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Study Guide on Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

Komal Yadav 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. Direct entry from high school in Bachelor of Social Work degree is not available in some universities of Canada.

  • Bachelor of Social Work syllabus provides both theoretical and practical knowledge to the students enabling them to serve the individuals, family, society, country and the world at large.
  • Tuition fee of universities offering Bachelor of Social Work in Canada varies from 19,000 CAD to 120,000 CAD.
  • The average salary of social workers in Canada is approximately 97,000 CAD with salaries ranging from around 43,000 CAD to 145,000 CAD per year
  • Bachelor of Social Work graduates can get jobs in Canada at places like in school boards, agencies, hospitals, welfare organizations, correction facilities, etc.

Table of Content

Why Study
Top Universities
Course Details
Admission Process
Cost of Study
Scholarships
Job Prospects

Why Study the Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

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

According to salaryexplorer.com, 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

Top University offering Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

Bachelor of Social Work course is offered by the top most universities in Canada like the McGill University, University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, Carleton University, and many more. Some other renowned universities offering this degree with their QS World University rankings are listed below:

University NameQS News Ranking 2019Programs OfferedTotal Program Fees (in CAD)
McGill University35Bachelor of Social Work (Honours): 3 years$54,330
McMaster University140Bachelors in Social Work (Honours): 3 years$129,600
University of Calgary 233Bachelor of Social Work: 2 year $19,521
Dalhousie University280Bachelor of Social Work: 2 years$17,388
University of Ottawa281Bachelor of Social Work (Honours): 4 years$144,640
University of Victoria364Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years$104,800
York University511-520Bachelor of Social Work: 3 years$88,485
Carleton University651-700Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years$102,008
University of Windsor651-700Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years$98,720
Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)701-750Bachelor of Social Work: 4 years$45,840

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, behavior, 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.

The curriculum includes practical hands-on experience like a form of community service to ensure they get sufficient knowledge to deal with the real world which is to be supervised under an independent social worker or a social work community.

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

Admission Process for Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

To apply for the Bachelor of Social Work in Canada, students should have completed a higher 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.

Eligibility Criteria for Bachelor of Social Work in Canada Admission

  • 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 transfered from other university/college. Direct high school passed out students are not eligible to apply for the BSW program in such universities.

Proof of English Proficiency

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.

Cost for Studying Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

The whole expenditure on studies 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 8,500 CAD to 43,000 CAD per annum in Canada.

Tuition Fee of Bachelor of social work in Canada

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 TypeApproximate 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

Scholarships for Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

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 NameScholarship NameEligibilityAmount (in CAD)
McGill UniversityOne-year Entrance Scholarship; Major Entrance ScholarshipFirst-year student$3,000 - $12,000
McMaster UniversityDr. Jean Jones Memorial ScholarshipEnrollment in BSW; Highest GPA in class$8,000
University of CalgaryInternational Entrance ScholarshipFirst-year student; GPA of 2.60 or more $15,000
Dalhousie UniversityErick Joseph Dick Memorial PrizeHighest grade in Beginning Social Work PracticeAmount Undeclared
University of OttawaPresident’s Scholarship for International Students95% or above admission average$30,000
University of VictoriaBritish Columbia Association of Social Work PrizeBased on academic performance$250
York UniversityYork University Automatic Entrance ScholarshipBased on final admission average$1,000 - $4,000
Carleton UniversityEntrance Scholarship80% or above admission average$4,000 - $16,000

Scope after Bachelor of Social Work in Canada

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 centers 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 this field are:

  • Case Manager:
    • Average Salary: 72,735 CAD per year
    • Job Role: Case managers are like counselors who listen to the problems of the people, analyze it, find out the services they need and then finally sort the problem out. They can also be the health worker who will identify the disease, decide the form of treatment and arrange for an immediate remedy of the patient.
  • Mental Health Assistant:
    • Average Salary: 48,419 CAD per year
    • Job Role: Their job is to note the patient’s body conditions, observe the patient and his/her behaviors and also help them with their daily chores like eating, bathing, etc.
  • Group Home Worker:
    • Average Salary: 32,243 CAD per year
    • Job Role: A 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.
  • Residential Counselor:
    • Average Salary: 37,050 CAD per year
    • Job Role: A residential counselor is responsible for 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.
  • Community Outreach Worker:
    • Average Salary: 45,475 CAD per year
    • Job Role: A community Outreach Worker is just like a spokesperson for the particular community he/she currently is and is responsible for making the propaganda, aim and actions of the organization public.

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.

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