanted to actually do something, not just be in an office. Now I can do something good for the community, helping people make the most of their lives. Helping them help themselves I love that.
My advice is don’t be afraid, just do it."
"I chose social work as kids in my family were placed in my care by Oranga Tamariki so that encouraged me to step up, make a change to someone else’s life. My learning at MIT is absolutely fantastic, it’s giving me tools to go out and find the job. In my student journey, I’ve enjoyed everything, assessment after assessment.
I enjoy being together with other students, also the learning support centre helps us so much, especially when it comes to assessments. I get help and any kind of support that I need from MIT.
My advice to someone considering social work is if you want to do it, just go for it. It’s very challenging but those challenges make you want to keep on going. For me, I don’t want it to end, I want to keep on going. I really enjoy it. I would like to say I have enjoyed every single thing on my journey at MIT."
Ana Tovo Mafilao
"I’ve always had the heart to make a difference in the community. I am a returning learner, which was a challenge I overcame before I started studying this degree. Having to be back in student life, and having no money, but it’s like, if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.
I quite enjoy the fact that MIT has an online study education option and the opportunity to come on campus. Everyone is really down to earth. The lecturers really want to get to know you and help you out on your journey at MIT. What I enjoyed in my student journey is the fact that it’s closer to home for me and the environment. It’s a very diverse institute."
"I want to make my family proud of me because I’ll be the first one to get a degree in my family. I chose this subject because in my culture I saw children being abused.
I had my own children, so I wanted to help my own, especially in my community. I’ve been the class rep for year 3 and I’m the first Island student to be class rep for our class.
Being with different cultures has made me proud of my culture. When I see MIT, it’s not only one culture but different cultures – but we’re all like one family."
"I chose social work because I want to contribute to my community. I would really like to help families out of struggling situations that they may be in.
At MIT everything they teach us is really hands-on. We learn how to apply the theory and the practice within a real-life environment when we go out and do community work. It’s also a friendly environment. They treat everybody as equal, you’re not judged in any way. They just really, really make you feel like you’re somebody.
My advice is to go for it. You don’t want to get to an age when you’re looking back thinking I should have just done it when I was younger. Just go ahead and do it. You’re never too old. You won’t regret it, you’ll enjoy studying at MIT. We’re studying with diverse people from different ethnic backgrounds. They have quite a diverse culture here at MIT. You meet people from all different backgrounds. You’re able to develop different perspectives and I think that’s really important when you go out into the real world."
“I enjoyed every moment at MIT being able to work with different cultures.
It's a huge learning experience. I encourage others to join MIT, they not only help you with your study but also help you to find a job after.”
Meliame Opeti Fifita
"I chose social work because I want to give back within our community and help the youth, the children, the tamariki. What I have enjoyed most about being at MIT is the environment. I didn’t have any confidence but coming to MIT brought me out of my comfort zone. My dream job would be working with children in a hospital."
"I chose social work because I want to see positive changes within our communities and our Pasifika youth. What I enjoy most is MIT is local. We literally only live a couple of roads down. MIT’s hands-on learning has improved my overall growth and development as a person because I learn better hands-on, I don't learn from a book. The environment itself has a huge impact on our learning, just seeing it every day is what motivates us to actually do better for ourselves and our family."
"The uniqueness of MIT is being diverse, it is not just one culture, we learn from other people, and we learn from ourselves. What I enjoyed most was finding and creating good friendships. I love how the teachers are as well.
Being a teen Mum, you don't know what you want to do, and sometimes being a benefit statistic hurts. For me, the goal was to have a career and not a job. I came into social work to get that career. I'm in my dream job now because of social work. I am working at an education centre, working with young mums and helping with their social need like getting them houses, getting them on the benefit if they need a benefit, and helping where I can.
Don’t think about it. Just do it. Honestly, you won't regret it."
"I've always wanted to work in the areas of social justice, diversity and human rights.
I highly recommend Manukau Institute of Technology to anyone who wants to begin their social work journey. You will experience social work theory, proficiency and skills, and you get the opportunity to go out into placement.
My lecturers are open, honest and transparent, and they have helped and motivated me to complete my degree. We are like one big family.
Everything about MIT is unique; the people, the friendliness, the helpfulness, I can't say enough about the Institute. They've bent over backwards to help me, and I've watched them help other students too. I highly recommend you come and study here.
Come and do the social work degree, you won't regret it. This will actually be the kind of job where you will love getting up in the morning to come to work."
"I have a heart for young people, especially in at-risk youth. I’ve grown up in that environment and I know where they're coming from, and studying helps me understand it a lot better.
MIT has helped me with presenting and talking in front of large crowds, because that’s what I do, outside of class. I think the support from the staff is really good. You learn one-on-one from the lecturers.
MIT is very diverse and has a lot of respect for other cultures. It’s a safe space for everyone to hang out. We're all coming from different backgrounds, learning the same thing to help us understand each other better.
My dream job is to be in government, but for now, schools with high school students and young people."
"I found my experience with MIT very easy. The hours are so flexible, and it's helpful for us mothers with children. When they're sick, we can study from home. The lecturers are so helpful and support us to catch up with our assessments.
My favourite part of MIT is the tangata whenua. All the different people come together as a family at MIT, allowing us to still have that importance of our identity. They encourage us in learning about the tangata whenua and the history of this land. It’s important that we understand the history of the people in this land.
My advice for people is to come and study at MIT. It's closer to home. Easy to find parking, and the bus stop is just around the corner. MIT people are very lovely, lecturers and students are all very supportive."
"I'm working as a service manager for child and family services in Barnardos. My role is to provide supervision and clinical support for our practitioners here in South Auckland.
We also take on board student placements, particularly for MIT. We're based in the south so our focus is being able to support our practices, who want to be able to work for our South Auckland families. Every semester we take two students.
MIT is probably one of the most diverse places to study, the commitment by cultural practices and diversity is important. What makes MIT special is the freedom that the students have to be able to locate themselves in their practice, and share that with everyone else.
Demand for practitioners is ever increasing. When I graduated from MIT, I was able to gain employment straight away."
"My social worker put me on the straight and narrow, which kind of gave me options not to choose the life that I thought I wanted. I'm a school dropout. I came here and got the school cert, which I didn't get in school. It's not that I wasn't good enough, it’s just that school didn't fit. So, I came to a place that fit me. I’ve been through MIT three times. So that says a lot for this place and my journey in life. I’m still here, and I’m nearly finished.
What I enjoy most about studying at MIT is the tutors, the support our tutors actually gave us, and the camaraderie in terms of our class, our brotherhood, our sisterhood. That's the biggest thing. You go on your own journey and you have your own goals, but you need the support. And that support usually starts with your class."
"There is a huge demand for social workers, and in the time that I have been at MIT, MIT social workers are in the greatest demand. They bring diversity, personal experience, and the practical skills that are fine-tuned while learning to become social workers at MIT. It is then applied when they go out into the field.
In the first two years of study, the students learn social work theory, and in the final two years, students start applying theory into practice while out on placement. I believe anyone who has a passion for people in their community can do this qualification. Even if you have no social work experience, knowledge from your surroundings will be an advantage in this space.
What I love about MIT, are the diverse cultures here. We all have one thing in common and that is to provide support to our communities. We are the best people to do it because we live and know what goes on in our community.
The opportunities for this qualification are endless. You can work with youth, Oranga Tamariki with children and Whānau, disabilities, corrections, hospital social worker, school social worker, mental health worker, and the list goes on. Most of our students come in with a narrow view of what area they want to work in, but by the time they finish the degree, their lens is widened for their chosen field they want to work in. Our job as lecturers is, to create a pathway to their chosen area of expertise. I like to call them 'diamonds in the rough' our job is to take off rough edges and shine them up.
What is also important to note is that MIT social work students are employed by organisations for the cultural content they take into organisations and out into the field because our statistics for the most disadvantaged in Aotearoa, New Zealand are Māori and Pasifika."
"I chose to study social work so I can help other people when they are going through a rough period in their life and MIT has a great reputation in the field. Studying after such a long time was challenging, however there is so much support to help.
The teachers are super helpful, the students are always willing to help you learn and be a better version of yourself. Don’t wait to take that step, you will not regret your decision. No matter what stage of life you’re in, MIT is for everyone.”
"I chose MIT because it's close to me. I live in Otara and if I can’t get a car, I can walk to the campus. Also, English is my second language and my Tongan lecturer really helped me by translating the work.
At MIT people are friendly and the facilities are really useful, there’s everything on campus.
My favourite part of my course was the presentations. I love talking and even though English is my second language I was able to do my best.
I’m 55 and I would advise for those in my age, that it's not too late to learn. You can go to lecturers, and they will help you. Learning is good for you, good for your family, and good for the culture."
“I have always loved people and finding out what they love about being who they are. My Aunty was an amazing Social Worker, and she had a unique way of working alongside whānau and so many people loved her. I studied this programme because I wanted to have a better understanding of myself to help me become a better parent and person so that I could better advocate for others.
I am a proud South Aucklander who was raised in Ōtara as a child so I used to see MIT South Campus all the time and thought how cool it would be to study there one day. I needed to study close to home and close to my children in case they needed me at short notice. I also did a bit of research about the programme compared to other providers and MIT had me sold.
Motivation has been the hardest thing to battle through my studies, but once you know your reasons for being here, your why, you can push through to the end. I have a very busy lifestyle that some may think is over the top. I manage by ensuring I am surrounded by amazing, positive people who celebrate each other’s successes and encourage you to keep going. I celebrate myself when I know I have done well because we forget about ourselves often. You can still be humble and celebrate your achievements.
MIT is so diverse and I have learned so much about the different tikanga each culture values, which I believe is a great way to create those respectful relationships. Maybe I am biased when it comes to MIT. The people who have studied at MIT over the past 52 years have all contributed professionally or personally with heart and grace to our communities around Tāmaki Makaurau and the world. The people of MIT are what makes this place unique.” .