Master of Social Work

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  • Objectives
    The Master of Social Work program is based on an analytical and critical approach to social work practice, and to knowledge related to practice. The program examines the structural context of personal and social problems and of social work practice itself. The structural context refers to the interaction between individuals and the social, political, and economic dimensions of society. The program focuses on the development of social work practices that change the interactions between people and structural contexts. The curriculum is organized into two concentrations; Social Practices, which includes direct intervention with individuals, families, small groups, and communities; and Social Welfare, which examines the political, economic, and Social Welfare which examines the political, economic, and social context within which social policy is made. The orientation of the School explicitly includes approaches to social policy development and social change that involve working collaboratively with individuals, groups, and communities. Strong emphasis is placed on sensitivity to the individual, and on the development of new and innovative strategies for working with individuals in the context of their everyday lives. The School also stresses community work and social development that raises awareness of social problems that affect the lives of all people in our society. Analysis of the material conditions of life in Canadian society and the production of class, gender, and race is considered central to all aspects of the curriculum.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Social Work
  • Course description
    Program Requirements

    Students with an Honours undergraduate degree other than a B.S.W. or the equivalent who are admitted into the two-year M.S.W. program must complete Year I and Year II.

    Students with a B.S.W. or equivalent who are admitted into the one-year M.S.W. program must complete Year II.

    Year I of the M.S.W. consists of the following 5.0 credits:

        * SOWK 5308 [0.5 credit]
        * SOWK 5408 [0.5 credit]
        * SOWK 5608 [0.5 credit]
        * SOWK 5501 [0.5 credit]
        * SOWK 5502 [0.5 credit]
        * SOWK 5606 [2.0 credits]
        * 0.5 credit to be taken from graduate-level course offerings in the School.

    Year II of the M.S.W. consists of the following 6.0 credits:

        * SOWK 5306 or SOWK 5307
        * SOWK 5405
        * And any of the following options:
              o Thesis/Course Work Option
                    + SOWK 5909
                    + 2.0 credits of course work
              o Thesis/Practicum Option
                    + SOWK 5909
                    + SOWK 5607
              o Research Essay/Course Work/Practicum Option
                    + SOWK 5903
                    + SOWK 5607
                    + 1.0 credit of graduate level course work in social work
                      or
                    + SOWK 5904 (0.5credit)
                    + SOWK 5607
                    + 1.5 Credits Graduate level course work in Social Work
              o Practicum/Course Work Option
                    + SOWK 5607
                    + 2.0 credits of course work

          For all course options listed above, a minimum of 1.0 credit must be taken from graduate-level course offerings, in the School of Social Work, a maximum of 1.0 credit may be taken outside the School of Social Work, and a maximum of 0.5 credit may be taken at the 4000-level.

    M.S.W. Year I - Required Courses

    SOWK 5308 [0.5 credit]
        Direct Intervention
        Presentation of a structural framework for social work theory and practice examining assessment and interventive approaches, analytical and interaction skills, helping process and social transformation. Explores interventions with individuals, families, small groups based on an understanding of class, gender, race, age, ability and sexual orientation.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5304.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year I.

    SOWK 5408 [0.5 credit]
        Social Administration and Policy
        Knowledge and skills required for understanding, analyzing and practicing social policy development and administration in social work. Political, economic, and social context of policymaking, theoretical perspectives for developing policy, and contemporary social policy issues.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5304.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year I.

    SOWK 5501 [0.5 credit]
        Theories in Social Science and Social Work
        Examines relationships between theories in social science and in social work exploring connections to social work practice and emphasizing theories of inequality.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5500.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year I.

    SOWK 5502 [0.5 credit]
        History of Social Welfare and Social Work
        Historical development of social welfare policies and the Canadian welfare state. History of relationship of economy, family, welfare institutions and Canadian state. Focus on the origins and development of social work as a profession.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5500.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year I.

    SOWK 5606 (2.0 credits)
        Practicum I
        Integration of academic and practical aspects of social-work education. 500 hours of guided learning in a community-based setting. Field seminar required.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year I, and completion of or concurrent registration in SOWK 5308, SOWK 5408, SOWK 5501, SOWK 5502, and SOWK 5608.

    SOWK 5608 [0.5 credit]
        Community Work
        Models and methods of community organization. Social-economic contexts and ideological approaches to social change work; social change efforts; globalization and corporate rule.
        M.S.W. Year II - Required Courses and Program Options

    SOWK 5306 [1.0 credit]
        Advanced Theory for Social Welfare
        Core concepts and ideas about the modern welfare state and the Canadian welfare state. The role and nature of social policy in the Canadian political system. Methods of analysis of contemporary social policy.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5305.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year II.

    SOWK 5307 (1.0 credit)
        Advanced Theory for Social Practices
        Advanced integration of social work knowledge, skills and ethics for practice with individuals, families, small groups and communities. Structural analysis of personal and social problems. Review of contemporary social work theories and practice approaches.
        Precludes additional credit for SOWK 5305.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year II.

    SOWK 5405 [1.0 credit]
        Research and Evaluation in Social Work
        Addresses the logic of inquiry, and assesses quantitative and qualitative techniques. Attention to program and direct intervention evaluation especially with the use of action and participatory research approaches. May include research or evaluation project with community agencies and practitioners, or individual research proposal.
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year II.

    SOWK 5607 [2.0 credits]
        Practicum II
        500 hours integrating advanced social work theories and practice. Field seminar required. Not usually available in the first term of registration.
        Prerequisite: B.S.W. or completion of M.S.W. Year 1, and completion of SOWK 5306 or SOWK 5307; SOWK 5306 or SOWK 5307 may be taken concurrently with SOWK 5607 to fulfil this requirement.

    SOWK 5909 [2.0 credits]
        Thesis
        Prerequisite: registration in M.S.W. Year II.

    Optional Courses

    SOWK 5006 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work, Gender and the State
        This seminar course examines the construction of the "social" sphere and making the "social" work as it applies to the development of social welfare and the social work profession. An analysis of the gendered character of state provisions, women's participation in their formation, and their implications with regard to race and class is used to examine the current restructuring of social welfare.

    SOWK 5101 [0.5 credit]
        Social Policy Analysis
        Conceptual, theoretical, and empirical tools for the analysis of social policies in Canadian society.

    SOWK 5102 [0.5 credit]
        Political Economy of Health
        Distinctions and connections between health and health care. Who receives care, who provides it, who pays for it, and who makes the decisions affecting it.

    SOWK 5105 [0.5 credit]
        Poverty and Income Security
        Examination of theories of poverty and wealth, conflicting understandings of poverty and the unequal distribution of income and wealth in Canada. Theories of poverty and wealth as they influence social policy, notably universal programs, social welfare services, income redistribution, and taxation.

    SOWK 5106 [0.5 credit]
        Women and Social Policy
        Structural analysis of social policy affecting women. Relationship of feminist scholarship to the practical work of developing policy and to policy outcomes for women. Impact of the women's movement on the formal processes of policy making.

    SOWK 5108 [0.5 credit]
        Seminar in Social Policy
        Social policy analysis of particular fields such as corrections, mental health services, children's services, or health care services. Current programs, historical developments, and the major current issues, developments, and challenges.

    SOWK 5207 [0.5 credit]
        Community Economic Development
        Critical understandings of sustainable Community Economic Development (CED). Diverse local and international CED initiatives. Skills necessary for facilitating CED processes.

    SOWK 5301 [0.5 credit]
        Women, Male Violence and Social Change
        Focus on male violence against women. Theory, responses of the state and the justice system, and practice approaches to helping women and the men who abuse them, and initiatives for social change.

    SOWK 5302 [0.5 credit]
        Mental Health Policy and Practice
        Historical development, legislative framework, institutional and service structure, and practice issues related to mental health services in Canada. The interface between mental health and sexual abuse, family violence, racism, corrections, aging and immigration.

    SOWK 5309 [0.5 credit]
        Foundations of Direct Intervention
        Philosophical and historical evolution of the competing paradigms underlying contemporary social work practice, with individuals, families, and community analyzed using philosophy of science and the sociology of knowledge.

    SOWK 5503 [1.0 credit]
        Directed Studies - Group
        Exploration of selected theoretical perspectives relevant for social work practice that are offered subject to the availability of faculty. Arranged for small groups of students who are interested in a similar substantive area.
    SOWK 5504 [1.0 credit]
        Directed Studies - Individual
        Individual exploration of selected theoretical perspectives for social work practice under the direct supervision of a member of faculty or visiting scholar.

    SOWK 5505 [0.5 credit]
        Directed Studies - Group
        Exploration of selected theoretical perspectives relevant for social work practice that are offered subject to the availability of faculty. Arranged for small groups of students who are interested in a similar substantive area.

    SOWK 5506 [0.5 credit]
        Directed Studies - Individual
        Individual exploration of selected theoretical perspectives for social work practice under the direct supervision of a member of faculty or visiting scholar.

    SOWK 5507 [0.5 credit]
        Workshop on Selected Topics in Social Work Practice
        Approved workshops organized in the School and in the community may be offered subject to the availability of faculty. Evaluation of students is based on the student's role in the workshop and the nature of the assignment(s) required of the student.

    SOWK 5508 [1.0 credit]
        Studies in Social Work
        May combine directed studies - group or individual - workshops, research study, or community practice. Registration is by permission of the supervisor of graduate studies and will be granted only when the student has negotiated an approved study agreement with the social work instructor(s).

    SOWK 5509 [0.5 credit]
        Studies in Social Work
        May combine directed studies - group or individual - workshops, research study, or community practice. Registration is by permission of the supervisor of graduate studies and is granted only when the student has negotiated an approved study agreement with the social work instructor(s).

    SOWK 5609 [0.5 credit]
        Studies in Community Practice
        May be offered subject to the availability of faculty. Studies are supervised by faculty. A written proposal is required that must include learning objectives, practice objectives, time of completion, and criteria and method of evaluation.

    SOWK 5700 [0.5 credit]
        Special Topics in Social Work
        The School will offer lecture courses on substantive topics related to social work and social welfare. Topics will vary each year depending on the interests of faculty and students. Students from outside the School of Social Work may register with permission of the School.

    SOWK 5701 [0.5 credit]
        Special Topics in Social Work
        The School will offer lecture courses on substantive topics related to social work and social welfare. Topics will vary each year depending on the interests of faculty and students. Students from outside the School of Social Work may register with permission of the School.

    SOWK 5702 [0.5 credit]
        Special Topics in Social Work
        The School will offer lecture courses on substantive topics related to social work and social welfare. Topics will vary each year depending on the interests of faculty and students. Students from outside the School of Social Work may register with permission of the School.

    SOWK 5703 [0.5 credit]
        Special Topics in Social Work
        The School will offer lecture courses on substantive topics related to social work and social welfare. Topics will vary each year depending on the interests of faculty and students. Students from outside the School of Social Work may register with permission of the School.

    SOWK 5704 [0.5 credit]
        Race, Culture and Social Work Practice
        Anti-racist framework for social work practice to analyze policy and practice issues. "Privilege" as a critical and essential component for understanding oppression based on race and culture. Complex intersections of race and culture with class, gender, age, and other dimensions.

    SOWK 5705 [0.5 credit]
        Child Protection Policies and Interventions
        Explores child welfare policy and the organization of social work practice particularly in the Canadian context. A range of welfare provisions affecting children and families will be considered as will direct child protection policies.

    SOWK 5801 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar: Feminist Social Work Practice with Individuals, Couples, and Families
        Theory and practice of feminist approaches to social work with individuals, couples and families. Issues of diversity, such as race, class, and gender. Problem-based learning approach.

    SOWK 5802 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar: Cross-cultural Studies of the Self and Related Subjects
        Governance and care of the Self in different cultural and historical contexts. Theoretically located in emergent sociology and psychology of governance and care of the self. Cross-cultural perspectives practices and policies of different forms of governance and debates about social regulation.

    SOWK 5804 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar: Organizing for Social Change
        Hands-on introduction to theories, models, and methods of organizing for social change from grass roots groups to national coalitions. Practical skills for helping people mobilize to influence relevant social issues. Problem-based learning approach.

    SOWK 5805 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar: Social Development in the International Context
        International social development policies and practices from a cross-cultural perspective. Focus on international social policies and practices, and on economic, health, telecommunication, migration, and education policies and practices.

    SOWK 5803 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar
        Applied knowledge for social work practice utilizing "problem-based learning". Examples drawn from the experience of social work practitioners. Self-guided individual and group study, directed by a faculty tutor.

    SOWK 5806 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar
        Applied knowledge for social work practice utilizing "problem-based learning". Examples drawn from the experience of social work practitioners. Self-guided individual and group study, directed by a faculty tutor.

    SOWK 5807 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar
        Applied knowledge for social work practice utilizing "problem-based learning". Examples drawn from the experience of social work practitioners. Self-guided individual and group study, directed by a faculty tutor.

    SOWK 5808 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar
        Applied knowledge for social work practice utilizing "problem-based learning". Examples drawn from the experience of social work practitioners. Self-guided individual and group study, directed by a faculty tutor.

    SOWK 5809 [0.5 credit]
        Social Work Practice Seminar
        Applied knowledge for social work practice utilizing "problem-based learning". Examples drawn from the experience of social work practitioners. Self-guided individual and group study, directed by a faculty tutor.

    SOWK 5903 [1.0 credit]
        Independent Research Studies in Social Work
        Individually-arranged independent research study. Requires a written proposal that outlines a research project with clear learning objectives, and practice objectives (where relevant).

    SOWK 5904 [0.5 credit]
        Independent Research Studies in Social Work
        Individually-arranged independent research study. Requires a written proposal that outlines a research project with clear learning objectives, and practice objectives (where relevant).

    SOWK 5909
        Thesis
        Prerequisite: registration in MSW Year II.

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