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Bachelor of Social Work

Carleton University
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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Bachelor of Social Work

Program description

Bachelor of Social Work

Carleton’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a four-year Honours degree that places strong emphasis on the interactions between people and their environments.

The BSW program combines a liberal arts education with professional social work education. In your first year, you will take a range of courses outside of social work and two social work courses that will introduce you to the profession of social work and the programs and policies of the state.

Admission requirements

We will be looking at grades, human service work experience (both paid and unpaid), your personal and social analysis statements, and letters of reference. For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

Graduates of this four-year Honours program may be eligible to go on to graduate studies in a variety of fields, including social work. Along with the BSW, Carleton’s School of Social Work also offers graduate programs leading to a Master of Social Work degree and Ph.D. in Social Work.

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Program content

Three ways to enter the program

To accommodate students from a range of backgrounds, the Bachelor of Social Work has three points of entry into the program:

Students entering directly from high school:

If you have completed secondary school and are accepted into the School of Social Work, you will need to complete 20.0 credits of course work, typically taken over four years of full-time study.

Within those 20.0 credits, 10.5 credits must be taken in social work, 2.0 credits are taken from specific disciplines related to social work, 6.5 credits must be taken in other disciplines (not Social Work), and 1.5 credits can be taken either in Social Work or in other disciplines.

In your first year of studies, you will take four electives per term along with Introduction to Social Welfare (SOWK 1001) and Introduction to Social Work (SOWK 1002), introductory courses in which you will explore the relationship between social welfare and Canadian society. You will also examine the interrelationships among social work practice, societal change, social problems, social policies and programs.

Students who have a community college diploma in social services (or a related field):

If you already have a Social Service Worker or related diploma and are accepted into the School of Social Work, you will likely enter directly into the second year of the BSW program.

Second-year studies will allow you to build a theoretical framework for social work practice, as well as to develop an understanding of the history and theories of welfare.

You will be able to explore subjects of interest such as poverty, immigration policy and practice, alcohol and drug use, and programs and services for children and youth. You will also explore the grounding of structural social work, political economy, values and ethics for social work, and develop practice competencies with individuals, families, groups, and communities.

Students who have an undergraduate degree:

If you already have an undergraduate degree and are accepted into the School of Social Work, you will likely enter into the third year of the program.

Your first term in the program will give you a grounding in the theory and practice of structural social work. In your second term, you will learn more about social policy and will also complete your first practicum.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

Tuition for one full academic year (September 2021 - May 2022): CAD 30,083

Career opportunities

Carleton Social Work graduates have opportunities to work across a broad spectrum of fields and settings with people from diverse cultures. As a BSW graduate, you might find yourself catching a seaplane to fly into a remote community to provide child welfare services or you might board a bus to begin a day’s work at a downtown youth drop-in centre.

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Zara talks about why she chose to study Social Work at Carleton and provides advice to prospective Social Work students.

About this institute

Carleton University

Carleton University is located in beautiful Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Carleton is committed to giving back through education while pursuing contributions to the common good. These founding values are at the heart of the university’s focus on research, community...

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Why study at Carleton University

Why Carleton?

  • A large percentage of Canada’s major medical, clinical and life science research centres are located in the Ottawa area, as well as a growing technology industry with over 1,900 companies.
  • The majority of their programs feature work-study opportunities (known as “co-op”), that allow students to gain full-time, paid employment related to their academic program.
  • Carleton is a close-knit, supportive and diverse community. This includes academic support, help with jobs and career, health and counselling, student life, athletics, and 300+ student-run clubs and societies. Students come from 140+ countries and have many opportunities to get involved in community-building activities both on and off-campus.
  • Campus is a green oasis, nestled between the Rideau River, Rideau Canal and Dow’s Lake. Their self-contained campus and focus on community encourage student interaction, which can provide you with both valuable communication skills and lasting friendships.
  • Qualified applicants are automatically offered entrance scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $16,000 CAD over four years, and a place in one of Carleton’s on-campus residences.

Contact info

Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Drive
K1S 5B6 Ottawa Ontario

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