English Language Requirements
Students registering in post-secondary level courses (numbered 100 to 499) will be required to meet the English language entrance proficiency requirements. Students in ESL or the University Foundations programs can register in those courses identified in the University Foundations program with lower levels of language proficiency.
SOWK 1103 credits
Introduction to Social Work and Human Services
(formerly SSSW 110)
This course will provide students with a critical analysis of social service and social work practice and client needs at local, provincial and federal levels, it will
emphasize the role of the professional and para-professional in the service delivery system and the basic structure and function of social service agencies. An introduction to ethical issues will be included. Students will be expected to study in depth at least one social problem area and its concomitant social services.
SOWK 2103 credits
Introduction to Social Welfare
(formerly SSSW 210)
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 110, or instructor's permission
This course is designed to provide the student with an overview of social welfare principles and policies in Canada. Beginning with an historical review of social welfare, the student will develop a critical analysis of the context of social welfare including the political, economic, and ideological realities and an understanding of how these realities influence the way in which social problems are identified and addressed.
SOWK 2253 credits
Human Behaviour & Social Environment
(formerly HSER 125)
Pre- or corequisite(s): SOWK 110. PSYC 101 recommended
This course emphasizes a critique of theories and knowledge of human bio-psycho-social development, including theories and knowledge about the range of social systems in which individuals live and diversity of human behaviour throughout the life cycle. Students will develop an understanding of the interactions between and among biophysical, social, psychological, and cultural systems as they affect human development. The impact of various social and economic forces, including forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination, are examined as they affect human development and act to promote or deter optimal health and well-being.
SOWK 2833 credits
(formerly HSER 283)
Prerequisite(s): HSER 120
This course will introduce you to the concept of family in the Canadian context. It will provide an overview of the various theoretical viewpoints in conceptualizing the family, and then examine various theoretical approaches to working with families. In this context, the family as an emotional system will be examined. This will include boundary issues, alliances, triangles and genograms, differentiation, and communication patterns, in an effort to understand family functioning. Special topics will also be examined and discussed. These will include areas such as families from a multicultural perspective, family violence, spousal assault and sexual abuse, parenting, daycare, family law, gender issues, and families and poverty.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both HSER 283 and
SOWK 3003 credits
Social Work Practice with Individuals
(formerly SSSW 300)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program
This course provides an introduction to the knowledge and competencies underlying generalist social work practice. Students will develop assessment and intervention skills as they relate to working in a human service organization. Advocacy on behalf of clients and skills in brokering of services will also be developed.
SOWK 3013 credits
Social Work Practice with Groups
(formerly SSSW 301)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program, or 45 credits in Human Services or Arts programs.
This course is designed to give students an understanding of group dynamics, experience in group facilitation and an understanding of the group process in relationship to social work process. Sociocultural forces, legal and ethical issues, and values unique to working with groups will be explored. This course will introduce skills and techniques as they pertain to types of groups and group phases.
SOWK 3113 credits
Social Work Theory & Ethics
(formerly SSSW 311)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program and SOWK 210, or permission of Instructor
A critical examination of social work theories will include an understanding of ideologies and their relevance to social work practice, including the social construction of theory. Generalist social work practice from several theoretical perspectives will be discussed. This course offers a critical examination of issues including ethical behaviour, accountability, boundary setting, and the intersection of personal and professional values. Students will be expected to articulate and integrate professional values in their emerging social work practice.
Note: Students who have taken SSSW 315 cannot receive further credit for SOWK 311.
Note: SOWK 311 replaces SSSW 310 and SSSW 315.
SOWK 3123 credits
Legal Knowledge for Social Work Practice
(formerly SSSW 312)
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the BSW or CYC degree program, plus either (SOWK 110 and 210) or (CYC 201 and 210).
(Students in other degree programs, with a minimum of 45 credits, may be able to obtain instructor's permission at the first class. However, they should check with their program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree.)
This course uses a critical perspective to introduce students to federal and provincial laws relevant to social work practice. Students will examine legislation in the areas of family law, child protection, consent and capacity, social assistance, mental health, youth criminal justice, victims of crime, immigration and refugees, human rights, record keeping, and liability. The course introduces students to the Canadian legal system, including the constitutional division of powers, the structure of the courts, and legal procedures, particularly as these affect the social justice aspirations of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both SOWK 312 and CYC 350.
SOWK 3203 credits
Anti-Racist and Cross Cultural Social Work Knowledge and Practice
(formerly SSSW 320)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program or permission of Director
Pre- or corequisite(s): SOWK 311
This course is intended to introduce students to the knowledge, theories and skills necessary for social work practice in diverse cultural settings. Within a framework that incorporates an anti-oppressive perspective and a critical analysis of social justice and inclusion, this course engages students in self-reflection and an exploration of their own experiences, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about race, culture and ethnicity. This course involves students in an examination of various theories and practice frameworks required for anti-racist social work practice. Historical and current events, policies and social work practices affecting ethno-cultural groups and marginalized peoples will be analyzed and critiqued.
SOWK 3306 credits
(formerly SSSW 330)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program, SOWK 300, SOWK 311
Pre- or corequisite(s): SOWK 312
This is a three day per week supervised practicum in a multi-disciplinary setting, for a total of 15 weeks and the completion of 315 practicum hours. Students are also required to participate in a bi-weekly seminar class that will focus on the integration of theory and practice.
Note: A criminal records review is required before placement. The existence of certain kinds of criminal records will preclude placement.
SOWK 3803 credits
(formerly SSSW 380)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program and SOWK 311
This course will focus on the role of the social worker engaged in making change at the community level. Beginning with an understanding of community and social change, students will develop theoretical and practice perspectives on engaging the community in the process of collective action. Fundamental to this process is pursuing the democratic redistribution of power and resources. In constructing an anti-oppressive approach to community development, students will be encouraged to examine the impact of race, class, gender and sexual orientation.
SOWK 3923 credits
First Nations Social Work
(formerly SSSW 392)
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 311 and admission into the BSW program (Students in other degree programs, with a minimum of 45 credits, may be able to obtain instructor’s permission at the first class. However, they should check with their program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree.)
The purpose of this course is to examine theories and methods of social work practice used by and for Aboriginal people within contemporary society. Historical issues, including colonialism, will be reviewed and the effects of these issues on Aboriginal peoples today will be examined. Other topics include: current methods of intervention; roles and operations of social services in Aboriginal communities; conventional and alternative approaches to social work; and the impact of the media on social work policy and practice with Aboriginal peoples. Self-exploration and self-disclosure will facilitate students' integration of culturally-sensitive theory and practice into their practice frameworks. The role of helper within the community context will be developed with an emphasis on the principle of "healing" (individuals, families and communities).
SOWK 3943 credits
Substance Misuse Issues
(formerly SSSW 394)
Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits, including PSYC 101, with a CGPA of 2.5 or greater; or instructor’s permission.
This course is designed to give students a working knowledge of the nature of substance use/misuse and addictive behaviours. Students will explore various theoretical perspectives of substance use. Topics include an overview of psychoactive drugs, the use/misuse/abuse continuum, the social costs of addictions, social issues around addiction, and prevention and treatment of addictions. There will be an emphasis on issues related to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, harm reduction and age. The particular focus of social work and related professions in the continuum of care will also be examined. Students are expected to actively participate in class.
SOWK 4043 credits
Research Methods and Evaluation
(formerly SSSW 404)
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 330, and either MATH 104 or
MATH 106 or PSYC 110 (or equivalent)
This course will cover scientific methods and their application to social work practice and research. Also included will be strategies and skills appropriate to evaluation of social work interventions and programs. Learners will be expected to read and analyze social work research with a critical focus. Learners can expect to develop a beginning competence in the design and implementation of social work research. Skills in accessing computer-based information will be examined.
SOWK 4103 credits
Social Policy Analysis
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program; and SOWK 330 and SOWK 392 or permission of the instructor.
This course examines the dynamics of social welfare policy and social work practice with diverse populations. Students analyze social issues, policies and policy development processes in the postmodern capitalist state and study how these are affected by political and bureaucratic decisions, the media, citizens, communities and a variety of interest groups. The role of the social worker in developing policy that promotes social justice is also examined.
SOWK 4123 credits
Legal Skills for Social Work Practice
(formerly SSSW 412)
Prerequisite(s): CYC 310A & B, or SOWK 330; and CYC 350 or SOWK 312. Enrollment in this course is restricted to CYC and BSW students in the Child Welfare specialization.
This course focuses on both the development and demonstration of statutory social work practice skills in child welfare, youth criminal justice, and family court counselling. Students learn and demonstrate skills related to the various mandates that govern their work as professional social workers. The course involves experiential learning related to dispute resolution, advocacy, and legal skills such as investigation, evidence-giving, and report writing. Fundamental to practicing these skills is an understanding of empowerment, partnership, working across differences, and individual and systemic change. The course uses a critical perspective and promotes an understanding of the strengths and limitations of these skills and the legal system.
SOWK 4309 credits
(formerly SSSW 430)
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 320, SOWK 330, SOWK 392, SOWK 404, and SOWK 410. Students in the Child Welfare Specialization must have the following additional prerequisites: SOWK 412, SOWK 483 and SOWK 491. Note: Students should take this course in the final semester of their program.
This is a four day per week supervised practicum in a multi-disciplinary setting, for a total of 15 weeks and the completion of 420 practicum hours. Students are also required to participate in an online seminar class that will focus on the integration of theory and practice. Note: A criminal records review is required before placement. The existence of certain kinds of criminal records will
SOWK 4503 credits
Social Work in Health Care
(formerly SSSW 450)
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 330
Corequisite(s): SOWK 410 (Students in other degree programs, with a minimum of 45 credits, may be able to obtain instructor’s permission at the first class. However, they should check with their program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree.)
This course will focus on social work issues in Canadian health care settings. Topics to be explored include: HIV/AIDS, provincial and federal health care systems; professional ethics; palliative care, death and dying; discharge planning; mental health issues; cross cultural issues in health care; and working with marginalized populations in meeting their health care needs. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical analysis of the health care system, health policy, and health services.
SOWK 4833 credits
Family Centred Social Work
(formerly SSSW 483)
Prerequisite(s): HSER 283 or a family sociology course, and SOWK 300, or instructor's permission
This course will provide an overview of clinical social work practice theory, including its historical roots and some recent developments. It will help students gain an understanding of how their own personality, value system and past family experiences affect her/his work with families. It will incorporate basic conceptual and clinical skills relating to the theory and practice of family work while critically reviewing issues from a structural/feminist and anti-oppressive framework.
SOWK 4903 credits
Gerontological Social Work
(formerly SSSW 490)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program (Students in other degree programs, with a minimum of 45 credits, may be able to obtain instructor's permission at the first class. However, they should check with their program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree.)
This course is an introduction to gerontology (the study of aging) and to working with an aging population. We will explore a wide range of issues relevant to population aging from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives. In addition to looking at the role of the elderly in our society, the course will provide a framework for examining the organization and delivery of services to the elderly in both institutional and non institutional settings.
SOWK 4913 credits
(formerly SSSW 491)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program and SOWK 330. Note: Students in the Child Welfare Specialization must take this course in the semester immediately preceding SOWK 430.
This course will look at the major historical, ideological, legal, and professional themes that inform child welfare policy. Issues including current legislation, history of child welfare, foster care, adoption, the social construction of mothering and child abuse will be examined. Contemporary policies and programs for populations disproportionately engaged with child welfare services including First Nations children, immigrant and refugee children and children of single parents will be examined. Students will be expected to engage in a process of integrating factors of gender, class, race, culture and sexual orientation into their critical analysis of the ideological nature of Child Welfare.
SOWK 4933 credits
Feminist Social Work
(formerly SSSW 493)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program and instructor's permission. (Students with a minimum of 45 credits in other degree programs may be able to obtain instructor's permission at the first class. However, they should check with their program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree.)
This course will examine social issues from a feminist perspective, incorporating an analysis of the ideology and conceptual practices and underpinning social welfare policy in Canada. Beginning with the historical development of feminist social work and feminist theories as they relate to social work practice, the class will explore gender role stereotypes, social welfare policies, ethics research as empowerment, and specific issues experienced by women in areas such as disability, sexual orientation, and violence.
SOWK 4953 credits
Directed Study in Social Work
(formerly SSSW 495)
Prerequisite(s): Fourth-year standing in BSW program and department's permission
Students who have a special interest in a topic area not offered through identified social work electives or core curriculum, may request to do directed social work study under the supervision of a faculty instructor.
SOWK 4963 credits
Prerequisite(s): SOWK 320 and 330
This course involved students in an examination of perspectives on disability, as well as a critical analysis of current theories, policies, and practice. The course begins with an examination of common assumptions about disability and provides opportunities to challenge and critique interpretations of the nature and meaning of disability. Several frameworks are proposed for approaching disability issues, with emphasis given to a social justice framework which emphasizes the citizenship and human rights of people with disabilities. The history of attitudes about, and treatment of, people with disabilities is examined. Significant events and the contributions of pioneers of the disability rights movement are also highlighted. The roles and perspectives of people with disabilities, family members, and professionals in service systems are examined in the context or a range of topics.
SOWK 4973 credits
Social Work and Mental Health
(formerly SSSW 497)
Prerequisite(s): Admission into the BSW program, PSYC 101, and either PSYC 250 or SOWK 225. (Students in other degree programs, with a minimum of 45 credits, may be able to obtain instructor's permission at the first class. However, they should check with their Program head to see whether they can apply this course to their degree).
This course is an introduction to the field of mental health and the role of social work within the field. Issues to be explored include: the social construction of mental illness, stigmatization of the individual and a critique of the medical model. Influence of factors such as gender, age, race and culture on the definition and treatment of persons with a mental illness will also be explored. The roles and contributions of various mental health professional practitioners will be discussed. Current policy and practice issues in mental health in Canada and their implications for practice will be examined.
Last updated: April 11, 2008