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Diploma in Disabilities and Social Support Level 5

This programme has been developed in response to a need for a programme that leads to a qualification in providing disability support. It will be suitable for students who have a related health qualification or experience and want to enter the disability support sector in New Zealand.

The programme equips the students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to work in the areas of promoting health, wellness, social support, and disability support. Jobs may include Community Worker, Disabilities Services Officer, Family Support Worker, Residential Care Officer, or Youth Worker. They may be working in corrections, or probation, intellectual disability settings, physical disability support settings, learning disability support settings, dementia support settings, or mental health settings. The target learner group will be mature international and domestic students who have a tertiary qualification in a health field and/or one years experience in a health role.

This is not a pathway in gaining New Zealand registration in occupations such as Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Medicine and Dentistry, Occupational Therapy and others.


Qualifications Achieved

New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Practice/Applied Practice) (Level 5)

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 3) with strands in Health Assistance, Newborn Hearing Screening, Orderly Services, Support Work,Vision Hearing Screening, and Whanau, Kin and Foster Care

Graduate Job Search Work Visa

You may be eligible for a one-year work permit under the Post-Study Work Visa Open Category (“Job Search Visa”)

  • Employment paths may include Disabilities Services Officer; Parole and Probations Officer; Family Support Worker; Residential Care Officers; Community Worker;or Youth Worker. 
  • Potential NZ work and residency pathways
Programme Length
  • 76 weeks full time study (including breaks and holidays)
  • 20 hours per week (2.5 days) of study in a class or workplace setting
  • 12 hours per week of self directed study
Programme Content
  • The programme consists of four semesters which include classroom based learning, self directed learning and some workplace training. The modules or components are each delivered across six weeks.

  • The components for semester one are about culturally safe communication in support, ethics and vulnerability, and knowledge in support. Semester two looks at New Zealand health and wellbeing. The components for semester two are about independence support, determinants of health, and te ao Maori. It includes a 5 week practicum to complete the level three learning. Semester three is about evidence based practice. The components are cultural sensitivity, evidence based plans and models, and evidence based assessment tools. Semester four is about support for aspirations. The components are self practice development, barriers to aspirations, and identification of aspirations. A four week practicum is included for the application of knowledge of health and wellbeing aspirations. This will also introduce the student to the job demands of the roles to which they may aspire.

Entry Requirements

All Students:

  • Students must possess the appropriate immigration document
  • Students must be at least 18 years of age
  • Students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance
  • Interview with Head of Department or Academic Staff
  • Students must provide a current police records check
  • Student must have a heath-related qualification

International Students:

  • Authenticated International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0 (Academic Module) from an official testing centre. Overall score of 6.0 preferred

  • Additional language instruction may be required once official language testing has taken place at the Auckland office

  • Tertiary graduates and experienced health care professionals preferred.

Domestic Students & New Zealand Curriculum aligned countries:

  • Minimum academic requirements equivalent to 48 NCEA credits at level 2 (including a minimum of 12 in each of the three subjects and including four credits in reading and four in writing

  • Non-native English speakers are required to undertake language proficiency testing at the Kauri Academy site

  • Student loans and allowances for potential domestic students are currently not available for this programme.  

Career Guidance

Up to date information on entry requirements for professional associations or specific employment opportunities will be made available to students during enrolment.

Working While Studying
You may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours each week. A driver’s licence is recommended if seeking employment... more
Requirements to Pass the Programme
  • Achieve competency in all assessments
  • Gain all 190 credits in total
  • Have an overall attendance record of at least 80%
Credit Value

190 credits

Programme Start Dates

Every 6 weeks

Kauri Programmes
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Certificate in Diversional Therapy and Community Health (Level 4)
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Diploma in Disabilities and Social Support (Level 5)
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Certificate in Pharmacy Technician (Level 5)
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Diploma in Health (Advanced Applied Management) Level 7
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Working While Studying

You may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours each week during the academic year. You may also be allowed to work full time during the Christmas and New Year period at the end of each academic year. To work you will need to apply for a variation of conditions to your student visa.

One criteria for a student to be allowed to work is that the student is undertaking a programme of study in New Zealand that leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Immigration New Zealand’s Residence Instructions.

More information on working while studying may be obtained from the Immigration New Zealand website at www.immigration.govt.nz. See also Student Visa Guide.

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