Master of Social Work Programs
Candidates entering with an appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university will normally complete the program in two years of full-time study. Candidates entering with a BSW degree from a recognized university will be given advanced standing and will typically complete the program in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
MSW Curriculum Description
Human services are among the fastest growing sectors of the Canadian economy. Along with the growth is an increasing diversification of the sector, with fields of practice rising up around specific areas of need. The country as a whole will need social workers to staff new, more specialized service agencies of the future. While the notion of generic social work has a role to play in this increasingly complex environment, it is clear that graduates will also require more specific skills if they are to thrive in the new human service sector. In other words, generic social work is a necessary, but no longer sufficient preparation for practice. The overall aim of the program is therefore to produce graduates who are ready to enter the field of their choice after first receiving a thorough grounding in the knowledge, values and skills common to all social workers. The fields of study are built upon the expertise of core teaching faculty and have all been developed with the very active participation of partner agencies in each of the respective areas.
1. To prepare graduates for ethical, innovative and effective social work practice in a diverse society;
2. To work actively to promote social justice, make professional decisions and perform professional functions that are informed by an understanding of the political context of practice;
3. To prepare graduates for competent practice which integrates theory and research;
4. To prepare graduates capable of integrating practice and policy;
5. To prepare graduates who have a generic foundation of core social work knowledge, values and skills, applicable to all fields and methods of practice; and
6. To prepare graduates for practice in specialized areas, defined by student interest, faculty expertise and demand from the field.
◆ To prepare students for professional practice according to the accreditation standards of CASWE;
◆ To prepare students for social work practice interventions based on research evidence;
◆To prepare students for specialized practice in six identified areas: Fields of Study (click on the names to access further details)
- Children and their Families (Ch&Fam Competencies Infographic)
- Human Services Management and Leadership* (HSML Competencies Infographic) *formerly known as Social Service Administration
- Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency (Note: Program requirements are unique. Please see here)
- Mental Health and Health (MH&H Competencies Infographic)
- Social Work in Gerontology (Gerontology Competencies Infographic)
- Social Justice and Diversity (SJ&D Competencies Infographic)
◆ To strengthen our partnerships with social work agencies in areas of particular interest to the Faculty for the purposes of enriching our curriculum and of producing graduates with the requisite skills to function in those agencies;
◆ To encourage interdisciplinary linkages
Program Requirements for the Two-Year MSW Full-Time Program
(Students entering with a BA or BSc or equivalent)
1. Degree requirements are normally completed within two years. The maximum time limit for completing MSW degree requirements is three years from the date of first registration in the program.
2. The program of study consists of the equivalent of 17 half-credit courses, except in the Gerontology field of study where the requirement is 18 half-credit courses. All students enrolled in the Gerontology field of study will automatically be enrolled in the Specialization in Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course.
3. Students take 12 required half-credit courses and a minimum of 2 half-credit course electives over the two-year program. In the Gerontology field of study, students take 13 required half-credit courses and two half-credit course electives.
4. Students are required to be on campus regularly; that is, reside close enough to participate fully in the university activities associated with the program.
5. The practicum courses, over the course of two years, are equivalent to one and a half credit courses. The first year practicum in the Winter Session (January-May) or Summer Session (end of April-August) is equivalent to a half (0.5) credit course; the second year practicum (September-April) is equivalent to a full (1.0) credit course and must comply with the student’s declared field of study. In order to assist with planning, students are asked to notify the Practicum Office by October 1st if they are taking the Summer Practicum option.
6. Agencies that offer practica will likely require a police reference check/vulnerable sector check prior to commencing the practicum. Failure to pass this check will jeopardize a student’s entry to practicum. A delay in obtaining the results can impact the start time of a student’s practicum. In anticipation of this potential requirement for the practicum, it is strongly recommended that students begin this process early. Cost and time factors are associated with the police reference check/vulnerable sector check.
7. The thesis option may be available to a maximum of three students in any given year, and subject to faculty availability. Details are outlined on the MSW Thesis web page.
Program Requirements for the MSW Program with Advanced Standing
(Candidates entering with a BSW Degree)
Students may complete the degree program either full-time or part-time. Part-time students must meet the same degree requirements and complete the same number of credits as full-time students, although the structure and sequencing of their individual programs of study may vary.
Balance of Degree Fees
The length of the program, as defined by the graduate unit into which a student is admitted, predetermines the minimum total academic fee that a student must pay prior to graduation. The minimum period of registration for students in the One-Year MSW Program with Academic Standing is one year and the degree fee is equivalent to the fee charged a full-time One Year MSW student with Advanced Standing who started the program in the same year as the part-time student.
Many part-time Master’s students must pay a balance of degree fee prior to graduation. Full-time students who accelerate their programs and finish the degree requirements in less time than the normal program length must pay a balance of degree fee. If a student has paid more than the full-time fee due to the time taken to complete the degree requirements, there will be no refund of fees.
Note: part-time students must attend their practicum a minimum of two days per week and must complete the practicum within one academic year. Please refer to the Practicum Manual, available on the website, which sets out the conditions and requirements for completing the practicum course.
1. Full-time students normally complete the program over three academic sessions (September to June). Part-time students normally complete requirements within six academic sessions. The maximum time limit for completing degree requirements is three years from the date of first registration in the program.
2. The program of study consists of an equivalent of nine half-credit courses; ten half-credit courses in the Gerontology field of study. All students enrolled in the Gerontology field of study will automatically be enrolled in the Specialization in Aging, Palliative and Supportive Care Across the Life Course.
3. A practicum course is required, equivalent to one full (1.0) credit course. Students’ unpaid practicum course must comply with their declared field of study. Students enrolled in the practicum course are required to complete approximately 75 days of practicum, September to April. The MSW program is designed with classes scheduled on Mondays and Tuesdays, and practicum on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Modifications to this schedule must be approved by the Assistant Dean, Field Education. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
4. Agencies that offer practica will likely require a police reference check/vulnerable sector check prior to commencing the practicum. Failure to pass this check will jeopardize a student’s entry to practicum. A delay in obtaining the results can impact the start time of a student’s practicum. In anticipation of this potential requirement for the practicum, it is strongly recommended that students begin this process early. Cost and time factors are associated with the police reference check/vulnerable sector check.
5. The thesis option may be available to a maximum of three students in any given year, and subject to faculty availability. Details are outlined in the MSW Thesis Manual.
Program Requirements for the MSW in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency
The Master of Social Work, Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency program emphasizes and focuses on the strong connection between personal, cultural, professional, and academic development. Students will develop self-awareness and personal skills to become effective and competent professionals by studying the history of trauma in their own family, community, racial, and cultural group. They will also discern individual resiliency through values, ceremonies and teachings of their cultural heritage.
Through internships with Elders, respected cultural mentors and skilled professionals and credible organizations, students will be able to experience hands on learning in one or more specific areas of trauma intervention and treatment: Program development; individual, couple’s and family counseling; traditional teachings and ceremony; trauma-informed schools, political advocacy and/or community intervention.
• All students must complete 7 half courses (3.5 FCEs) in the first year and eight half credit courses (4.0 FCEs) in the second year, that includes a 450 hour summer practicum worth 1.0 FCE.
• Students entering the program with B.A. or B.Sc. courses must complete an additional 1.0 FCEs (2 half courses SWK 4102H and SWK 4616H (MSW ITR Capstone Practicum – 450 hours) in year one.
• Students are expected to complete a Vulnerable Sector Verification prior to admission. It is strongly recommended that students begin this process early. (For more information, visit www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/vulner/index-eng.htm)
SWK 4102H Social Policy and Social Welfare in the Canadian Context (BA/BSc Students only)
SWK 4101H Understanding Historical and Multigenerational Trauma
SWK 4106H Social Work Ethics and Indigenous Communities
SWK 4108H Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault and the Family
SWK 4109H Trauma and Human Development
SWK 4110H Trauma and Addiction
SWK 4111H Trauma informed Organizational and Community Intervention
SWK 4510H Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice
SWK 4516H MSW ITR Capstone Practicum – 450 hours (BA/BSc Students only)
SWK 4517H Indigenous and Participatory Research Methods
SWK 4901H Facilitating Training in Indigenous Communities
SWK 4902H Indigenous on Grief, Loss and Unattended Sorrow
SWK 4903H Program Development and Healthy Leadership – the importance of ceremony and ritual
SWK 4904H Working with Couples and Families in Indigenous Context
SWK 4905H Seeing the need, creating the solution
SWK 4703Y MSW ITR Practicum II (450 hours)
6 sessions (two years) full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S)
Time Limit: 3 years