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BSc in Social Work

Field of Study: Social Work
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Institution: University of the West Indies Open Campus
Island: Caribbean

This new programme from the UWI, Open Campus builds on a 50-year legacy of the University offering top-level and innovative training to social work practitioners across the Caribbean region. This brand-new online option is designed to allow participants to foster and demonstrate understanding of core theories and practices in social work through new ways of thinking and learning.

The programme reflects fundamental themes necessary for region-building and development, including: advocacy for human rights and social justice for the advancement of communities, groups or individuals in order to release human potential for self-empowerment.

This undergraduate programme is designed with three exit points, where persons registered for the BSc. in Social Work (90 credits) may apply to graduate with either a Diploma (45 credits) or a Certificate (30 credits). Similarly, a student who completes the Diploma or Certificate options in Social Work with the Open Campus may be given credits for previous studies undertaken; in order to pursue the BSc in Social Work.




  Level  1


Level 2


Level 3


Total Credits


Degree in Social Work


30 credits


30 credits


30 credits


90 credits


Diploma in Social Work




15 credits




45 credits


Certificate in Social Work


30 credits






30 credits



Who is this programme for?

Mature learners already working in the field(s) and interested in pursuing a tertiary education in social work.
Individuals with a certificate or an associate degree in social work, psychology, nursing, and children and youth studies.
Individuals with degrees in another discipline seeking a career change to social work.


Programme Structure

 All courses in the programme will be offered online or blended. In the context of the UWI Open Campus, a fully online programme includes the following:

Most materials provided by the Open Campus for the study of the course are made available online through the Open Campus’ learning management system, The Learning Exchange;
Most teaching-learning activities (with the exception of fieldwork in thepracticum) are conducted in The Learning Exchange;
Most assessment-related activities are conducted in The Learning Exchange;
In instances where students are required to engage in course-related activity off-line in the real-world environment, all output from such activity, in whatever format, must be submitted through The Learning Exchange.

Studying online is intended to facilitate active, interactive learning.  Thus, students registered for courses will be organised into groups. Each group will have a facilitator (tutor) and the delivery of the entire course will be managed by the course coordinator.  Both the course coordinator and the group facilitator will be specialists in the field of study. The teaching and learning process online will be monitored, in order to ensure that it is being conducted in a manner that allows for meaningful learning on the part of the students. Learners and academic staff must have access to a computer with reliable Internet access. Online orientation to the technology as well as the underlying philosophy of the programme will be conducted before the start of the programme.


Assessment Overview




Weighting (%)


Assignment 1




Assignment 2




Assignment 3













Assessment of Practicum

The BSc. in Social Work has three practicums at levels I, II, and III.  For the Certificate, students will be required to complete the practicum at Level 1.  For the Diploma in Social Work, students will be required to complete practicums at levels I and II.  Each practicum will be 100% work-based assessment. Students will be assessed within their placement by an assigned supervisor(s). Table 1B below gives the weighting of each work-based assessment. 

Table 1B: Practicum Assessment for the Diploma and BSc. in Social Work


Work-based Assessment


Weighting (%)


1 (Assignment or observation)




2 (Assignment or observation)




3 (Assignment or observation)









When will the programme start?

 Students may start this programme in August of the Academic Year.


Entry Requirements

The programme is intended to cater to a wide range of people who work with young children and their families in a variety of settings across the region. In this regard, the programme is targeted at both experienced professionals and beginners to childhood and family studies. New entrants must meet the University’s normal matriculation requirements in order to be accepted into the programme.  They must satisfy the requirements in either (a) or (b) or (c) or (d) below:

(a) As entrants with CXC-CSEC and GCE qualifications having:

• An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC Mathematics or its equivalent; AND

• An acceptable pass in CXC-CSEC English A; AND

• One of the following minimum qualifications:

  • Either five subjects (at least two GCE A Level or CAPE) and the remainder acceptable passes in CXC-CSEC or GCE O’ Level; OR
  • Four subjects (at least three GCE A Level or CAPE) and the fourth an acceptable pass in the CXC-CSEC or GCE O’ Level
  • Grade requirements for CXC/CSEC subjects are General Proficiency, Grades I or II pre-1998 and Grades I, II, or III from June 1998.

(b) Holders of five (5) CXC-CSEC or GCE O-Level passes or equivalent, not necessarily obtained at the same sitting.

(c) Entrants with a Certificate from UWI or another approved Caribbean tertiary level institution, having attained a B+ average or a minimum GPA of 2.5.

(d) Persons over the age of 21, who have been out of school for at least five years, on the basis, of their overall academic and professional attainments.  


English Language Proficiency Examination

The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) is used to assess whether persons applying to pursue

undergraduate degree programmes at the UWI Open Campus possess a satisfactory level of writing

and reading proficiency in English for university academic purposes. For detailed information on the

ELPT, see English Language Proficiency Test.


Academic Preparation

Introduction to the Learning Exchange

Programme Delivery Department (PDD) Orientation

IYMS1001 Improving your Math Skills (if applicable)

ECON0001 Remedial Mathematics (if applicable)


Course of Study

Level I 
SOWK1001Introduction to Social Work
SOWK1900Social Work Practicum I
PSYC1000Introduction to Psychology: Social, Developmental and Abnormal
PHIL1902Ethics for the Human Services
SOCI1005Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Science
SOCI1002Introduction to Sociology
SOWK1020Fundamental Principles and Practices of Social Work I
FOUN1101Caribbean Civilization
FOUN1501Foundations for Learning
FOUN1001English for Academic Purposes
Level II 
SOWK 2010Lifespan Diversity within the Caribbean 
SOWK 2011Case Management 
SOWK 2012Family in Context 
SOWK2020Fundamental Principles and Practice of Social Work II 
SOWK2014Applied Social Research 
PSYC2002Abnormal Psychology 
SOWK2015Working with Communities 
SOWK2016Counseling Techniques 
SOWK2021Group Dynamics in Social Work and Counselling 
SOWK2018Social Work Practicum II 
Level III 
SOWK3033Mediation and Dispute Resolution 
SOWK3035Social Work Practice in Health Care within a Caribbean Context 
SOWK3036Development, Organization and Management in the Social Services 
SOWK3037Social Work Practicum III 
SOWK3038Human Growth and Development: Adulthood to Very Old Age 
SOWK3039Death, Bereavement and Dying 
SOWK3040Stress Management: Theory and Practice 
SOWK3041Social Work, Laws and Policies within the Caribbean Context 
SOWK3043Crisis Management and the Social Worker

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