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Classes for the Winter 2019 semester begin Wednesday, Jan. 2nd.

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Social Work (Bachelor)

Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Social Work
Credits: 90.0
Length: Six semesters
Credential: Bachelor's Degree
Offered: Fall
program overview

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree gives you the training to advocate for social justice and help people from diverse age groups and populations resolve problems in their everyday lives for better quality of life.

Social workers are in demand in British Columbia, and in the coming years, employment opportunities for graduates of BSW programs will be even greater, according to the 2025 Labour Market Outlook. Graduates of the Douglas College BSW program will be prepared to take on roles in health-care programs, non-profit community organizations, child welfare agencies and more to work with community groups, families, children and individuals.

Program Format

Our BSW program takes three years to complete; all you need is 30 university-transferable credits to be admitted.  With our degree, the prerequisites are built into the first year of the program, so even if you have taken general university-transferable courses, you’ll still be eligible to apply.The third-and-fourth years of the Bachelor of Social Work degree provide two supervised practicums to prepare you for your social work career after graduation.

The Douglas College Bachelor of Social Work program was approved by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education in the Spring of 2016 following a highly consultative development process managed via the province's Degree Quality Assessment Board.

Starting in September of 2015, the BC College of Social Workers (BCCSW) instituted an Entry to Practice exam. This practice is in keeping with other regulated professions in the province. Students completing their BSW at Douglas College can apply for registration (to become Registered Social Workers, RSWs) as soon as they have finished their education. Once the application is complete and approved by the BC College of Social Workers, students can write the exam. Requirements for registration may be found on the BCCSW website. RSWs who have been registered in BC are able to apply for registration in other provinces/jurisdictions. However, registrants from BC wishing to register in another province/jurisdictions are strongly advised to inquire with the regulatory body in that province/jurisdiction beforehand regarding specific registration criteria as these may vary.
curriculum framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 120 credits (Year I consists of the 30 UT credits used for Admission - see above)
  • 25% (30 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • A GPA of 2.00 is required
  • Completed a 3 credit course with in human growth and development across the lifespan

** A university transferable course is a course that transfers to one of the 5 Research Universities - SFU, UBC, UBCO, UNBC or UVIC - according to the BC Transfer Guide.

Course Requirements:

Year II
Course Number Course Title Credits
SOWK 2100 Introduction to Social Work Practice 3.00
SOWK 2200 Introduction to Social Welfare 3.00
SOWK 2122 Counselling: Theory and Practice I 3.00
SOWK 2333 Family Systems Social Work 3.00
SOWK 2360 Substance Misuse


SOWK 2362 Social Work with Seniors 3.00
SOWK 2363 Mental Health 3.00
SOWK 2400 Metropolitan Social Work 3.00
SOWK 2422 Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities 3.00
ENGL elective ENGL 1130 or any UT ENGL course not previously taken 3.00
Year III
Course Number Course Title Credits
SOWK 3100 Social Work Theories and Perspectives 3.00
SOWK 3122 Counselling: Theory and Practice II 3.00
SOWK 3140 Practicum I 4.50
SOWK 3233 Child Welfare


SOWK 3250 Social Work with Aboriginal People 3.00
SOWK 3240 Practicum II 4.50
UT Elective 3000 or 4000 level UT elective from outside of Social Work 3.00
UT Elective 3000 or 4000 level UT elective from outside of Social Work 3.00
UT Elective 3000 or 4000 level UT elective from outside of Social Work 3.00
Year IV
Course Number Course Title Credits
SOWK 4100 Social Work Practice Between Systems 3.00
SOWK 4160 Research Methods in Social Work 3.00
SOWK 4140 Practicum III 4.50
SOWK 4260 Global Perspectives in Social Work 3.00
SOWK 4133 Risk Assessment, Mitigation and Prevention


SOWK 4233 Promoting Family and System Capacity 3.00
SOWK 4240 Practicum IV 4.50
UT Elective 3000 or 4000 level UT elective from outside of Social Work 3.00
UT Elective 3000 or 4000 level UT elective from outside of Social Work 3.00
admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program, students must complete the following 30.00 credits:

  • Any 3.00 credit ENGL university-transferable course
  • 27.00 credits of university-transferable courses (non-social work courses)

Students must also complete the following:

  • 100 hours of voluntary or paid work in the field of Human Services
  • Two (2) letters of reference, one of which must be from a former supervisor in the Human Services field.
  • A current resume.
  • A letter of intent describing why the student wishes to enter the program and field of Social Work.
  • A successful Criminal Record Check (information will be provided by the Registrar’s Office).

Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program is contingent upon:

  • Availability of seats
  • Applicant ranking
  • Interview – required to ensure that students are suitable for Social Work practice and working within practicum placements where they will be working with vulnerable people.

Students who have completed a Community Social Service Work diploma or other credential, may be eligible to transfer into the Bachelor of Social Work program.  Please see the FAQ section of this page for additional details.

program cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

curriculum guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

How do I know if social work is right for me?

Volunteer and past work experience in the field of human services will help you determine if social work is the right fit for you.

How long is the BSW program?

3 years in addition to completion of 30 credits of foundation coursework required for admission.

I have a Douglas College Community Social Service Work Diploma (CSSW). What admission and transfer credit can I obtain?

As a CSSW Diploma Graduate you will get a block transfer of 18 credits – this includes 3 credits for English plus your 2 electives for the purpose application for admission to the BSW program. You will need an additional 12 UT credits (4 courses worth 3 credits each) to meet the 30 non-social work UT eligibility requirement.

If you are accepted into the BSW program you will then get 27 transfer credits for your CSSW Diploma which makes you eligible for entry into year 2 of the BSW program. You may still have to pick up one or two first year courses.

I have a degree. Can I transfer credits to the BSW program?

You can transfer up to 30 UT credits, which is the number of credits you need to apply. These include three English credits and 27 non-social work UT credits. See Admission requirements.

I just graduated from high school. Can I apply to the BSW program?

You can apply to the program once you have completed the 30 credits of UT coursework required to meet admission requirements, or are in the process of completing the final requirements for admission. An applicant who has attended high school only would not be eligible for admission.

I am an international student. Can I apply to the BSW program?

Not at this time. A list of programs open to international students is here.

Do I need to meet a minimum GPA to apply?

Applicants who have completed 9 post-secondary credits must be in good academic standing (GPA of 1.5) for admission into any CFCS program. Academic performance will be considered during the screening process for applicants.

Do I need reference letters? Do I submit the reference letters with my application?

You need two letters of reference, one personal reference and one professional reference. Each letter of reference must be completed and signed by the person providing the reference.  The reference letter should be placed in an envelope with the applicant’s name and BSOWK on the front of the envelope, and should be labelled Personal and Confidential.  The envelope should be sealed, and the referee’s signature must appear over the seal.  The reference letters should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at Douglas College.

What other documents do I need to apply?

A letter of intent indicating your interest in the program. The letter of intent should outline your reasons for choosing social work as a career and why you want to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work degree. For example, how does social work fit with your own views about social justice and how to help people? What is it about social work that you find interesting or appealing compared to other professions? Why do you want to enter the BSW program in terms of your own learning, interests and professional goals?  An up-to-date resumé is also required. These documents should be mailed to the Registrar’s Office at Douglas College.

How many volunteer hours do I need to apply?

You are required to have completed 100 volunteer/work-related hours from a social service setting and provide documentation for completing these hours. Include:

  1. The name of the organization/program you volunteered at;
  2. How long you worked in this role;
  3. A description of your responsibilities and the tasks you performed;
  4. How your role involved working with people who experienced distress due to social, financial, emotional or physical difficulties;
  5. A brief description of how what you did in your role directly helped the people you served. E.g., What difference did it make to them?
  6. Anything else you would like us to know about your volunteer or work experience that could help us determine your readiness to enter the BSW program.
  7. Please click here to complete the Volunteer/Work hours for BSW application

Will I need to get a Criminal Record Check?

Criminal Record Checks are required immediately after an applicant has been offered a seat in the program.

How much is tuition?

See our tuition fee page for more information.

Does the program include practicums?

There are two practicums, one in the second year and one in the third year of the program, for a total of 700 hours.

What can I expect from the practicums?

Practicum placements reflect the broad range of career opportunities in the field of social work and prepare graduates for entry into direct social work practice. Practicums offer opportunities to work with a range of client populations of diverse ages.

Can I take the program part-time?

The BSW program is only offered full-time. As the program develops, we may include a part-time component.

Are courses offered online?

Some of the non-social-work courses required in years two and three are offered online. None of the social work courses are offered online.

Are courses offered in the evening?

The majority of coursework is offered during the day, but some early evening courses may be delivered in a hybrid format.

Are social work courses offered in Summer Semester?

Courses are offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.

How many students does the program accept each year?

In September 2017 we will be launching year 1 and 2 of the BSW program and will be admitting 35 students in each year for a total of 70.

How often does the program run?

The program has one yearly entry, in September.

When can I apply?

Applications open in October for the following September. Applications are accepted until the program is full.

What is the application process?

  • Apply to the program.
  • Submit all supporting documents to the Registrar’s Office at Douglas College as soon as possible.
  • Your application will be reviewed to ensure all documents have been submitted.
  • All applications are reviewed and prioritized.
  • Applicants who have been prioritized are placed on an interview list.
  • Applicants are contacted with an interview date and time.
  • Faculty review all applicants who have been interviewed.
  • Faculty rank students.
  • Letters of Admission offers are sent to successful applicants.

When is the deadline for applications?

We will continue to accept applications until the program is full.

Is the program eligible for PLAR?

The BSW program is not eligible for Prior Learning Assessment. Applicants can request individual course review for PLAR.

Do I need to take a prerequisite Statistics course before I apply to the BSW program?

There is no prerequisite Statistics course needed to enter the program. However, you will need to have completed an entry-level Statistics course (PSYC 2300 or Math 1160 or BUSN 2429) or equivalent as a prerequisite to taking Research Methods in Social Work (SOWK 4160) in the final year of the program. We recommend completing a Statistics course as early as possible.

upcoming info sessions
Tuesday 5:00 PM February 26, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM February 28, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM March 26, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM March 28, 2019 NWC room: #N 2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM April 23, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM April 25, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»
Tuesday 5:00 PM May 28, 2019 COQ room: #A1470 register»
Thursday 5:00 PM May 30, 2019 NWC room: #N2201 register»