Master of Social Work Degree

The MSW program is a 2-year program and is offered every two years.

Why earn a Master of Social Work degree at UFV?

Graduates of the MSW program at UFV will be able to demonstrate:

  • a critical understanding of social work theory, social problems, and the development of policy initiatives and processes in social work
  • a core professional knowledge base for advanced assessment and intervention
  • advanced competence in social work practice and research
  • skills and knowledge that advance the principles of social justice, including the analysis of social policies and practices
  • critical thinking for the analysis of social work knowledge, skills, and values
  • a commitment to self-directed and life-long learning
  • an ability to articulate ethical social work practice
  • ways in which individual professional practice is systematically evaluated.

Our MSW program builds on the success of UFV's BSW program, and draws on the expertise of the School’s experienced and diverse faculty members. Strong relationships and consultation with community agencies in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland enhance the delivery of our MSW, particularly in terms of practicum placements and supervision.

Our program goals include respect for Indigenous self-determination and a commitment to working in partnership with local First Nations communities. As well, the MSW encourages students to integrate principles of anti-oppressive and cross cultural social work into their practice frameworks. Our program also emphasizes social work education through practices and partnerships that respect ethno-cultural diversity, development through research, and collaborative community work.

These goals are consistent with the principles of inclusion and social justice, and the mandates of UFV, the BC College of Social Workers, and the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

What is the focus of the MSW program at UFV?

UFV's MSW is a five-semester, two-year program comprised of 30 credits, including a 450-hour practicum. 

The program’s core courses and electives are designed to develop a broad professional competency base at the graduate level. Core courses provide a comprehensive perspective on supervision and leadership, the integration of anti-oppressive and cross-cultural practice in social work, social policy, and advanced assessment techniques.

Based on your interests and career path, you will select one elective course (Health, Children and Families, or Mental Health), and complete a major paper/project in your area of interest.

Generally classes are online with two or three face-to-face classroom and online learning.

Additional Information

For up to date information on costs, how, and when to apply, visit the admissions page.

Bachelor of Social Work - Generalist

Why Study Social Work?

You have a passion for social justice and have always been interested in social issues. You believe in human rights, working towards a more just society. Whether you want to study full- or part-time, UFV’s Bachelor of Social Work degree is flexible enough to provide you with options so you can carry on with other commitments in your life while earning this degree.

What Type of Career Can I Expect?

As a successful graduate, you’ll be ready to work with individuals, groups, and communities in a variety of settings that are funded by both government and non-government sources. Some of those options include.

  • Hospitals and health care settings
  • Community and institutional corrections
  • Addictions services
  • Services for women
  • Immigration and cross-cultural services
  • Community services and programs
  • First Nations communities and First Nations child welfare
  • Programs for people with special needs and disabilities
  • Community and health services for the elderly and child welfare

Why Earn My BSW Degree at UFV?

UFV offers a unique program of studies that will lead you towards your Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. The program will prepare you for generalist social work practice that reflects the principles of social justice, equality, and respect of diversity. 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. Our program contributes to the knowledge base of social work through partnerships with professional and local communities.

Also, an important part of our UFV BSW degree is its emphasis on identifying social barriers such as gender, race, and class. These are the basis of inequality and inequitable treatment, and they prevent people from living to their full potential in a democratic society. Based on egalitarian ideals, social work is dedicated to the promotion of individual, family and community development, and seeks to ensure people have access to other economic, political and social resources that promote participation and self-determination. To achieve these aims, social workers advocate for social change and social justice in the belief that the basic and continuing improvement of social conditions is fundamental to individual and family growth and development. UFV's BSW has a full seven-year accreditation with the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work Education. Please click on the link below for more information on this association.

Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work Eduation (CASWE)

I'm Still In High School. Can I Apply for this Program?

Not yet. UFV’s BSW program is designed specifically for entry at the third-year level, after you’ve completed 60 credits. To qualify, those credits must include some specific course work and arts and sciences.

Bachelor of Social Work - Child Welfare Specialization

Why focus on child welfare while earning my Social Work Degree?

You have a passion for social justice and have always been interested in social issues. You believe in human rights, and working towards a more just society. Of special interest to you are services for children and their families. This specialization will prepare you for child welfare work in government and other settings. Once you’ve successfully completed the core and elective courses, and a fourth-year practicum in the B.C. Ministry of  Children and Family development (or delegated child welfare setting), you will graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree with a transcript notation of your specialization in child welfare.

What type of career can I expect?

As a successful graduate, you’ll be ready to work with individuals, groups, and communities in a variety of settings that are funded by both government and non-government sources. Some of those options include the following:

  • Child welfare and protection (child welfare specialization)
  • Hospitals and health care settings
  • Community and institutional corrections
  • Addictions services
  • Services for women
  • Immigration and cross-cultural services
  • Community services and programs
  • First Nations communities and First Nations child welfare
  • Programs for people with special needs and disabilities
  • Community and health services for the elderly and child welfare

Social Services Diploma

Why earn a Social Services diploma?

UFV's two-year Social Services diploma program will establish a strong foundation your career in the human services field. Your studies will prepare you for a career at the paraprofessional level in social services. This program will also set you up if you later choose to continue your education past the diploma level.

The two-year Social Services Diploma Program at the University of the Fraser Valley will help you prepare for a career at the para-professional level in the social services field.  If you would like to continue your education past the diploma level, you may if you take the required pre-requisites, ladder your Diploma into the UFV Bachelor of Social Work Degree program. You can then work in the field while earning your degree part-time. Our program plans are tailored to meet your personal education and career goals.

Why earn my diploma at UFV?

By taking the Social Services diploma as a foundation program, you will gain practical job-related skills while earning university transfer credits. Many of the courses provide transfer credit to universities in B.C. Besides the core Social Services program, the Social Services electives give you the opportunity to take courses in specialized topics such as substance abuse or First Nations studies. Our Social Services diploma program is offered at both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses.

What type of career can I expect?

As a diploma graduate, you will qualify for a number of interesting jobs. You will be able to put your skills and knowledge to work in a variety of careers including community service worker, teacher aide, residential service worker, home support coordinator, social work assistant, mental health worker, family support worker, and seniors’ support worker. Many of our students find jobs through their fieldwork placements, which are carefully selected to best suit you and your employment potential and career goals. However, completion of the program does not guarantee that you will find the job of your choice immediately upon graduation.

Social Services Diploma - First Nations Option

What type of career can I expect?

This diploma program will prepare you for a wide variety of careers in many different fields. Some examples that you’ll be qualified for once you’ve earned your diploma include the following: 

  • Community service worker 
  • Teacher’s aide
  • Social work assistant
  • Mental health worker
  • Family support worker
  • Seniors’ support worker

You might also find work in agencies such as aboriginal counselling services, aboriginal friendship centres, alcohol and drug treatment centres, aboriginal court services, other aboriginal agencies, and settings in health care, correctional justice, employment services, family services, and education.

Many graduates find jobs through their fieldwork placements, which are carefully selected for employment potential. However, completion of the program does not guarantee that you will find the job of your choice immediately upon graduation.

Why take the Social Services diploma — First Nations option?

Our program is designed to prepare aboriginal students or those with strong ties to aboriginal communities to work with First Nations people to enhance their self-reliance both on and off reserves. Working from a Stó:lõ perspective, as a graduate of the First Nations option, you will work with individuals and groups on several issues that affect aboriginal communities. Those issues may include child and sexual abuse, substance abuse, family violence, wellness issues, and economic development.

As First Nations people assume more responsibility for their child welfare, health care, and education services, the demand will grow for First Nations social service workers, namely graduates of this program to provide services to the community in a culturally appropriate fashion.

This 62-credit program will provide you with direct employment-related skills while at the same time giving you up to one and a half years of credit towards your Bachelor of Social Work degree at UFV. If you are interested in becoming a professional social worker, this program will allow you to develop skills and seek employment as a First Nations social service worker before you embark on a professional degree. Given the nature of employment in this field, we expect this program will be of interest to mature students who will bring their wealth of life experience with them. Prior learning assessment will be available to determine if those life experiences may be equated to an academic credit.

Why take this program at UFV?

You have ambitious career goals. We realize that. The Social Services diploma with a First Nations option can be tailored to suit your future education plans. Not only will the program provide you with employment-related skills, it will also give you the opportunity to earn up to 54 credits towards your Bachelor of Social Work at UFV. So if you’re interested in becoming a professional social worker, you’ll be able to develop skills and gain employment as a First Nations social service worker before you venture on to earn your degree.

Throughout this program, the main goal is to provide you with the specific skills and knowledge needed to work with First Nations communities on issues of concern to First Nations people. At the same time, you’ll acquire skills and knowledge to work with non-First Nations individuals, groups, and communities.

Community Support Worker Certificate

Why earn a Community Support Worker certificate?

You want to be involved in your community and you know you can make a difference in someone’s life. This program will prepare you to work in a variety of roles with children and adults with mental and/or physical disabilities. As a graduate, you will be prepared for employment in community support roles, such as group homes for people with mental and/or physical disabilities, and in various special education settings. You can also tailor your studies to become a special education assistant where you would work under the supervision of classroom teachers and perform such duties as coaching in basic subjects, preparing specialized teaching materials, and meeting students’ special physical needs, as well as maintaining progress records.

Once you have earned your Community Support Worker certificate, you can apply to earn a Social Services diploma entering at the second year, which will then qualify you for employment in program management and administration.

Why study at UFV?

You have a busy life. We realize that. That’s why we offer this program on either a full or part-time basis. The community support worker program includes both theoretical studies and practical applications and focuses on basic information and skills that are needed by front-line workers in the social services and educational systems. You’ll get a thorough understanding of professional roles and standards, values and ethics, history of service delivery, philosophies, training technologies, communication, and creation of community support. 

What type of career can I expect?

Typical jobs for which diploma graduates are qualified include the following: community service worker, teacher aide, and residential service worker. Many students find jobs through their fieldwork placements, which are carefully selected for employment potential. However, completion of the program does not guarantee that you will find the job of your choice immediately upon graduation. 

Extended Studies Certificate - First Nations Option

Program Overview

Recognizing that UFV is on Sto’:lo territory, this program honors the Sto’:lo people and an Aboriginal world view. 

Similarly, there is an increasing number of people working in the social services and related fields who are seeking additional training in order to become more effective with their client groups.

This extended studies certificate will be of interest to people who already have a recognized diploma or degree in a relevant field. 

The four courses in the program may be used as part of another credential (eg. BA Arts, BSW, Social Services Diploma, Social Services Diploma - First Nations Option, BA Adult Education and Bachelor of General Studies), or taken as an extended studies certificate after completing another credential.

This program is not directly employment-related, but would be of interest to those already possessing a human service or relevant credential who wish to work directly with an Aboriginal group.

Aboriginal Culture and Language Support Diploma

Why consider the ACLS Diploma?

The Aboriginal Culture and Language Support diploma program is focused on providing the knowledge, skills, and perspectives required for employment as an Aboriginal support worker. As an ACLS worker, your unique understanding of and sensitivity to the values, beliefs, and needs of the students' Aboriginal community, as well as the needs of the education system, will make you a valuable asset to the schools in which you work.There are approximately 5,000 Aboriginal students in Kindergarten – grade 12 in the eastern Fraser Valley region, and all of them would benefit from the involvement of an ACLS graduate. British Columbia educators recognize the contribution that Aboriginal support workers make in assisting Aboriginal students to achieve greater academic success and respect traditional cultural teachings.

Who is the ACLS Diploma program for?

This two-year program is culturally relevant and responsive to the needs of the Aboriginal community. It is designed to meet the requirements of individuals currently employed or seeking employment in K-12 Aboriginal education, both in public and First Nation-operated band schools as Aboriginal support workers.

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