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Curriculum and course outlines

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Curriculum

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program is a course-based curriculum, which includes two mandatory, on campus, one-week block courses, four required core lecture/seminar courses (12 weeks each, delivered online), plus two elective courses (12 weeks each, delivered online). In addition, students must complete a supervised 462 hour practicum (minimum of two 7-hour days per week) and a Field Integration Seminar (delivered online). There is no research/thesis option. This program meets all University of Waterloo post-graduate degree requirements.

The initial and final courses in the program are held on the Renison University College campus as one-week summer block courses offered in Summer Institutes. The initial Summer Institute is held in late August while the final Summer Institute will occur in August of a student's graduating year. Attendance at both Summer Institutes is mandatory in order to graduate.


The dates of the initial Summer Institute, SWK 600R: Diversity and Health, for full-time and part-time students starting their studies in the fall 2015, will be from Monday August 17 to Sunday August 23, 2015. For those travelling from a distance, arriving on Sunday August 16 is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book your return flight before 6.00pm on the final day.

Information about board and lodging packages available at Renison - and further information about the course schedule will be sent in due course, to admitted students.

The program runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. Some evening activities will be organised through the week. Students will be required to stay until the close of the course, at 2.00pm on Sunday. No exceptions will be considered.

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The dates of the final Summer Institute, SWK 601R: Health Policy, for full-time and part-time students concluding their studies in the summer 2015, will be from Monday August 10 to Sunday August 16, 2015. For those travelling from a distance, arriving on Sunday  August 9 is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book your return flight before 6.00pm on the final day.

Information about board and lodging packages available at Renison - and further information about the course schedule will be sent in due course, to admitted students.

The program runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. Some evening activities will be organised through the week. Students will be required to stay until the close of the course, at 2.00pm on Sunday. No exceptions will be considered.


Both full-time and part-time students learn though interactive online courses featuring a variety of rich media and opportunities for engagement.  Online delivery is provided by the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL)Reliable high-speed internet access is highly recommended.


The MSW will be completed within one year for full-time students (3 terms per year).

Part-time students can complete their degree within two years of initial program entry. Final completion of the program is in line with the Graduate Studies Office regulations

All graduate students must maintain continuous registration for each term of the program.

While in the program, students should expect to spend a minimum of 10-12 hours/week on each course. Full-time students should expect to spend at least 36 hours/week on coursework.

Additional program information is available on the Graduate Studies Office webpages.

Course outlines

CORE COURSES:

SWK 600R Diversity and Health

SWK 601R Health Policy

SWK 602R Social Work Practice in Health

SWK 603R Critical Exploration of Supervision and Leadership Roles for Social Workers

SWK 604R Evaluation of Health and Human Service Programs

SWK 605R Knowledge Mobilization and Evidence-Based Practice

ELECTIVES (only two electives must be completed to fulfil the program requirements):

SWK 608R Health Issues and Ethics (elective)

SWK 609R Social Work Practice in Mental Health (elective)

SWK 672R International Experience (elective - winter term)

Courses listed in the following section may not be available in the current year.  Please consult the Schedule of Classes online at the Registrar's web page for current course information.

SWK 650R Interprofessional Pscyhosocial Oncology: Introduction to Theory and Practice (elective)

SWK 651R Relational Practice with Families (elective)

SWK 652R Sexual Health and Counseling in Cancer (elective)

 

Practicum

Integration Seminar

See courses in:

For full course descriptions please see:  The Graduate Studies calendar.

SWK 600R Diversity and Health

This course studies the impact of diversity on health in Canada and across nations. It provides an understanding of the complex interaction among aspects of diversity. The course examines and critiques the methods used in the study of these concepts and issues related to the measurement of health among diverse groups. The ultimate goal of this examination is to help students develop an appreciation of the impact diversity has on assessments and study of health, health status, and health promotion in Canada and other nations. The course is designed to integrate different sources of information about diversity by utilizing critical thinking skills for the consumption of health information. [Note: This is an intensive on-campus course with an online component]

Department consent required

DATES:  For full-time and part-time students BEGINNING their studies in the summer 2015 the date of the initial Summer Institute, SWK 600R: Diversity and Health, will be from Monday August 17, to Sunday August 23, 2015, inclusive. For those travelling from a distance, arriving on Sunday August 16 is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book your return flights before 6.00pm on the final day.

Registration is at 9.00am on Monday morning. The program runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. Some evening activities will be organised through the week.

Students will be required to stay until the close of the course, at 2.00pm on Sunday August 23, 2015.  No exceptions will be considered.

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SWK 601R Health Policy

This course offers a critical analysis of health policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation related to population health initiatives and health care delivery.  The course includes discussion of the role of various regional, provincial, and national agencies in health care policy formation.  It examines various health care systems, and their funding as well as investigates how the Canadian healthcare system compares with systems in other countries. [Note:  This is an intensive on campus course with an online component]

DATES:  For full-time and part-time students COMPLETING their studies in the summer 2015 the date of the final on campus Summer Institute, SWK 601R: Health Policy, will be from Monday August 10 to Sunday August 16, 2015, inclusive.    For those travelling from a distance, arrival on Sunday August 9 is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book your return flights before 6.00pm on the final day. Students will be required to stay until the close of the course. No exceptions will be considered.

Department consent required

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SWK 602R Social Work Practice in Health

This course examines practice models and multi-level methods of intervention for effective social work practice in health care, including health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, continuing care, and discharge planning within the context of social, economic, environmental, and cultural variations. The distribution, determinants, as well as psychological and behavioural aspects of health and disease across the life span are addressed. Practice models incorporate competence and empowerment as central themes. New models of care are considered, including primary health care, the impact of socio-cultural factors on health and well being, the significance of family relationships and resources in the management of chronic and complex health conditions, and interventions that support individual and family capacity to adapt to acute health crises or chronic health conditions. [Note:  This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 603R Critical Exploration of Supervision and Leadership Roles for Social Workers

This course examines effective leadership in a tumultuous health care environment characterized by changing patient populations, health care technologies, professional practices, community needs/expectations, and rapid shifts in service delivery modalities. In this environment, health care professions are increasingly challenged to develop and oversee staff capable of delivering contemporary benchmark professional practice. Competent supervision requires practice knowledge, keen perspective, and the ability to support, guide, educate and direct practitioners of varying skill and experience.This course provides inquiry-based opportunities for students to critically examine their leadership styles, developing foundational knowledge and skills for effective involvement in organizational change, staff management, coaching and supervision, coordination of inter-professional teams and development of policies to address the social determinants of health. [Note: This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 604R Evaluation of Health and Human Service Programs

This course introduces students to theoretical and practical aspects of program evaluation. Students learn about the application of data collection skills to all phases of developing a health or human services program or service innovation, from needs assessment to analysis of findings to implementation of changes based on results. Students learn to appreciate how these skills can be used as practical tools for identifying health and human services problems, for developing and implementing programs including taking a reflective practice approach, ensuring equity and fairness in program delivery (i.e., combating disparities), and generally promoting health and human services through effective and efficient programming.  [Note: This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 605R Knowledge Mobilization and Evidence-Based Practice

The goal of knowledge mobilization is to make research in health and social science more useful to policy, practice, and the public. In this course students learn how to gather, evaluate, synthesize and summarize scholarly knowledge in ways that meet the needs, timeframes, cultures, and realities of stakeholders. Activities include framing academic research in the context of public issues and creating knowledge products for practitioners and policy-makers in the students' areas of interest. [Note: This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 608R Health Issues and Ethics

This ELECTIVE course considers the nature of health itself, and explores the complexities of a health care system that corresponds with our values and ethics while being effective and financially stable. Three related themes serve as substrates for the semester: the nature of health, delivery of health care, and populations at risk. Issues such as how health and illness are defined, the roles of preventive and curative approaches, and the impacts and ethics of new technologies will be addressed. The course compares public and private models, focuses on community health care as a developing new paradigm, and examines the particular challenges of marginalized and vulnerable communities. [Note: This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 609R Social Work Practice in Mental Health

This ELECTIVE course aims to equip students to provide sensitive and effective help to clients by presenting material concerning a range of mental health problems and their treatment. The course considers social work practice across the continuum of mental health care services. Attention is focused on how social workers assess, support and intervene with consideration of both the client and his or her environment. [Note: This is an online course]

Department consent required

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SWK 650R Interprofessional Pscyhosocial Oncology: Introduction to Theory and Practice

This ELECTIVE course provides graduate students with an introduction to the field of psychosocial oncology. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and interpreting the experience of cancer informed by theory, evidence and illness narratives. Case based learning in small interprofessional groups will allow students to explore a variety of key learning themes relevant to psychosocial oncology including distress assessment, depression, anxiety, adjustment and coping, sexuality, loss and grief. Small group work will allow students to develop a rich understanding of the cancer experience and competency in psychosocial oncology assessment, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural safety. Attention to diversity will be integrated throughout the course. [Note: This is an online course]

Instructor Consent Required

SWK Masters Students Only

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SWK 651R Relational Practice with Families

ELECTIVE course. Using case based learning in small interprofessional groups, students will explore a variety of key learning themes relevant to the interprofessional care of families. Themes that will be addressed include: family theory, models of family & couple counseling (particularly from a systemic and strengths based perspective), family assessment, therapeutic conversations and interventions. Case examples will be drawn from the experience of families across the cancer illness trajectory, from diagnosis through to death and dying, bereavement and long term survivorship. Small group work will allow student to develop a rich understanding of the cancer experience from the perspective of families, as well as competency in family assessment, intervention, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural safety. Attention to diversity will be integrated throughout the course. [Note: This is an online course]

Instructor Consent Required

SWK Masters Students Only

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SWK 652R Sexual Health & Counseling in Cancer

ELECTIVE course. Cancer causes wide-ranging impacts on sexual health and well-being and numerous studies have identified that people affected by cancer want support, education and counseling in this area. While health professionals consistently acknowledge that sexuality is within their scope of practice, few health professionals consistently assess or intervene in sexual health problems in cancer settings. This course is designed to provide graduate students in the health professions with the knowledge and skills to intervene with the sexual problems that arise in cancer. [Note: This is an online course]

Instructor Consent Required

SWK Masters Students Only

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SWK 672R International Experience

ELECTIVE course. This course provides a framework for understanding a developing country through a comparative study with Canada. The collective responses of citizens in meeting community needs in the context of colonial legacies and contemporary global influences are highlighted in both settings. The international learning experience usually takes place during Reading Week (mid-February) and is complemented by two days of pre-trip learning focusing on Canadian realities and one post-trip day to reflect upon the comparative analysis. [Note: this is international experience with an on campus component]

Department consent required

ALL the above courses are listed on the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar - under 'Social Work (SWK) courses'.

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Practicum

Students are assigned a community-based field practicum in an approved agency or organization. It is expected that the student will: demonstrate a growing capacity for professional development and assessment of his or her own practice; develop and demonstrate a meaningful relationship with the field setting and be willing to be open and constructively critical of social service conditions affecting clients, including both an understanding of policies and procedures and an ability to use these policies and procedures as well as the physical and human resources to benefit clients; demonstrate an ability to use field instruction appropriately; demonstrate an ability to identify and describe the client population; organize and interpret information/data for assessment, and prepare and execute an advanced plan for treatment and/or action including working with a client to develop short and long-term goals as well as strategies. [Note: An online Integration Seminar runs concurrently with the Practicum.]

Department consent required

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Integration Seminar

Social work curriculum and field education are organised around specific learning objectives which link student learning to the promotion of excellence in social work education, scholarship, and social justice which are applicable to individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Students will demonstrate through discussion and assignments that he or she understands and has a commitment to the social work profession and its basic values of human dignity and personal worth. Students will use real life examples from the practicum placement to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the link from theory to practice. [Note: Practicum runs concurrently with the Integration Seminar.]

Department consent required

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SSW identifier

Latest News

For full-time and part-time students STARTING their studies in the summer 2015, the dates of the first on campus Summer Institute, SWK 600R: Diversity and Health, will be from Monday August 17 to Sunday August 23, 2015, inclusive. For those travelling from a distance, arriving at Renison the day before the program starts is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book return flights before 6.00pm on the final day. The program runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. Students will be required to stay until the close of the course, at 2.00pm on Sunday.  No exceptions will be considered.


For full-time and part-time students COMPLETING their studies in the summer 2015 the date of the final on campus Summer Institute, SWK 601R: Health Policy, will be from Monday August 10 to Sunday August 16, 2015, inclusive.  For those travelling from a distance, arrival at Renison the day before the program starts is recommended - and you are advised NOT to book return flights before 6.00pm on the final day. The program runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Sunday. Students will be required to stay until the close of the course, at 2.00pm on Sunday.  No exceptions will be considered.

link to Renison university college website