Program Information


  • Program Length 
    4 Years
  • Credential 
    Bachelor Degree
  • Location Offered 
    Online

Are you interested in a career where you can make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society? With a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, you can devote your career to helping solve social justice issues and helping people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges such as addiction, mental health and domestic violence.

A degree in social work gives you the professional skills to develop interventions to solve social and personal problems. Social workers create social change by working with people as the individual, family, group, community, organization and societal levels to enhance health and overall well-being. 

Social workers can find fulfilling careers in child welfare agencies, departments of Health Sciences and Human Services, hospitals, community mental health agencies, substance abuse and medical clinics and elder care facilities.

The Bachelor of Social Work Program

The purpose of the Bachelor of Social Work degree program at Vancouver Island University is to provide education in generalist anti-oppressive social work practice. 

The learning outcomes of the program include the capacity to do the following: 

  • demonstrate effective social work communication skills within an empowerment approach at the individual, group, and community level.
  • demonstrate professional ethical standards and values at the individual, team, and organizational level.
  • critically reflect on own ideas, behaviours, and practices. 
  • identify and address mechanisms of oppression, privilege, resistance, and social change. 

In addition to a generalist social work practice degree, the Bachelor of Social Work program at Vancouver Island University offers a specialization in child welfare. 

Program Delivery

The Bachelor of Social Work program at Vancouver Island University will accept students into Year 3 of the program and will be delivered through distance education. Students admitted to the program will be expected to:

  • Participate in an online orientation(s) prior to program commencement in September.
  • Have access to high speed internet and audio-video capabilities. 
  • Participate in courses that have both asynchronous (online access to course materials) and synchronous (online access to course materials, audio and visual discussion, e.g. Zoom) course delivery methods.

Specialization: Child Welfare

A Child Welfare Specialization within the program is available for students admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work degree program. Students in the Child Welfare Specialization are required to complete SOCW 362 and SOCW 403, and they must complete their fourth year field education placement in a delegated child protection office. Interested students must apply for a Child Welfare Specialization field education placement by June 1 prior to entry into their fourth year of the BSW program. Students in a Child Welfare Specialization field education placement must be prepared to complete 350 hours on a full-time basis (4-5 days/week) concurrent with SOCW 400B and any other required courses. For further information, please contact the Bachelor of Social Work Field Education Coordinator.

 

Note: The Bachelor of Social Work program charges enhanced tuition fees. Check the Description of Fees and Rates for further information.

Year 3

Credits

SOCW 300A - (Foundations in Social Work)

3

SOCW 300B - (Community Social Work: Theory and Practice)

3

SOCW 301 - (Social Work Practice Skills)

3

SOCW 305 - (Social Work with Groups)

3

SOCW 322** - (Trauma and Resiliency Across the Lifespan)

3

SOCW 350A - (Law and Social Services)

3

SOCW 352 - (Interpersonal Communication in Structural Social Work Practice)

3

SOCW 380 - (Practicum: Community Social Work Practice)

6

Three credits of Social Work Electives*

3

Total Credits

30

Year 4

Credits

SOCW 400A - (Advanced Community Practice with Diverse Populations)

3

SOCW 400B - (Advanced Seminar in Reflective Social Work Practice)

3

SOCW 401 - (Social Policy and Communities)

3

SOCW 402 - (Research Methods for Social Change in Community Social Work)

3

SOCW 421 - (Social Work Practice with Indigenous Communities)

3

SOCW 440 - (Social Work and Mental Health)

3

SOCW 480 - (Practicum: Community Practice II)

6

Six credits of Social Work Electives*

6

Total Credits

30

* Social Work electives must be chosen from the following: HHS 430SOCW 310SOCW 361SOCW 362, SOCW 403SOCW 404, or SOCW 460. Not all electives may be offered each year.

** Students who have completed HHS 276 will be exempted from SOCW 322 but must complete one additional social work elective from the list above. 

Child Welfare Specialization

Year 3

Credits

SOCW 300A - (Foundations in Social Work)

3

SOCW 300B - (Community Social Work: Theory and Practice)

3

SOCW 301 - (Social Work Practice Skills)

3

SOCW 305 - (Social Work with Groups)

3

SOCW 322** - (Trauma and Resiliency Across the Lifespan)

3

SOCW 350A - (Law and Social Services)

3

SOCW 352 - (Interpersonal Communication in Structural Social Work Practice)

3

SOCW 362 - (Child Abuse and Neglect Concerns)

3

SOCW 380 - (Practicum: Community Social Work Practice)

6

Total Credits

30

Year 4

Credits

SOCW 400A - (Advanced Community Practice with Diverse Populations)

3

SOCW 400B - (Advanced Seminar in Reflective Social Work Practice)

3

SOCW 401 - (Social Policy and Communities)

3

SOCW 402 - (Research Methods for Social Change in Community Social Work)

3

SOCW 403 - (Best Practices in Child Safety)

3

SOCW 421 - (Social Work Practice with Indigenous Communities)

3

SOCW 440 - (Social Work and Mental Health)

3

SOCW 480*** - (Practicum: Community Practice II)

6

Three credits of Social Work Electives*

3

Total Credits

30

* Social Work electives must be chosen from the following: HHS 430SOCW 310SOCW 361SOCW 362, SOCW 403SOCW 404SOCW 410, or SOCW 460. Not all electives may be offered each year.

** Students who have completed HHS 276 will be exempt from SOCW 322 but must complete one additional social work elective from the list above.

*** Practicum placements for the Child Welfare Specialization must take place in a child protection program. 

Program Accreditation

Consistent with the program's interest in promoting excellence in contemporary professional social work practice through peer oversight that ensures high academic and practice standards, the Bachelor of Social Work program at Vancouver Island University is accredited through the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

Completion Requirements

  • Students must have completed at least 120 university-level credits and have completed all the required core and elective courses to be eligible for the Bachelor of Social Work degree.
  • A minimum "C+" average on all required courses with no grade lower than "C".
  • Complete all requirements for program completion within a 5-year period.
  • It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all requirements for the degree are met. Students are encouraged to consult the social work program Advisor for information and guidance.

Residency Requirement

Fifty percent of all credits used towards a VIU undergraduate degree must be completed with VIU courses and at least fifty percent of all upper–level credits used towards an undergraduate degree must be completed with VIU courses.

Updated 
Saturday, July 3, 2021

Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work degree program at Vancouver Island University is competitive. Students apply to enter the program at the third year level. Students must complete a combination of required and elective courses prior to admission. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the program with an Advisor before pursuing application.

Admission Requirements

  • To be eligible for admission to the third year, students must have completed at least 60 credits of post-secondary courses that include:
    • Degree English Requirements. A minimum grade of "C+" is required in each course.
    • 6 credits of SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B or equivalent. A minimum grade of "B-" is required for each course. 
      Note: For SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B online options, check the VIU Bachelor of Social Work website for further information.
    • 48 credits of post-secondary courses, of which, at least 24 credits must be Arts & Humanities and/or Social Science courses.  Social Services and Social Work courses may not be used to complete this requirement. In addition to the grade requirements noted above, a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.33 ("C+") is required on these 48 credits. Students who have graduated or are in the process of graduating from the VIU Social Services Diploma program in this current academic year will be required to complete 6 extra credits of Arts and Humanities and/or Social Science courses.
  • Applicants must submit a Personal Profile including the applicant's reasons for pursuing a social work degree that includes personal suitability for the profession of Social Work as well as personal strengths and challenges;
  • Applicants must submit a resume, which includes evidence of 100 hours work experience (paid and/or volunteer) in a community and/or clinical setting.
  • Applicants must submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions/programs attended.

Notes on Admission

  • Criminal Record Check. Fieldwork and/or practica will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through Vancouver Island University. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General in conjunction with the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through a local police detachment is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.
  • Enrolment is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
  • Practicum placement will be completed in consultation with the student and all efforts will be made to locate a placement based on student area of interest and geographic location.
  • Students who wish to take individual courses in Social Work without being admitted to the program may do so when space is available and prerequisites have been met. Students who take Social Work courses without formally being admitted into the program are not guaranteed future entry into the program.
  • As this is a competitive process, completion of and graduation from the VIU Social Services Diploma program does not guarantee a seat in the BSW program.

Social workers obtain employment in social, educational and health organizations as well as private practice. Social workers assist individuals, families, groups and communities through their work in hospitals, community-based organizations, child welfare agencies, school districts, agencies serving Aboriginal people and human rights agencies that promote the interests of those experiencing inequality in our communities.

Domestic Fees | International Fees

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Program Fees

Amount

Enhanced tuition for 3rd and 4th year SOCW courses (30 credits x $435.18 per credit)

13,055.40

Student Activity fee (30 credits x $9.60 per credit)

288.00

Student Services fee (30 credits x $7.07 per credit)

212.10

VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $24.88 per month)

199.04

Approximate cost for books and course packages

2,100.00

Total

15,854.54

Notes

* There are additional expenses associated with practicums, e.g. travel, criminal record check, etc.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

International Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Program Fees

Amount

Tuition (2 semesters x $9613.50 per semester)

19,227.00

Ancillary Fee (2 semesters x $426.07 per semester)

852.14

VIU Students' Union fee (8 months x $24.88 per month)

199.04

Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year)

265.00

Approximate cost for books

1,000.00

Total

21,543.18

Notes

Tuition in the above table is based on a maximum of 15 credits at $739.50 per credit, up to a maximum of $9,613.50 per semester for 12-15 credits; $739.50 per credit beyond 15 credits. Ancillary Fees in the above table are based on a maximum of 15 credits at $32.77 per credit, up to a maximum of $426.07 per semester for 12-15 credits; $32.77 per credit beyond 15 credits.

* There are additional expenses associated with practicums, e.g. travel, criminal record check, etc.

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Updated
Monday, August 1, 2022

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Location
Next Intake(s)

The Bachelor of Social Work program has one intake each Fall.

Application Fee
$43.40
Accepting Late Applications
No
Testing Required
No
Admissions Assistant

Name: Jenny Carpen-Rouget
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2283
Email: Jenny.Carpen-Rouget@viu.ca

Chair Contact

Name: Louise Stern
Phone: 250.740.6268
Email: Louise.Stern@viu.ca

Area Contact

Name: Rossanne Sutherland
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2387
Email: Rossanne.Sutherland@viu.ca

Documentation Deadline

All requested transcripts and supported documents are due March 15, 2023

Comments

Applicants are encouraged to complete their application by December 09, 2022 for early consideration. The department will consider accepting students for Fall 2023 in January, after an initial application review period. Applications completed after December 09, 2022 will be reviewed after March 15.

Social Services (Human Services), Child and Youth Care Diploma (Human Services), Child and Youth Care (BA) (Human Services)
VIU Bachelor of Social Work graduate, Jaclyn Lamont

Jaclyn Lamont

Hello! My name is Jaclyn Lamont and I live in Kelowna, BC where I am an Aboriginal Family Service Worker with MCFD. I completed my BSW through Vancouver Island University and was lucky enough to be a part of the first ever BSW program through VIU, graduating with a Child Welfare Specialization. The BSW program at VIU was extremely helpful in order to prepare me for Social Work in the "real world". All the content, experiences, practicum placements and professors gave me a wealth of knowledge and gave me the skills, abilities and confidence to further myself as an individual as well as a working professional. I was apprehensive about online learning at first but found the program to be incredibly easy to navigate. There was always someone to support me with technology and understanding course expectations. Online learning allowed me the freedom to reside where I would like, continue to work hours that fit my schedule and most impressively, attend "classes" in my pajamas from the comfort of my own home. I felt as though there would have been no better program to offer me the ability to learn with so much autonomy. Upon graduating I was hired almost immediately to work for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in my current position. I have continued at this job and my life has come full circle as I am now a practicum mentor for a student completing her final practicum of her BSW through VIU. If you're thinking about doing your BSW at VIU - take the plunge. It will be the best decision you ever made.