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Bachelor of Social Work

Social work is an exciting, demanding, and rewarding profession. Social workers work with individuals and families in need, and with individuals and community groups to remedy societal problems that create inequality and injustice. Working toward justice is an important goal of the profession and social workers work, for example, to end violence in families, promote healthy relationships, and create nurturing communities.  Fields of practice where social workers are employed include child welfare, hospitals, mental health, family counselling, gerontology, corrections, human rights, community organizing and development, and the environmental movement. The activities that social workers carry out are quite diverse but can include helping couples resolve marital problems, counselling abused children, working with community associations, promoting changes to  social policy, and working with community groups and organizations to foster community and environmental well-being.

St. Thomas University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates are well respected across Canada. The BSW is the minimum qualification for social work practice in Canada and the St. Thomas programme is fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education. Applicants to the 15-month programme come from a variety of academic and social backgrounds but must hold a bachelor’s degree that includes 60 credit hours of liberal arts courses including a research methods course. Applicants are sought whose personal, volunteer and work experience reflects a commitment to assisting people in need and reducing the social inequalities that so often contribute to the problems experienced by individuals, families and communities. BSW graduates have a solid foundation of professional knowledge and skills that are applicable to a wide range of service areas. Graduates of St. Thomas’ BSW programme are sought by many public and non-profit employers.   

Start At St. Thomas

If you are considering social work as a profession but do not yet have a Bachelor’s degree, the St. Thomas Bachelor of Arts provides an exceptional foundation for the Social Work degree. For example, students interested in a career in probation services may study Criminology, those interested in working with seniors may study Gerontology, and those who want to work with First Nations communities may enrol in Native Studies courses. An introductory Social Work Fields of Practice course is open to all Bachelor of Arts students, and School of Social Work faculty members are available to students who are considering a social work career.

A Bachelor of Arts graduate from St. Thomas University is well prepared to apply to the post-degree BSW. A nationally-ranked liberal arts education and commitment to social justice provides students with excellent preparation for social work education. St. Thomas University’s Liberal Arts programme is an ideal way to obtain the 60 credit hours of social sciences and humanities that are required for admission to the BSW programme and provides a solid background for numerous social work fields of practice. For example:

  • Social Policy work - Human Rights, Economics, Political Science, Sociology
  • Social Work in Criminal Justice - Criminology
  • Social Work with Women - Gender Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology
  • Social Work with Aboriginal Peoples - Native Studies, Anthropology
  • Social Work and the Environment - Environmental Studies, Economics, Political Science
  • Social Work with Children and Youth - Criminology, Psychology
  • Social Work with Older Adults - Gerontology, Psychology

In addition to providing the course, SCWK 2033: Introduction to Social Work Fields of Practice, to students interested in the field, the School of Social Work offers workshops each semester on the BSW admission requirements and students receive guidance on the application process. A faculty member is available to advise students considering a social work career and assist them in their application. Motivated students can become involved in the social work society and/or join the various social justice initiatives at St. Thomas.

For information on admission to the Bachelor of Social Work programme, please visit Admission Requirements. Additional information can also be obtained on the School of Social Work website, or write socialwork@stu.ca.