Program and Curriculum Statement

The Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus provides students with a wide knowledge base and advanced clinical skills required for effective social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities.

Curriculum Statement

Our Master of Social Work program holds to a bio-psycho-social perspective that recognizes the relative contribution of each ontologically distinct domain. The program focuses attention on the complex interaction among these domains. We believe that, to be effective in our practice as social workers, we have to understand the dynamic interaction between the biological, psychological, and social domains.

Clinical Social Work at UBCO

While promoting a professional social work identity, the Master of Social Work program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) is proudly a program of study with a focused concentration on clinical social work.

At the UBCO School of Social Work, “clinical social work” refers to the application of various theories of human behaviour and contextual understanding of social environment to conceptualize clients’ difficulties, while integrating dynamic effects of discrimination, economic hardships and additional oppressive structural forces on individual lives. Utilizing multi-dimensional clinical assessments, clinical social work aims to restore, maintain and enhance physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Additional focus expands to include improving the overall human condition through positive structural changes and enhancing diversity and equality at a micro, mezzo and macro scale.

A clinical social worker at UBCO is trained to conduct individual, family, couple and environmental assessments, diagnose or understand human and ecological problems, identify effective therapies, counseling techniques, advocacy, or environmental interventions, and collaboratively with the client employ evidence-based psychological or environmental methods for resolving bio-psycho-social difficulties.

Rooted in a longstanding commitment to social justice, clinical social workers utilize practice knowledge to inform social policy, research, advocacy, and social action. Informed by theory and available evidence-based practice, clinical social workers emphasize the centrality of helping relationships, tailoring their interventions to the unique needs of each client whilst abiding to the social work code of ethics and the policies of the British Columbia College of Social Workers (BCCSW), and like regulatory bodies nationally and North America-wide: to which graduates of our clinical program are eligible to apply for full registration/licensing.