The Faculty has operated since 1943 and there are two different concentrations available through which students may receive MSW degrees. They are addressed to the differing interests that are common within social work practice and reflect the poles of the continuum of practice. The MSW degree is fully accredited and recognized internationally as both a professional and academic qualification.
Social Services Administration Stream
The program's aim is to produce progressive administrators, program evaluators, and policy analysts within the public, voluntary and private sectors. A political economic approach is used for a critical examination of power, oppression and resistance. A range of organizational theories, strategies and means of evaluation of social service administration is examined. Students acquire strong analytical and practice skills. Through critical review of theories, techniques and case study applications, students learn to develop and apply models of planning and evaluating social policies and programs.
Social Clinical Stream
This stream is based on an eco-systemic perspective. Drawn from social ecology and general systems theory, this view provides a broad context for clinical social work practice by emphasizing the interrelatedness of individuals, families and groups to illuminate their connections to social institutions, cultural forces and physical space. In applying the eco-systemic perspective to social work practice the family unit is given a central focus.
Graduates of this program currently occupy a wide range of positions within the human services in Canada and throughout the world. While the majority of graduates work within the service sector others have become active as politicians, scholars, senior civil servants, private consultants and are also active in a wide range of fields such as international development work and the creation of information systems.
While the program covers the core material which is essential to social work practice there has been particular attention given to issues relevant to women and the Aboriginal communities. Many graduates are Aboriginal persons and are actively involved in the creation and operation of the Aboriginal human services organizations.
Considerable attention is given to issues of affirmative action and educational equity. In addition to treating these matters as course content, every effort is made to ensure that people from disadvantaged groups have access to the MSW program. The purpose of this initiative is to achieve equality in professional education so that no person shall be denied educational opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability. In the fulfilment of this goal the aim is to correct the conditions of disadvantage in professional education experienced by Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, immigrants and refugees to Canada, and persons other than Aboriginal peoples who are members of a visible minority in Canada. Educational equity means more than treating persons in the same way, it also requires special measures and the accommodation of difference.
Fields of Research
The faculty are involved with research in virtually all areas of the human services covering clinical, administrative and planning issues. Particular emphasis has been devoted to child and family services and related matters. A partial list of current research includes questions of gender, ethnicity, the justice system, the colonization of Aboriginal people, rural and northern development, family violence, day care, issues concerning disabled persons, the immigrant experience, the development of clinical services, the political economy of the welfare state, archival research, research concerning the nature and treatment of pain, and risk assessment in child welfare.
Master of Social Work
Ph.D. in Social Work