BSW Field Education

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 International Placements require at least 2 semesters for planning purposes.

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 2 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).

Students can choose the semester that they wish to complete their practicum in; however, students are responsible for ensuring that they have finished 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

    • Read the School of Social Work information page regarding Criminal Record Checks.
    • Review the Field Education Manual and/or attend an information session.
    • Complete an Application for Practicum. (For PLA, please see below)
    • Submit an updated resume to swfield@uvic.ca
    • Upon Submission of your application, you will be assigned a practicum coordinator who will guide you through the practicum process and assist you to find a placement. Expect to be contacted by your coordinator approximately a term in advance of starting your placement.
    • As soon as registration is open, register for the appropriate section of practicum. You will be blocked from registering for practicum if you have not submitted your Application for Practicum.

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.

  1. Complete an Application for PLA 
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

Contact

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