Field Education: BSW

What is practicum?

Practicum placements are an opportunity for the student to gain work experience in the social work field under the supervision of an experienced professional. Placements are completed in a wide range of community and government agencies and can usually be done in your home community.

The School of Social Work requires BSW students to submit applications for practicum or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) two semesters in advance. Students need to apply for practicum or PLA by the following deadlines:

September Practicum Placements: Application Deadline is January 15th

January Practicum Placements: Application Deadline is May 15th

May Practicum Placements: Application Deadline is September 15th

* Please note that, for planning purposes, applications for international practicum placements must be submitted three semesters in advance. 
** All new students to the program must apply by the dates listed above. 

  • Students will complete two placements (350 hours per placement) over the course of their program. A practicum seminar is also required.
  • All BSW students are required to complete either a 3rd year practicum placement (SOCW 304) or a 3rd year Prior Learning Assessment (SOCW 304A). The Prior Learning Assessment (SOCW 304A) is an option for students who already have at least two years of social work employment or volunteer experience.
  • All BSW students are also required to complete a 4th year practicum (SOCW 402, 404A or 404).
    • Child Welfare/Indigenous Child Welfare Specialization students need to complete a SOCW 404 (protection) or SOCW 404A (non-protection) practicum. 
  • Availability of practicum placements differs depending on your area, access to qualified supervisors and time of year. 

Students can choose the semester they wish to complete their practicum in; however, students are responsible for ensuring they have successfully completed their prerequisite courses prior to beginning their placements. (e.g. 311 and 312 must be done before starting SOCW 304 or 304A) Prerequisites, for your year of entry to the program, are listed in the UVic Academic Calendar

Steps for applying for Practicum

  1. Read the School of Social Work information page regarding Criminal Record Checks. Follow the steps for applying for a BC criminal record check with the provincial government - this is mandatory for all BC students or students doing a practicum in BC. 
  2. Review the Field Education Manual and/or attend an information session.
  3. Complete an Application for Practicum. (For PLA, please see below)
  4. Submit an updated resume to

After Application Process

  1. Auto-generated email with more information will be sent to you at the email you provided in your application. 
  2. Once the applications have been processed the coordinator will contact you. 
  3. Coordinators will contact their students once they are ready to start working with you. 
    1. You will receive an email approximately two months after the application deadline with information from your coordinator about process for successfully securing a placement for learning. 
    2. Depending on your location and area of interest of learning process and timing will vary. 
  4. When UVic registration opens you will be required to register. 

Apply for a Prior Learning Assessment

Students who have previous paid or unpaid social work or social justice experience (4000 hours) in the past five years, and have completed SOCW 311 and 312 (formerly SOCW 323) may apply to complete their third year practicum by Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) SOCW 304A. This is a challenging course that requires students to reflect on their practice and engage in critical self evaluation in an online group environment.

The on-line group provides you with an opportunity to reflect on your current practice, to engage with other students completing the course and to demonstrate your competency as an anti-oppressive social work practitioner. There are no readings and you are assigned to an assessor, rather than an instructor.  The assessor will guide you through the process and evaluate how you demonstrate evidence of meeting the competencies below.  Your final grade will be a pass or fail mark, with no letter grade assigned.

For the May 2019 term ONLY. As we are transitioning to a new application the supervisor evaluation can be submitted via email to no later than October 31st, 2018 if you are unable to have this completed by the application deadline of September 15th.

As the application requires a document to be uploaded to be submitted please upload a blank document should you not have a completed supervisor form. 

  1. Download the supervisor form
  2. Submit PLA Application and supervisor form
  3. The practicum team will review your application and advise you by email if you have been approved to complete a PLA. If you are not approved then you will have to complete a practicum placement instead.
  4. If approval is received, register yourself for PLA as soon as you are able.

Students are also required to complete a 4th year practicum placement (SOCW 402, 404 or 404A).


General enquiries about practicum contact Bo Love, Field education assistant

Cheryl Aro, Indigenous Field education coordinator

Maxine Gibson, Field education coordinator

Shawn Hoey, Field education coordinator