Frequently asked questions

What can I do with a BSW degree?

Graduates are employed in a wide range of government and voluntary organizations.
For further information see
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Is admission to the BSW ongoing?  When can I start the program?

BSW applications are available on our website in December of each year and completed applications must be received by January 31. Please see admissions requirements for details.
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What is the difference between Pre-Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work when applying to Undergraduate Admissions?

Pre-Social Work is a category that applicants may select to take SOCW 200A and/or SOCW 200B (introductory pre-requisites) and may also indicate a later interest in the Bachelor of Social Work. For applicants who have 30 units and SOCW 200A & 200B or equivalents, Pre-Social Work is also a category that one can apply for to take 3.0 units of social work courses with permission if space is available.

Being accepted to Pre-Social Work does not mean you are in the BSW program. Applying to the BSW program is a separate process.

Please note that while SOCW 200A & 200B and 3rd & 4th year social work courses are available by distance education, UVic does not offer general type courses (eg. Sociology, Psychology) by distance education. Therefore, it is not possible to take your first two years by distance education prior to applying for entry into the BSW program.

What should I take to complete my first 30 units of course work?

30 units (generally equivalent to 60 credits) are approximately 20 single-term courses. Within the 30 units you should complete SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B, or their transfer credit equivalents, and a wide variety of liberal arts, social sciences and humanities courses.

Some subject examples are: English, French, Greek and Roman studies, history, linguistics, Pacific and Asian studies, philosophy, religious studies, women’s studies, anthropology, economics, environmental studies, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, and Indigenous studies.
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What will I get for credit towards a BSW?

As part of the official application process, Undergraduate Records will evaluate your official transcripts and student record for credit. Please note that this is not completed by the School of Social Work. For additional information on transfer credit, please see the Undergraduate admissions - Transfer credit page and the UVic calendar section regarding applicants for transfer.

First and second year liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities courses transfer quite well. If you are transferring courses from a BC college, you may use the BC Transfer Guide to determine if there is a transfer equivalency set out for the course and the academic year in which it was taken. Transfer credit from other institutions and other provinces is not available in the BC Transfer Guide and is determined on a course by course basis as part of the application process.

If you already have a four year accredited baccalaureate degree, you will generally receive 30 units of block degree credit towards the BSW. Three year baccalaureate degrees and international degrees will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

If you have graduated with a social/human services diploma or certificate, you will generally be eligible for discretionary credit, which is in addition to any individual course transfer credit that you may receive. Please note that most social/human services courses will not receive transfer credit, apart from any equivalents to SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B. Discretionary credit is applicable towards the BSW program only.

  • A two- or three-year social work/human services diploma with at least two field education placements is generally eligible for 6.0 units of discretionary credit.
  • A one-year social work/human services certificate with at least one field education placement is generally eligible for 3.0 units of discretionary credit.
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How many applicants do you admit per year? Is admission competitive?

The number of applicants admitted each year will depend on the resources available to the School and the number of qualified applicants. Admission is very competitive; we receive on average 500 or more applications per year for a limited number of seats.
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Is the BSW program available to students outside of British Columbia?

Yes, the option of a distance education delivery method allows students to complete the BSW program while residing across Canada. Please note, distance education courses are not facilitated internationally.
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Is the distance education program the same as the on-campus program?

You will complete the same course and field education requirements for your program regardless of the course delivery method.
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How much is course tuition?

Current course tuition fees are available on the accounting services website and are generally updated May 1 each year. Tuition is charged per fee unit and the BSW program is based on 30 units of course work. Multiply 30 units by the “per fee unit” tuition charge to obtain an estimate based on current tuition fees.
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How long will it take to complete the BSW? Can I take a part-time course load?

If you are completing a full-time course load, the program can be completed within four semesters. However, if you are trying to balance work, family commitments, course work and field education placements, you may want to take a part-time course load instead. The completion time for students taking a part-time course load is highly variable.
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Can the field education placements be completed where I live?

In most circumstances your required field education placements can be completed in or near your home community.
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Can I use my work and life experience to take the place of a course?

If you have completed a minimum of two years paid or unpaid social justice experience (approximately 4000 hours) within the previous five years, you may apply to complete a prior learning assessment (PLA) course in place of the third year field education placement.
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As a distance student, do I have to come to campus at any time during my program?

If you are completing the program via distance education, you will need to attend a mandatory five-day session held on-campus at UVic as part of SOCW 312.
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Is accommodation provided for the five-day on-campus session for SOCW 312A via distance education?

You are responsible for organizing travel and accommodation for attending the five-day on-campus session.
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How are exams written?

SOCW courses do not have exams during the university’s final exam period. If any quizzes or exams are required for a course they are completed in class or online with CourseSpaces for distance education courses.
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Can I take social work courses without being in the program?

SOCW 200A and SOCW 200B are open to registration by all UVic students. A maximum of 3.0 units of selected social work courses may be taken with permission by admitted UVic students who have 30 units including Socw 200 and 200B or equivalents, subject to availability.
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Is the UVic BSW degree recognized across Canada and internationally?

The UVic BSW degree is fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education and graduates are eligible to register as a social worker in any Canadian province.

If you are considering practicing outside of Canada after graduation, you must contact the social work association or registration board in that jurisdiction to ensure that a Canadian BSW degree will meet their membership or registration requirements.
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