BSW as a First Degree

University Centre

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree qualifies the graduate for beginning professional practice in social work settings.

Students are required to complete 10 prerequisite courses (30 credit hours) at the university level prior to being eligible for entry into the program. Once admitted, students complete the Bachelor of Social Work degree full-time, at the St. John's campus, over three (3) years, in the fall and winter semesters.


The BSW as a First Degree consists of 120 credit hours completed over a four year period. This includes the 30 credit hours of required prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to applying to the program. The next application deadline for the first degree program is March 1, 2018 for a start date of September 2018.

Volunteer/Work/Community Involvement Experience in Human Services

While the School does not recommend a specific experience, experience related to social work would include any work/volunteer/community involvement experience that relates to social work. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

working and/or volunteering in a helping capacity which involve the use of self, relationship building, provision of support, education, advocacy or developing resources and/or working with individuals, families and/or community groups to promote social change

work which involves serving on community boards, being a camp counsellor, volunteering with community programs, mentoring programs, working/volunteering with individuals, public awareness work, etc.

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 60 hours of verified formal work/volunteer experience in human services. Consideration will be given to previous experience as well as current experience.

The BSW program is accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

The aim of the BSW program is to develop social workers with generically based skills for working with individuals, families, communities and groups in a variety of settings. Some of the settings include child protection, health care, addictions and justice, to name a few.

Students receive an education which prepares them to work in urban centres and rural settings. A special emphasis is placed on the importance of identifying local needs and developing the means of meeting these needs in the context of available resources.

There is a Program Residency Requirement for both the First and Second Degree programs requiring students to take specific courses on the St. John's campus. Once students are admitted to a BSW program, Once students are admitted to a BSW program, the program is an on-campus, full-time program.

Areas in which students will be educated include:

- assessment
- interviewing
- counselling
- advocacy
- program/policy analysis
- community capacity building

The objectives of the undergraduate program are to prepare students to:

  • promote social justice and social well-being and creatively challenge oppression;
  • acquire and apply knowledge, skills, values, professional ethics and critical thinking abilities;
  • recognize limitations and strengths as a beginning social work practitioner;
  • integrate reflexively critical self-awareness;
  • assume leadership in collaboration and interdisciplinary practice;
  • utilize and participate in innovative and traditional inquiry and research models;
  • creatively practice with diverse individuals and collectives;
  • promote and critique the social work profession on regional, provincial, national and global levels;
  • commit to the process of lifelong learning;
  • participate collaboratively and respectfully in innovative teaching and learning processes; and
  • address issues of transition and crisis in diverse contexts (individuals, families, groups, communities, formal organizations and society).

The BSW program is accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.