Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2019

Social Work and Human Services

Social Services diploma

The Social Services diploma is a two-year, 62-credit program that prepares students to work in social service settings and schools. Opportunities include addictions, child welfare, community services, corrections, family and home support services, immigration and refugee services, Indigenous services, mental health, residential care, schools, and social assistance.

The program also provides an opportunity for students preparing for professional degree programs to acquire job-related skills while earning university-level credits.

A First Nations option is available within the Social Services diploma.

Transfer credit

With careful planning, up to 54 credits may be transferable to the Bachelor of Social Work program. Students are advised to check transfer credit eligibility on the BC Transfer Guide ( The number of transfer credits received depends on students’ choice of courses. Consultation with an Advisor is recommended.

Students who would like to apply for Prior Learning Assessment of a Social Services course must have their application approved by the School.

Entrance requirements

  1. Secondary school graduation or equivalent (ABE Provincial, Advanced, or GED), or satisfactory demonstration in terms of undertaking university-level work. Students 19 or older who have completed at least three university-level credits that can be applied to the program at the time of application do not require a high school transcript.
  2. Be physically and emotionally prepared to undertake a program of studies.
  3. Meet the prerequisites for CMNS 125 or ENGL 105.
  4. Complete and include all documentation (see How to apply below).

Note: Please see the Practicum regulations section below.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

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

How to apply

  1. Apply online at

    Additional documents required for a complete application:

    • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent (see Entrance requirements).
    • Evidence of having met the prerequisite for CMNS 125 or ENGL 105.
    • Official transcript (or interim transcript) from all other previous post-secondary institutions showing grade/course achievement. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.
    • An additional application information form detailing all past work and volunteer experience and education (include social services related and other; available at
    • A personal statement indicating why you want to enter the program and what has brought you to this career choice. Please refer to the kinds of experiences you have had in this field, either paid or voluntary. This statement must be at least 250 words and not more than 500 words.
    • Two recent satisfactory letters of references from past employers, teachers, or volunteer supervisors who can comment on your suitability to work with people in the social services field. These must be on reference forms available from the School either online or in person at UFV.
  2. Upon admission to the program, you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required prior to registration (see the Fees and Other Costs section) and will be applied toward tuition fees.

Basis for admission decision

  1. All complete applications received by January 31 will be reviewed. Applications received after this date will be reviewed if space permits.
  2. Professional suitability of applicants will be assessed using a point rating system. Points are awarded for past academic performance, all work or volunteer experience (social services or other), demonstrated writing ability, reference letters, and a personal statement. Admission will be granted on a first-qualified, first-served basis to those who score above the required threshold.
  3. Only those who submit complete applications and score above required threshold will be considered.

If the program is full, qualified students will be placed on a temporary waitlist. If a space becomes available before September 1, students will be contacted. After September 1, the waitlist is void.


Students are required to complete a minimum of 62 credits. At least 50% of these must be completed at UFV.

Continuance in program

A GPA of 2.00 (C average) is required for practicum placement and graduation. Please note that entrance requirements for the Social Work degree program stipulate a minimum GPA of 2.67.

SOWK 110, SOWK 210, HSER 120, and HSER 200 must be completed with a grade of C or better. Students who are not making satisfactory progress may be required to withdraw from the program. Unsatisfactory progress includes:

  • Having been placed on program warning for inappropriate classroom conduct
  • Failing two or more required courses in one semester
  • Failing a required course twice
  • Failing to make the minimum grade in a required course twice
  • Failing a practicum
  • Failing to maintain a 2.00 GPA

Undergraduate continuance

See the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. Academic standing is governed by UFV’s Undergraduate Continuance policy (92).

Academic regulations

Students may elect to take this program on either a full- or part-time basis. Students have a maximum of four years to complete the program under the requirements that were in place at the time they were admitted to the program.

Students who intend to work with children in schools are encouraged to acquire a Standard First Aid certificate. They should also include HSER 196 as a recommended elective. In addition, keyboarding and computer skills are considered useful by most employers and practicum agencies.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section. In addition to tuition and required textbooks, there will be other expenses as well, including criminal record checks and travel to and from practicum sites.

Practicum regulations

Acceptance into the program does not guarantee practicum placement. Students’ readiness for practicum will be individually assessed based on their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviour. Placement into practicum is at the discretion of the instructor. Each practicum requires two full days in the field for 13 to 15 weeks and students must make themselves available during this time. In addition to the practicum, students must attend a bi-weekly practicum seminar. A GPA of 2.00 is required for practicum placement. A criminal record check completed through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is required before practicum placement. Students must be 19 years of age or older to undertake a practicum.

Students must register for practicum seminars and practica on their assigned campus because practica will be completed in that region. Students are not guaranteed the practicum of their choice.

Students who currently work in the field, or who have significant related work experience, may apply for Prior Learning Assessment of the first practicum. Regulations concerning Prior Learning Assessment will be discussed in the seminar class.

Dates and locations

Admission to the program is for the Fall semester. Part-time Social Services diploma students may enrol in any available social services course provided they meet the stated prerequisite and there is space. Part-time students may not be able to access all courses in sequence. Qualifying Studies students and students in other programs may be able to enrol in some social service courses if they meet the stated prerequisite and there is space.

Program outline

Semester I

Course Title Credits
CMNS 125 Communicating Professionally to Academic and Workplace Audiences
or ENGL 105 Academic Writing 3
HSER 120 Introduction to Interpersonal Communications 3
HSER 129 Pre-Placement Seminar I 1
SOC 101 Introductory Sociology 3
SOWK 110 Introduction to Social Work and Human Services 3
SOWK 225 Human Behaviour and the Social Environment 3
Total 16

Semester II

Course Title Credits
HSER 130 Practicum I (2 days/week) 6
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology I 3
or PSYC 102 Introduction to Psychology II  
Elective   3
Elective   3
Total 15

Semester III (Summer)

Course Title Credits
HSER 229 Pre-Placement Seminar II (online) 1
Total 1

Semester IV

Course Title Credits
HSER 200 Counselling Skills 3
HSER 230 Practicum II (2 days/week) 6
SOWK 283 Introduction to Social Work Practice with Families 3
PHIL Philosophy Requirement 3
Total 15

Semester V

Course Title Credits
CMNS 251 Professional Report Writing 3
SOWK 210 Introduction to Social Welfare 3
SOWK 297 Introduction to Mental Health and Substance Use 3
Elective   3
Elective   3
Total 15
Program Total 62

Note on electives: Students will take one philosophy course and four additional electives in the Social Services diploma program. The electives are divided into three categories: (1) Philosophy requirement; (2) Group A: data manipulation requirement; and (3) Group B: other electives.


Philosophy requirement (choose one):

Course Title Credits
PHIL 100 Reasoning: An Introduction to Critical Thinking 3
PHIL 110 Morality and Politics 3
PHIL 120 Knowledge and Reality 3
PHIL 210 Contemporary Issues in Morality and Politics 3
PHIL 240 Faith and Reason: Philosophy of Religion 3

Group A: Data manipulation requirement (choose one):

  • ASTR 103, 104
  • BIO 105, 111, 112
  • BUS 160
  • CHEM 100, 101
  • CIS 100, 110
  • COMP 100, 150
  • ECON 101, 102
  • GEOG 101, 102, 201, 202, 253
  • KIN 163, 170, 270
  • MATH 105, 110, 111, 112, 115, 116, 125
  • PHYS 101
  • PSYC 110, 202, 210, 220
  • STAT 104, 106

Group B: Other electives (choose three):

The remaining electives can be chosen from the following university-level disciplines, but no more than two electives can be from the same discipline (with the exception of FNST courses): adult education, anthropology, art history, biology, chemistry, child and youth care, computing science, criminology, economics, English, geography, history, kinesiology, languages, Latin American studies, media and communications, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, and theatre.

Students may also choose their elective courses from the following:

Course Title Credits
FNST 101 Stó:lõ Nation Development 3
FNST 102 Stó:lõ Traditional Ways of Healing and Helping 3
FNST 201 Aboriginal Communities: Stó:lõ World View 3
FNST 202 Stó:lõ Social Structure 3
HSER 160 Introduction to Aging and Working with Older Adults 3
HSER 190 Introduction to Community and School Support 3
HSER 192 Supporting Students in Schools 3
HSER 195 Relationships and the Community 3
HSER 196 Personal Care for Persons with Disabilities 3
INCS 392 Immigration and Social Integration: the Indo-Canadian Experience 3
SOWK 301 Social Work Practice with Groups 3
SOWK 394 Substance Misuse Issues 3

Note: Students intending to apply to the BSW program need to include the following electives: PSYC 110 or STAT 104 (or equivalent introductory statistics), plus three qualifying university-level arts and sciences electives. Please contact the School of Social Work and Human Services regarding appropriate arts and sciences electives.

Note: UFV cannot guarantee that all courses will be scheduled as outlined. Students may take courses in any order as long as individual course prerequisites are met; however, students should note that taking courses out of the recommended sequence may result in delay of program completion.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students