Sep 21, 2020
Critical Analysis of Social Work
A commitment to critical analysis in the service of social justice underpins this stream in the M.S.W. program. This degree focuses on the development of analytic skills with regard to social work practice and social policy. Students will build on existing knowledge to increase their ability to identify and analyze practice and policy theories and examine how they are utilized within a changing social, political, economic and global context.
Students will engage analyzing social problems and policies, critique existing practices, challenge established knowledge, research alternative approaches and contribute to the development of innovative policies and practices.
This MSW stream prepares students for advanced practice grounded in the critical analysis of social work - analysis understood as the crucial foundation of change processes aimed at fostering just practices and policies. Graduates exercise the critical conceptual abilities and research skills developed in the program in a wide range of agency and community settings, with an appreciation of the intersection of practice and policy at micro, meso and macro levels.
Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degreein twelve consecutive months of study, beginning in September. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the degree in about three years.
Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities
This stream in the M.S.W. program is grounded in a recognition of the contemporary conditions of social service and community work, and in expansive and critical definitions of leadership. The degree aims to foster progressive leadership in the community and social service sectors.
Students will engage foundational conceptual frameworks underpinning critical practice and policy in social work. They will build on existing knowledge and work experience to identify and analyze how contemporary social, political and economic forces are (re)shaping social services and communities, and particularly how these forces shape leadership and leadership practices, including practices of research and evaluation.
This M.S.W. degree prepares students for formal and informal leadership roles in social and community services. Students will consider a range of theories of critical leadership and of social and organizational change, and demonstrate a capacity to apply coursework knowledge and concepts in practice by undertaking a leadership practicum in a social or community service setting.
Candidates may be enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degree in twelve consecutive months of study, beginning in September. Part-time students will normally complete the degree in three years.
For Students applying to the Critical Analysis of Social Work stream:
- B.S.W. degree from an accredited social work program
- half course in introductory social research methods;
- B+ standing in senior level social work courses.
For Students applying to the Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities stream:
- B.S.W. degree from an accredited social work program
- half course in introductory social research methods
- B+ standing in senior level social work courses
- experience working in social services or communities / community services
For Students in the Critical Analysis of Social Work stream, the curriculum has three main components:
- Required courses that provide the content and methodological skills necessary for policy and practice analysis;
- Elective courses that enable students to deepen their knowledgeof practice and policy in the inner workings of social agencies and in social change efforts at the community level;
- Thesis designed to integrate analytical and evaluative skills and to contribute to the critical analysis of policy and practice.
Two half courses:
One additional elective
One elective course offered by Social Work OR by another department or academic unit (provided that permission has been obtained from those departments or academic units, and School of Social Work’s Graduate Chair).
Each student is required to complete a thesis. It offers students an opportunity to build upon their particular experiences and interests and upon perspectives and materials introduced in courses, and to demonstrate their capacities for critical analysis. The thesis (12,500 words) is supervised by a faculty member and orally examined by a committee including the supervisor and two other faculty members.
For Students in Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities, the curriculum has two main components:
- Required courses that provide foundational knowledge of the critical analysis of social work practice, and the critical analysis of policy; and required courses that provide analyses and conceptual frameworks about changing conditions in social services and communities, and about leadership
- A practicum of 450 hours that involves a practical experience of leadership. An MSW-prepared social worker will provide field instruction and mentorship.
Each student will have a leadership practicum (SOC WORK 751 ) in a social service agency or community organization. Students will take on a leadership project - for example, lead the development of a new policy, move a service initiative forward, or explore and provide recommendations about how a community need might be better met. Field instruction will be provided by a social worker who holds an MSW degree. Students’ experiences, observations and actions in the field setting will become topics for reflection in the accompanying seminar (SOC WORK 750 ). The practicum will be 450 hours long (this number of hours is required for accreditation by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education).
Students entering either stream of the MSW program who have successfully completed the Community-Engaged Research and Evaluation graduate diploma may receive 3 units of advanced credit if approved by the School of Social Work’s Graduate Chair.