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Social Work

In the social work program, you’ll learn to work with communities, families and individuals. Areas of focus include:

  • child welfare
  • Indigenous
  • Indigenous child welfare

Potential careers

What can you do with a social work degree? Here are a few jobs that relate to the program:

  • adoptions worker
  • abuse or crisis counsellor
  • child protection worker
  • corrections officer
  • employment counsellor
  • child or youth worker 
  • clinical social worker
  • mental health worker
  • addictions counsellor
  • school-based counsellor
  • intake worker
  • agency administration
  • policy analyst or advisor
  • family support worker 
  • health care social work

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

  • Career Services offers programs, workshops and support during your time at UVic and beyond. 
  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to social work:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the social work program offer extensive hands-on learning.


SOCW 350A - Social Work, Social Justice and the Law
Examine legal issues that disadvantaged or marginalized populations face

SOCW 391 - Indigenous Approaches to Healing and Helping
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Explore traditional and contemporary approaches to healing used by Indigenous peoples

SOCW 413 - Critical Social Work Practices
Do an exercise related to an aspect of social work

SOCW 465 - Interdisciplinary Practice with Children and Families 
Practice skills that support interdisciplinary relationships and teamwork

SOCW 471 - Addictions in Society Theory, Practice and Policy
Use critical reflection to articulate your own perspective on addiction

SOCW 491 - Integration of Indigenous Approaches to Healing and Helping
Integrate approaches from SOCW 391 into your own ethical perspective

SOCW 200A - An Introduction to Social Work Practice
Discover your identities, interest, motivation and capacity for social work practice

Creative or design project

SOCW 492 - Protecting Indigenous Children
(involves engagement with Indigenous communities)
Visit an Indigenous agency providing services to children and families

Field experience

SOCW 304 - Social Work Practicum I
Practice social work under supervision in an agency setting (350 hours)

SOCW 402 - Social Work Practicum II
SOCW 404 - Child Welfare Specialization Child Protection Practicum
SOCW 404A - Child Welfare Specialization Child Welfare Practicum
Develop and practice skills in an agency setting (350 hours)

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the social work program.

Regulated by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education

  • identify as a professional social worker and adopt the values of the profession
  • facilitate the welfare and well-being of all people
  • use self-reflection to understand the complex nature of your own social location and identity
  • develop an awareness of personal biases to advance social justice and the well-being of social work service users

Values and ethics

  • understand social work codes of ethics
  • understand the professional responsibilities toward vulnerable or disadvantaged groups
  • monitor and assess your own behaviours in relation to codes of ethics

Human rights and social justice

  • understand your professional role in advancing human rights
  • understand the role social structures can play in limiting human and civil rights
  • use professional practices to fulfill human and civil rights and advance social justice

Diversity and equity

  • support and enhance diversity by addressing structural sources of inequity through an intersectional lens
  • recognize diversity and difference as a valuable part of society
  • understand how discrimination, oppression, poverty, exclusion, exploitation and marginalization harm individuals and groups
  • strive to end all forms of social injustice
  • understand and use a decolonial equity and anti-racist lens in social work practice

Critical thinking

  • analyze complex social situations and make professional judgments
  • identify and address structural sources of injustice and inequalities in Canadian society
  • critically engage in social work education, research and practice in the advancement of decolonization, anti-racism, Indigenous resurgence, feminism, 2SLGBTQS liberation struggles, diverse abilities and other social justice pursuits

What's next?

To explore more visit the social work site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.