Future undergraduate students

Female student

About the BCYC program

The School of Child and Youth Care offers you a program of academic study and fieldwork practice leading to a Bachelor in Child and Youth Care (BCYC) degree on campus or by distance. Please note some CYC undergraduate courses may only be offered in an on-line format.  This may have implications for student loan eligibility for international students.

Child and youth care practitioners attend to the social and emotional needs of children, youth and families. They work directly with clients in a wide variety of settings. Learn more about careers in child and youth care.

As a student, you may participate in research, program design and policy development. Your education will take you into the community through practicum placements. You'll have the opportunity to further develop your skills within practice settings.

Learn about program requirementsspecializationspracticum and admission.

Learn from field leaders and innovators

The field of child and youth care has seen unprecedented growth and change during the past decade. For over three decades, the School of Child and Youth Care has been an acknowledged leader in the field and is one of the oldest undergraduate programs of its kind in North America.

Celebrating over thirty years as a school and more than twenty years of distance learning delivery, the school has developed all core curricula for off-campus delivery with the exception of one ten-day seminar.

We deliver our programs on campus or in your home through distance learning.

All of our courses are designed to bring you a full educational experience. In our distance stream, all but one 10-day seminar can be completed by distance. NOTE: Some CYC undergraduate courses may only be offered in an on-line format.  This may have implications for student loan eligibility for international students.

Integrate theory with practice

Wherever you find programs for children, youth and families you're likely to find UVic child and youth care students out on practicum placements. We place students in a variety of settings including but not limited to:

  • child protection/ child welfare agencies
  • school-based settings
  • hospital-based
  • disabilities and special needs programs
  • recreation and leadership centres
  • foster care and adoption support programs
  • youth justice agencies
  • group homes
  • child and youth mental health
  • substance misuse and harm reduction agencies
  • child care and early learning centres

Check the UVic calendar for prerequisites.

Practicum is a unique opportunity for you to integrate theory with practice in a professional child and youth care setting. Our practicum courses will give you an exciting "hands-on" experience to enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge of children and youth. Learn more about practicum.

Kristin Brattebo: "My practicums were done at a group home and Ministry of Children and Families Child Welfare. Both experiences were very intense but very amazing experiences."

Claire Brown: "I did two practicums in Vancouver – one at the Infant Development Program and a second at the BC Children’s Hospital. I was lucky to have had these experiences. I feel really lucky to be in a program that offers great work skills that are very relevant. The Child Life program hired me right after graduation."

Jenny Thomson always wanted to work with youth and families in some capacity. When researching for a college paper, she was drawn to the work of Sibylle Artz. Jenny discovered that CYC’s program values were aligned with her own, and that the school offered diverse opportunities in a range of areas relating to child and youth care practice.

As part of her program, Jenny completed two practica the first with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Youth and Family Addiction Services, and the second at the Ministry of Children and Families in child protection as part of an under-13 protection team.

Jenny says, "One of the most important things gained from my practica was the opportunity to practice from a critical perspective, apply theory to practice."

As a result of her practicum work Jenny found employment after graduation and now has a solid foundation to continue her work in the child and youth care profession.

Certificates or diplomas in early childhood education, youth justice, family studies, social work, child and youth worker programs or a number of human service and/or social science programs may be eligible for block credit into the BCYC program. Learn more about credit.

The school also recognizes that we learn from doing. If you're an experienced practitioner returning to school you may be eligible for our prior learning assessment through course challenge and experience review (CYC 310a). Learn more.

"I chose UVic because I wanted to further my education but required the flexibility that distance education affords me. I have a busy family life, work full time and have several community commitments that I enjoy - so distance education made sense for me. I also chose UVic because they gave me credit for my prior learning - I didn't feel like I had to start at ground zero again. This is important to me as a mature student - I like being recognized for what I've already accomplished in my life." – Kari Penner, Child and Youth Care