Social Work (BSW Program)

Dawn Hemingway, Professor Emerita
Glen Schmidt, Professor Emeritus
Tammy Pearson, Assistant Professor and Acting Chair
Bruce Bidgood, Associate Professor
Susan Burke, Associate Professor
Indrani Margolin, Associate Professor 
Heather Peters, Associate Professor
Si Chava Transken, Associate Professor
Lisa Kyle, Assistant Professor
Nancy Jokinen, Adjunct Professor

The School of Social Work offers a schedule of studies leading to the degree of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW).
The Bachelor of Social Work is designed to prepare students for beginning-level generalized social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. The program’s orientation places emphasis on Social Work in northern and remote areas, Indigenous peoples, women and the human services, and community practice and research. Analyses of class, gender and race relations are considered central to the School of Social Work. As mandated by its accrediting body, the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), and the relevant Social Work Codes of Ethics, Social Work at UNBC provides a professional program that prepares graduates with the intellectual, analytical, practical and professional skills needed to advocate for justice and equality and to promote beneficial change.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work program is limited and is based on academic qualifications and available space. Students will normally complete 60 credit hours of study that includes a minimum of 48 credit hours of liberal arts and science courses. Students will  achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.67 (B-) (calculated on a student’s most recent 60 credit hours of study) and meet other selection criteria prior to program entry. More information about these criteria can be found in the BSW Supplementary Application for Admission form.
Students who have completed a social service worker program at a community college may be eligible for discretionary transfer credit.
The School of Social Work will permit up to three Social Work elective courses to be taken prior to formal admission to the BSW program. Successful completion of these courses does not guarantee admission into the program.
Students will be required to undergo a criminal records search prior to being admitted (see Academic Regulation on Criminal Records Review).

Students applying to the School of Social Work will have completed the following four BSW course prerequisites:

SOCW 200-3 Introduction to Social Work Practice
SOCW 201-3 Introduction to Social Welfare
FNST 100-3 The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
WMST 100-3 Introduction to Women's Studies

Students applying to the School of Social Work with a Baccalaureate degree in a related discipline do not have to complete the four BSW course prerequisites.
Students admitted to the Bachelor of Social Work program are required to withdraw from the Bachelor of Social Work program if they register a second fail in Social Work Field Education (SOCW 302-6 and/or SOCW 402-15).
The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Social Work is 120 credit hours.

Field Placements

Every effort will be made to secure appropriate field placements for students in the School of Social Work. However, the location and type of placement are subject to availability.

Costs Associated with the School of Social Work

Costs associated with study in the School of Social Work are the responsibility of the individual student, including transportation costs and any expenses involved in academic studies, lab, and field placement. In some circumstances, students may complete field experiences at sites other than their campus of registration. Provision for all travel, accommodation, and living expenses associated with field education is the sole responsibility of the student.

Standards of Professional Conduct

All students are expected to abide by professional standards as set forth by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) and the relevant Social Work Codes of Ethics. Violation of professional standards may result in suspension or dismissal from the program or the educational institution.

Academic Performance

Students must adhere to all policies and regulations of the institution(s) where they are registered for courses. This requirement includes but is not limited to matters related to academic appeals and academic dishonesty. Progression through the program is governed by guidelines on academic standing and continuance; however, probation guidelines are governed by UNBC.
Students must obtain the minimum passing grade for all required Social Work courses as defined under “Qualification for Degree.” 
Students are required to withdraw from their respective Social Work programs if they have two instances of not meeting the minimum passing grade requirement either in the same Year or in two consecutive Years, in any combination of the following:
SOCW 300, SOCW 301, SOCW 302, SOCW 310, SOCW 320, SOCW 330, SOCW 336, SOCW 401, SOCW 402, SOCW 420 and SOCW 421.
A 'Year' is comprised of all the mandatory SOCW courses in a given Level (e.g. Year 3 includes all 300-level courses listed under the Upper-Division requirements in the Calendar) regardless of how long it takes the student to complete the courses.

Qualification for Degree

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their degree requirements are met. Graduation requirements are found in the Regulations and Policies section of this Calendar. To fulfill the requirements of graduation, the student must also:

  • attain a minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.33 (C+) on courses for credit towards the Social Work degree;
  • obtain a minimum passing grade of 2.00 (C) in every Social Work course for credit towards the degree (note: Students enrolling in any required course must have completed all prerequisites with a grade of C or better); and
  • complete all requirements for the BSW program within eight years of admission into the program or from the first Social Work course used for credit towards the degree.

Transfer Credit

All transfer credit for coursework taken prior to admission to the BSW program is evaluated, and applied at the time of initial registration in the program. After students have been admitted to the School of Social Work, coursework taken in other institutions for transfer credit towards the degree requires a letter of permission prior to the registration in the course.

Program Requirements

300 Level

SOCW 300-6 Introduction to Counselling and Assessment Skills
SOCW 301-3 Critical Social Work Practice
SOCW 302-6 Social Work Field Education I

SOCW 310-3

Social Work and Indigenous Peoples 

SOCW 320-3 Critical Social Policy
SOCW 330-3 Social Work Research/Policy/Practice
SOCW 336-3 Social Work Philosophy and Ethics

400 Level

SOCW 401-3 Northern/Remote Social Work Practice
SOCW 402-15 Social Work Field Education II
SOCW 420-3 Family/Child Welfare Policy

SOCW 421-3

Human Growth and Development

Students must select an additional 9 credit hours of approved 400-level Social Work courses from the approved list.

SOCW 426-3 Current Issues in Child Welfare Practice
SOCW 437-3 Social Work with Groups and Communities
SOCW 439-3 Social Work/Law and the Justice System
SOCW 440-3 Social Work in Mental Health
SOCW 441-3 Social Work and Substance Use
SOCW 442-3 Social Work with Victims of Abuse
SOCW 443-3 Social Work and Health Care
SOCW 444-3 Social Work Critical Issues in Aging
SOCW 450-3 Social Work and Family Practice
SOCW 453-3 Social Work Practice and Spirituality
SOCW 454-3 Disability Issues

SOCW 455-3

Indigenous Governance and Social Policy 

SOCW 456-3

Indigenous Wellness: Individuals, Families, and Communities

SOCW 498 (3-6) Special Topics
SOCW 499-3 Directed Readings

Elective Requirement

Electives at any level in any subject sufficient to ensure completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours.

​​​​Updated: July 4, 2023