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Social Work and Human Services

Bachelor of Social Work degree

The UFV Bachelor of Social Work program prepares social workers for generalist practice reflecting principles of social justice, equality, and respect for diversity. The program addresses the structural barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. With a commitment to lifelong learning and a critical analysis of oppression, graduates will have the knowledge, skills, and professional social work values necessary to work collaboratively with individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse and cross-cultural environments. The program contributes to the knowledge base of social work through partnerships with professional and local communities.

Social work education is a critical process that respects diverse sources and forms of knowledge while encouraging dissent. We are committed to scholarship including debate on social work and social welfare, with particular attention to how social problems come to be defined and addressed.

All individuals, families, groups, and communities are entitled to be treated with respect, with justice, and without discrimination. To that end, we seek to provide equitable educational opportunities and participation of those groups experiencing systemic oppression. Valuing our community base, we seek to promote social change.

We encourage the use of evidence-based practice and contribution to the knowledge base of social work.

Graduates will be prepared to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities in a variety of settings, funded by both government and non-government sources including: child welfare, programs and services for women, immigration and cross-cultural services, family and community services, health care, corrections, addictions, services for the elderly, unemployment and income security programs, First Nations settings, and services and programs for people with disabilities and special needs.

Entry into the program is at the third-year level. The BSW program has a full seven-year accreditation with the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work.

Entrance requirements

1. Applicants must have Introduction to Social Work & Human Services (SOWK 110) and Social Welfare (SOWK 210), or an equivalent six credits.

2. In order to be considered, applicants must also have completed a minimum of 45 general university-level Arts & Science credits (by May 1st of the year of application) that are applicable to the BSW graduation requirements (see Academic Requirements), with a GPA of 2.75. These 45 credits must include:
• three credits of course work in English composition and three credits of course work in English literature;
• three credits of Human Development;
• and three credits of Introductory Statistics.

It is recommended that students have three credits of Sociology of the Family.

Students who have completed a Social Services certificate or diploma program may be eligible to receive additional discretionary credits. Up to six credits may be given for a completed certificate and up to 12 credits for a diploma, as well as additional credits for any completed Arts & Science transfer courses (i.e. English, Psychology, etc.).

Note: for a current list of qualifying Arts & Science courses, visit the website at, or contact the department.

3. 400 hours of recent, supervised work in human services, either paid or voluntary, which may include practicum hours.

4. Willingness to undergo a criminal records check.

5. Readiness for and interest in social work/personal suitability.

6. All applicants must be willing and able to uphold the Social Work Code of Ethics.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider the Social Services Studies program path.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall and Summer semesters only. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

1. To be considered for Summer semester entrance (May), completed applications must be received by December 31 of the previous year. To be considered for Fall semester entrance (September), completed applications must be received by May 1 of the year of application. All completed applications submitted by the above dates will be reviewed. Applications received after these dates will be considered only if space permits.

2. Submit the application fee, along with the UFV application for admission form, to the Admissions & Records (A & R) office. Application forms are available from any A & R or Student Services office.

Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Official, sealed transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all previous post-secondary institutions showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements.
• SWHS Additional Application Information Form, available from Admissions & Records or Student Services, detailing your past experience and education.
• A personal statement (typed, double-spaced, about 800 to 1,000 words in length) that addresses the following questions:
   i. Why do you want to become a social worker?
   ii. What kinds of life/work experiences have you had that contributed to this decision?
   iii. What experiences have you had that prepare you for social work in a culturally diverse environment?
   iv. What do you see as the most pressing social problem or issue facing Canadian society? Why?
• Two recent satisfactory letters of reference from social workers or related work, practicum, or volunteer supervisors should be submitted with your application package. These must be on reference forms available from the School of Social Work & Human Services or they can be original, signed letters on letterhead, addressing the criteria on the reference forms.

3. Applicants will be notified of the date and time for a group interview once their application is complete and they have satisfactory evidence of having met the pre-requisites. Every effort will be made to give an admissions decision within two months of the application deadline.

4. Upon admission to a program, you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register (see the Fees and Other Costs section). This money will be applied toward your tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due at the end of the second week of classes.

5. In cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admission decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements. Proof of completion of entrance requirements is due the end of the first week in April for Summer admissions, or the end of the first week in August for Fall admissions.

Basis for admission decision

This is a two-stage process. The first stage involves a review of the application using a point rating system. Complete applications will be evaluated according to the following categories, for a total of 80 points:

1. Academic experience, including GPA and number of credits (scored out of 30);

2. Work and/or volunteer experience in the human services field (scored out of 20);

3. Letters of reference (scored out of 10); and

4. Applicant statement (scored out of 20).

Note: Only candidates with at least 40 points will be considered for the second stage, depending on their ranking and available spaces.

Candidates with successful applications will move onto the second stage, depending on their total points. The second stage involves a group interview. Completing the first stage does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission to the program will be determined on the basis of a successful interview, according to the following criteria:

1. Personal suitability;

2. Demonstrated understanding of the role of social workers; and

3. The ability to engage in ethical practice.

Academic regulations

In completing the BSW program, students are required to have:
• a minimum of 60 credits of social work (SOWK) courses and a minimum of 60 credits of qualifying Arts and Science courses. (A minimum of 30 upper-level social work credits must be completed at UFV.)
• maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 for practicum placements and graduation. Students with a cumulative GPA in upper levels of less than 2.5
will be required to withdraw.
• obtain a C or better in all SWHS courses. Credits that are over 10 years old may be stale-dated; students should check with the director regarding transferability.

Students with certain kinds of criminal records should be aware that these records will preclude a practicum placement (and thus completion of the degree).

Part-time students need to be aware that if it takes them more than five years to finish Years 3 and 4, they may be required to complete additional requirements. In planning their programs, part-time students should make particular note of course prerequisites and course corequisites. Consulting with the director before registering into specific courses is recommended. Admission to field-work courses is particularly dependent on the student choosing the appropriate course corequisites and prerequisites.

Students in other degree programs may be able to obtain permission to register for some courses. Please look in the course descriptions under prerequisites to find which courses this applies to. Students will be allowed to take a maximum of two Social Work core courses without being in the program.

Practicum regulations

Acceptance into the BSW degree program does not guarantee practicum placement. The ability to pass a criminal records check is a prerequisite for most placements. As well, in order to continue in the practicum, a minimum 2.5 GPA is required.

The field education coordinator will work collaboratively with each student to identify practicum sites which respond to individual learning interests and which provide generalist social work learning opportunities.

Most of the fieldwork agencies will be in the Fraser Valley region (Surrey to Hope), although other placement sites may be considered. Students are responsible for transportation to practicum sites and most practica will require students to have a valid driver’s licence and access to an insured automobile. Students are responsible for maintaining suitable personal appearance.

Students must be available for practicum work three full days per week from January through April in the third year, and four full days per week from January through April in the fourth year. There is also a mandatory three-hour weekly class included in each fieldwork course.

The BSW degree program reserves the right to approve any agency or institution that provides placements for student practica, and to change any placement assigned to a student. The student, however, has the right to be informed in writing of the reasons for any change in placement. While the program accepts a responsibility to provide a sufficient number of practicum opportunities to serve the needs of all registered students, a student may be required to withdraw from a practicum course if none of the available practicum agencies will accept that particular student. Complete policy and procedures are outlined in the practicum package which students receive in the first semester of each year. Practica are mandatory; however, students with exceptional backgrounds may be able to challenge the third-year practicum (SOWK 330). The fourth-year practicum (SOWK 430) is not open to challenge. Further information is available from the field coordinator.


It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all program requirements are met. This should be done by regular program review with the department.

Students must apply for graduation by completing a request to graduate form available at the Admissions and Records office. This must be done no later than April 1, with program requirements completed by
April 30.

Program outline

(Subject to change as the program is undergoing the CASSW Accreditation process.)

Third Year

Semester V — Degree

Course Title Credits
SOWK 300 Social Work Practice with Individuals 3
SOWK 311 Social Work Theory and Ethics 3
SOWK 312 Legal Knowledge of Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 320 Anti-Racist and Cross-Cultural Social Work Knowledge and Practice 3
Elective2 Lower- and upper-level Arts or SOWK Group B* 3
Total   15

Semester VI — Degree

Course Title Credits
Elective1 SOWK Group A* 3
SOWK 330 Practicum I (3 day per week, plus one bi-weekly seminar class) 6
SOWK 392 Aboriginal Social Work 3
Elective2 Lower- and upper-level Arts or SOWK Group B* 3
Total   15

Fourth Year

Semester VII — Degree

Course Title Credits
SOWK 404 Research Methods and Evaluation 3
SOWK 410 Social Policy Analysis 3
Elective1 SOWK Group A* 3
Elective2 SOWK Group B* 3
Elective2 Lower- or upper-level Arts or SOWK Group B* 3
Total   15

Semester VIII — Degree

Course Title Credits
SOWK 430 Practicum II (4 days per week, plus online seminar) 9
Elective2 Lower- and upper-level Arts or SOWK Group B* 3
Elective2 Lower- and upper-level Arts or SOWK Group B* 3
Total   15
Program Total 60

* BSW students are required to complete a total of six SOWK electives (see Notes below) and two university-level electives. University-level Arts electives which contribute to the breadth of the student’s knowledge should be chosen with the advice of faculty.

Note 1: Students must complete a minimum of two of the following SOWK Group A electives: SOWK 301, 380, and 483.

Note 2: Students must complete four electives from the following SOWK Group B electives: SOWK 394, 450, 490, 491, 493, 496, 497 unless they choose to complete all three Group A electives (see Note 1 above), in which case they are required to complete three Group B electives.

Child Welfare specialization

For program information on the Bachelor of Social Work — Child Welfare specialization, please see this section.

Certificate in Extended Studies in Social Work: Child Welfare specialization

Students who have completed the Bachelor of Social Work can be recognized for additional work to meet the Child Welfare Specialization. Please see this section for more details.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.