What courses will I be studying in the MSW Part-time Program?

Curriculum and Program Requirements

Two Year (Part-Time) MSW degree requirements:

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

The initial and final core 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 and 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.

NOTE: COVID-19 alternative: The initial and final Summer Institutes for August 2021 may be held on-line rather than on-campus, if Renison University College and the University of Waterloo make the decision to continue with online programming only, at that time. Please watch for updates.

All students in the Part-Time MSW degree must complete all credits at a minimum 75% overall average including the compulsory and elective credits required in order to graduate from the program. 

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)

NOTE: Access to reliable high-speed internet service, and good computer/internet literacy, is essential in order to have the best experience with our online courses. 

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 & Postdoctoral Affairs, Graduate Calendar, 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. 

Additional program information is available on the Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs webpages.

For full course syllabi, posted term by term please see:  The Centre for Extended Learning Course Search.  Select the term - and select 'Social Work Master (SWK) - and then click 'search' to reveal each term's SWK courses. You'll see the detailed syllabus linked within each course.

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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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 Masters Seminar Presentation (Capstone)

The capstone presentation is intended to be both a synthesizing experience and a culminating experience; the focus is on the development of the “professional self”. The capstone presentation is a student-directed demonstration of beginning master’s level practitioner competence developed over the student’s career, a chronicle of career development and reflection and a glimpse into the student’s professional future learning through a plan for continued growth. It is a scholarly and creative collection of artifacts accumulated through course work, field practicum and daily experiences that demonstrate the students’ abilities to articulate a model of practice and sense of the integration of the domains of professional social work. The capstone presentation culminates in students sharing their learnings online. Like the practicum, it will be graded as credit/non-credit. 

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