Master of Social Work - Advanced (MSW)
The MSW at UBC can be achieved within one of three fields of practice: Health and social care; Family and Children's Services; Social and International Development. Organized around an ethic of social care and social justice, each stream of practice shares some core courses and electives germane to the student's field of practice. Related practicum experiences build on knowledge and skills cultivated in the classroom. Typically, students complete a practicum in the field of practice addressed in their area of concentration.
What makes the program unique?
- Founded in 1928, the School of Social Work is the oldest social work training institution in British Columbia.
- With a focus on social justice, the School prepares students for advanced social work practice at undergraduate, master and doctoral levels.
- The School of Social Work has 16.5 full-time faculty and enrolls approximately 65 Master's students each year.
- We are small enough that students and faculty can enjoy regular one-on-one contact.
- Our Field Education Coordinators provide personalized service to seek practicum placements suited to students' individual learning goals.
- The School of Social Work's MSW program is fully accredited by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education.
- The School of Social Work is home to the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship and the Centre for Research in Personhood in Dementia.
- The first year of study requires the completion of 24 credits of coursework, plus a 6-credit practicum.
- The second year requires completion of 30 credits.
- Students must take the course on social justice (SOWK 550), a minimum of 6 credits in research methods, and a practicum.
- Students must take an integrative seminar course (SOWK 559), and have the option of also writing a thesis - SOWK 549.
- Students elect one of the following fields of practice for the remainder of the credits: children and families, health and social care, or international/social development.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 93
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
For the one-year M.S.W. applicants require a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 August 2022
September 2024 Intake
Application Open Date15 August 2023
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Social Work - Advanced (MSW)
Criminal Record Check
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$9,375.03|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||Not applicable|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Social Work - Advanced (MSW). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Baines, Donna (Social work; Age-Friendly Cities; decent work and good care for older people in residential and home care; impact of neoliberalism on Indigenous social work education; impact of neoliberalism on non-Indigenous social work education)
Bratiotis, Christiana (Social work; interventions in the context of hoarding; organizational processes involved in hoarding task forces; service utilization)
Caragata, Lea (Social oppression and marginalization; Counselling, welfare and community services; Social policy; welfare systems; Poverty; labour markets; lone mothers; social policy; youth provisioning)
Charles, Grant (Psychosocial oncology, intellectual disabilities, family interventions and at risk youth)
Ibrahim, Mohamed (mental health; addiction among new immigrants and refugees; global mental health)
Kia, Hannah (LGBTQ2S+ health; LGBTQ2S+ aging; social work and other professional practice with sexual and gender minorities; effective social work practice with trans and gender diverse people; poverty, sexual and mental health issues among diverse LGBTQ2S+ populations)
Marshall, Sheila (Social work; Life Cycles ( Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, etc.); Parent-Child Relationships; adolescent social identity; adolescent well-being; parent-adolescent interactions)
O'Connor, Deborah (family support to frail or mentally impaired seniors; formal support services, Dementia, the interface between living with dementia, family care, and the use of formal support services)
Stainton, Timothy (Developmental Disability, Disability, Social Policy, History of Developmental Disability, Philosophy of Welfare)
Wilson, Tina (Social work; social work and environment; history and philosophy of social work; critical social theories; generational standpoints; Social justice; social work rhetoric)
Yan, Miu Chung (Issues related to settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees, labour market experience of new generation youth from racial minority immigrant families, and community building roles and functions of neighbourhood-level place-based multiservice organizations )
Sample Thesis Submissions
Social Work provides students with backgrounds in social work, social policy, social development, opportunities for advanced scholarship, and professional growth in the context of research-intensive programs. Students are prepared for university teaching and research (theoretical and applied), including program evaluation. The program can also provide critical components for professional practice in research, policy analysis, and human service management.