Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Top Colleges, Fees, Eligibility, Scholarships, Scope

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada is a 3 to 4-year undergraduate course delivering the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to pursue a career in the stream of social work. Its syllabus provides both theoretical and practical knowledge to the students enabling them to serve the individuals, family, society, country and the world at large. High school certificate or a diploma is required to apply for Bachelor of Social Work but some universities of Canada accept only transfer students with at least 30 credits in this program. 

    Annual tuition fees of universities offering Bachelor of Social Work in Canada varies from 13,700 CAD to 60,666 CAD. It is equivalent to 8 lakhs – 30.4 lakhs INR. Comparatively, the average salary of social workers in this country at entry is quite low ie. approximately 49,600 CAD (27 lakhs INR) per annum. However, with experience this can go up to 145,000 CAD (80 lakhs INR) per year. Bachelor of Social Work graduates can get jobs in Canada at places like school boards, agencies, hospitals, welfare organizations, correction facilities, etc.

    Why Study Bachelor of Social Work in Canada?

    Following are the two main reasons that could influence your decision towards pursuing Bachelor of Social Work in Canada:

    Vacancies: Over the period of 2017-2026, 28,000 new jobs are expected to be created for social workers while 29,000 job seekers are expected to enter the industry, as per the Job Bank analysis done by the Government of Canada.

    Salary: According to, certificate or diploma holders earn an average annual income of 89,700 CAD in Canada. However, students with a bachelor of social work degree in Canada have an average income of 134,000 CAD per annum. Thus an upgrade from certificate/diploma to bachelors in Canada increases the salary by over 50%.

    Salary of social workers in Canada

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Top Universities

    According to QS News World University Ranking for 2021, following are the top universities offering Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: 

    QS Ranking 2021 University Programs Offered and Duration Total Program Fees (in CAD)
    31 McGill University Bachelor of Social Work (Honours): 3 years 40,749 
    45 University of British Columbia (UBC) Bachelor of Social Work: 2 years 59,360 
    144 McMaster University Bachelors in Social Work (Honours): 3 years 69,240 
    166 University of Waterloo Bachelor of Social Work: 10 months 60,666
    203 Western University Bachelor of Social Work (Honors): 2 years 65,775 
    246 University of Calgary  Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years 55,012 
    279 University of Ottawa Bachelor of Social Work (Honours): 4 years 162,720 
    291 Dalhousie University Bachelor of Social Work: 3 years 66,627 
    370 University of Victoria Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years 104,800

    Bachelor of Social Work: Program Details

    Bachelor of Social Work is offered by the Department of Social Sciences, Social Work, Arts or Humanities in the respective Canadian universities. Students enrolled for this course are taught about the human lifestyle, lifespan, social welfare, group work, leadership qualities, behaviour, and research.

    Students are also taught how to handle sensitive social issues with care and thus, enabling them to work in diverse workplaces like hospitals, community services, agencies, welfare organizations, correction facilities, etc.

    Examples of courses taught in Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) includes:

    • Human Behavior
    • Social Welfare Policy
    • Social Work Research Method
    • Cultural Diversity and Justice
    • Social Work Case Management Practice
    • Research Methods

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Admission Process

    To apply for the Bachelor of Social Work in Canada, students should have completed a high school or a diploma course with a GPA or percentage greater than or equal to as required by the particular university.

    Where to Apply: Students need to visit the online application portal of the desired university, pay the fees, and submit the requisite information to complete the application process. Universities of Ontario and Alberta may accept applications via OUAC and ApplyAlberta application portal respectively.

    Admission Requirements for Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

    • High School and Secondary School Transcripts
    • Proper Curriculum Vitae showing their academic, non-academic, and extracurricular activities, work experience, the position of responsibility and others
    • A portfolio containing their creative works, writing samples, statement of purpose, personal essay and others
    • A valid Canadian Student Visa obtained from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) department
    • At least 3 letters of recommendations (might vary from university to university); some universities may also require at least one recommendation from a related background

    Note: Some universities like University of Calgary and Dalhousie University accepts only those students in Bachelor of Social Work who hold a diploma in social work with at least 30 credits or transferred from other universities/college. Direct high school passed out students are not eligible to apply for the BSW program in such universities.

    Proof of English Proficiency for International Students

    International students are required to submit IELTS, TOEFL or other equivalent scores as proof of English proficiency. Minimum IELTS score required is around 6.5 and minimum TOEFL (iBT) score required is around 90 for getting admissions in some of the top universities of Canada.

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Cost of Study

    The whole expenditure for studying abroad can be grouped into 3 parts: pre-arrival costs, tuition fees, and cost of living.

    Pre-arrival Cost

    Following are the one-time expenses incurred while applying for Bachelor of Social Work in Canada:

    • Application Fees: 150 CAD (approx.)
    • Canadian Student Visa Application Fees: 150 CAD
    • IELTS Fee: 244 CAD
    • TOEFL Fee: 235 CAD
    • Airfare: 1,045 CAD to 1,437 CAD

    Tuition Fee of Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

    It forms the major part of the expense and costs approximately 13,583 CAD to 60,666 CAD per annum in Canada.

    Tuition fees

    Cost of Living in Canada

    International student’s cost of living in Canada is calculated to be approximately 14,000 CAD to 19,601 CAD per year, depending upon the province. It can be broken down as follows:

    Expense Type Approximate Cost in CAD (per year)
    Educational Supplies 1,000 - 5,000
    Food and Lodging 10,000 - 12,000
    Utilities, Internet and Mobile Phone 6,500 - 9,500
    Clothing and Recreation 1,045 - 1,306

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Scholarships

    To ease down the financial burden on students, almost all the universities in Canada offer financial aid and scholarships to international students. It might be provided as direct cash or in the form of tuition fee waiver.

    Among the many scholarships provided to the international students in Canada by the universities, the most popular ones include:

    University Name Scholarship Name Eligibility Amount (in CAD)
    McGill University One-year Entrance Scholarship; Major Entrance Scholarship First-year student 3,000 - 12,000
    McMaster University Dr Jean Jones Memorial Scholarship Enrollment in BSW; Highest GPA in class 8,000
    University of Calgary International Entrance Scholarship First-year student; GPA of 2.60 or more  15,000
    Dalhousie University Erick Joseph Dick Memorial Prize Highest grade in Beginning Social Work Practice Amount Undeclared
    University of Ottawa President’s Scholarship for International Students 95% or above admission average 30,000
    University of Victoria British Columbia Association of Social Work Prize Based on academic performance 250

    For more details on scholarships offered to international students in Canada, click here

    Bachelor of Social Work in Canada: Scope

    After completing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Canada, students will have work opportunities in diverse sectors like in health care services, community service centres and others. With the pay scale ranging from around 43,000 CAD to 145,000 CAD and the average going up to 91,500 CAD, the income in this sector is quite good.

    Social workers salary in canada

    Few jobs available in Canada for Bachelor of Social Work graduates are:

    Role  Responsibility Average Annual Salary (in CAD)
    Case Manager Counsellors who listen to the problems of the people, analyze it, find out the services they need and then finally sort the problem out.  72,735
    Mental Health Assistant Note the patient’s body conditions, observe the patient and his/her behaviours and also help them with their daily chores like eating, bathing, etc. 48,419
    Group Home Worker Keeps a patient in the home under surveillance by taking proper care, satisfying the patient’s daily needs, and even keeping potentially dangerous items out of their reach 32,243
    Residential Counselor Proper maintenance of a residence while its owner is away which includes proper cleaning and keeps an eye on the safety features of the residence too 37,050
    Community Outreach Worker Responsible for making the propaganda, aim and actions of the organization public. 45,475

    Students can also choose to pursue Masters in Social Work from Canada or any other country after completion of Bachelor of Social Work instead of looking for a job.


    Ques. Which is the best university for social work in Canada?

    Ans. McGill University, University of British Columbia, McMaster University and University of Waterloo are some of the top universities offering Bachelor of Social Work in Canada.

    Ques. How long does it take to become a social worker in Canada?

    Ans. To become a social worker in Canada, you are required to have a bachelors or masters degree in social work. Bachelor of Social Work in Canada takes 2 to 4 years to complete. 

    Ques. How much does it cost to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work in Canada?

    Ans. Bachelor of Social Work in Canada from top universities costs around 13,700 CAD to 60,666 CAD per annum. It is equivalent to 8 lakhs – 30.4 lakhs INR

    Ques. Do Social Workers get paid well in Canada?

    Ans. Average annual salary earned by a social worker in Canada at the entry-level is 49,600 CAD (27 lakhs INR). With, it increases up to 145,000 CAD (80 lakhs INR) per year. 

    Ques. What can you do with a social work degree in Canada?

    Ans. You can work as Case Manager, Mental Health Assistant, Group Home Worker, Residential Counselor or Community Outreach Worker with social work degree in Canada. Bachelor of Social Work graduates in Canada are hired by school boards, agencies, hospitals, welfare organizations, correction facilities, etc.

    Ques. Is Social Work in demand in Canada?

    Ans. Social Workers are in high demand in 6 out of 11 provinces in Canada ie. Alberta, Manitoba, New Braunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Approximately 28,000 new jobs are expected to be created in this country for social workers by 2026.