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 eight courses:

  • Six core courses. Two of these courses are offered as on-campus one-week intensive Summer Institutes. The remaining four ​core courses are completed as 12-week online courses.
  • Two online elective courses.

And four Milestones:

  • Academic Integrity
  • 462 hour practicum ​(see Field Education)
  • Field Integration Seminar (online) (see Field Education)
  • Masters Seminar Presentation (Capstone)

There is no research/thesis option. This program meets all University of Waterloo post-graduate degree requirements.

COVID-19 update: The Summer Institutes for August 2021 will be offered ONLINE only. See further details below.

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. 

Please note: The list of courses below, and when they are offered through the year, has been updated in preparation for the new intake of part-time students starting in fall 2021.  Course descriptions will be updated on or around May 1. Current part-time students will continue to follow the original course schedule to the end of their 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. 

As a part-time student, you can complete your 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

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

While in the program, you 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 will 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 you will: demonstrate a growing capacity for professional development and assessment of your 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. You will demonstrate through discussion and assignments that you understand, and has a commitment to, the social work profession and its basic values of human dignity and personal worth. You 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 self-directed demonstration of beginning master’s level practitioner competence developed over your career, a chronicle of career development and reflection and a glimpse into your 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 demonstrates your abilities to articulate a model of practice and sense of the integration of the domains of professional social work. The capstone presentation culminates in youi sharing your learning online. Like the practicum, it will be graded as credit/non-credit. 

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