Distance education program

Distance students attending an on-campus class
Distance students attend a five-day on campus class—a great opportunity to get to know your professors and classmates.

Distance education program
Mode of delivery
Is studying by distance education for you?

Distance education program

Distance education courses provide students residing in Canada an opportunity to create a flexible, full- or part-time program of studies. The first of its kind in Canada, UVic’s distance BSW has been established for over 30 years and continues to offer a progressive, interactive curriculum that responds to the needs of the profession. All required academic courses in UVic’s BSW curriculum are available through distance education study, allowing you to continue to be employed while completing your studies.

NOTE: Students applying to the distance education program option must participate in mandatory, real-time/synchronous class sessions as part of SOCW 312A or may be required to attend an on-campus face-to-face component of SOCW 312A. Further details of this course delivery format will be provided to incoming students and also posted to the UVic academic calendar after mid May.

Graduation from the BSW program provides you with a fully accredited degree that opens career opportunities in a variety of different social service organizations. You are also eligible for membership in your provincial professional association of social workers.


Mode of delivery

It is important to note that distance BSW courses are scheduled in the September, January and May semesters with set start and end dates, and specific assignment deadlines within each course. Distance BSW courses are offered using a combination of delivery methods:

  1. Online classroom 
    For each course, you are given access to a Brightspace course site. This is a server-side software application that provides tools for facilitating courses online. Instructors can post lecture notes, create quizzes, facilitate class discussions and small group exercises, and provide links to learning resources. Online participation is a required component of each course. Instructors are available for group or one-on-one consultation online and by telephone.

  2. Face-to-face instruction
    The majority of coursework is completed via distance education. NOTE: SOCW 312A is a core course and includes a mandatory real-time/synchronous class sessions or may be required to attend a five-day face-to-face component held on campus at UVic (the on-campus session is usually offered in late August for September term; the session schedule is subject to change).

  3. Field education
    Along with academic coursework, you must complete both a third and fourth year field education placement. These placements can usually be completed in your own community. Please see the field education page for additional details.

  4. Course materials
    Distance education textbooks/course materials are easily ordered through the UVic Bookstore.

More information on the School of Social Work's distance education program may be found in the Learning resource kit. On this page you will find a number of links to information, policies and other resources that we hope will assist you in preparing for and completing BSW courses online. 


To help you determine whether distance education is a good fit for you, here are some important considerations:

  • You will require regular and reliable access to a computer and the Internet
  • You will be required to spend 8-12 hours per week on each course
  • All online Social Work courses follow the regular UVic semester schedule with set start and end dates, and specific participation and assignment deadlines
  • You need to be comfortable communicating online in a group environment, via both written discussions and live web conference sessions


What some of our distance education students have said:

“I would like to pass on my gratitude to the department for their excellent instruction, administrative support, and program delivery. I have nothing but accolades for UVic and your BSW program. It exceeded my expectations, both in content and experience, which is no small feat considering the challenges inherent in distance education. I actually feel prepared to work as a social worker! If and when the time comes for me to continue on to my Master's, I know where I will be applying.”

“For me, the two biggest surprises about online learning have been that I don't feel alone in cyberland, but rather feel connected to folks across the country and inspired and challenged by them (the depth of this connection varies depending on the group, but is there nonetheless). Secondly, I love the peer learning aspect of our online learning togetheroverall group discussions have been a very positive experience.”

“AOP (Anti-oppressive practice) enhanced my learning and way of life. I use this in my social work practice everyday."

“Didn’t realize I had such dedication and determination and could accomplish my dream BSW online.”

“The depth of support I received from people I had never met completely amazed me.”


Further information

Check out our faculty, instructors and staff

The School of Social Work has a unique student mentorship program.

Information on tuition and costs



For more information about applying to the program, contact:

SOCW Admissions (BSW)
Phone: 250-721-8036
Email: swadmit@uvic.ca