Office of the Registrar
School of Social Work (2017/2018)
4 Description of Program

All courses of the School are designated by the abbreviation SCWK.

The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a full-time program that is offered as a First or a Second Degree program and is comprised of course work and two practica. The BSW degree qualifies graduates for beginning professional practice in social work settings.

The BSW curriculum reflects a balance of professional education and general education. The professional education courses are provided for students once they are admitted to the First Degree or Second Degree Bachelor of Social Work programs. The general education is intended to equip students with knowledge in the humanities and relevant social sciences, including knowledge related to human development and behaviour in the social environment. The general education is addressed through complementary courses from disciplines outside the School of Social Work as outlined in Table 1 Complementary Studies below.

The objectives of the undergraduate program are to prepare students to:

  • promote social justice and social well-being and creatively challenge oppression;

  • acquire and apply knowledge, skills, values, professional ethics and critical thinking abilities;

  • recognize limitations and strengths as a beginning social work practitioner;

  • integrate reflexively critical self-awareness;

  • assume leadership in collaboration and interdisciplinary practice;

  • utilize and participate in innovative and traditional inquiry and research models;

  • creatively practice with diverse individuals and collectives;

  • promote and critique the social work profession on regional, provincial, national and global levels;

  • commit to the process of lifelong learning;

  • participate collaboratively and respectfully in innovative teaching and learning processes; and

  • address issues of transition and crisis in diverse contexts (individuals, families, groups, communities, formal organizations and society).

The aim of the BSW program is to develop social workers with generically based skills for working with individuals, families, communities, and groups. Students receive an education which prepares them to work in urban centres and rural settings. A special emphasis is placed on the importance of identifying local needs and developing the means of meeting these needs in the context of available resources.

There is a Program Residency Requirement for both the First and Second Degree programs requiring students to take specific courses on the St. John's campus. Although the majority of courses are taught on-campus, selected courses are occasionally taught online.

4.1 Complementary Studies
  1. Complementary Studies provides students with opportunities to gain general knowledge of people and nature, develop analytical and critical thinking and communication skills, and explore the intersections of social, political, and economic elements in society. Students are required to complete Complementary Studies courses as part of the admission requirement for both degree programs and to complete the general education courses needed for the First Degree program.

  2. Six Learning Objectives for students are identified that inform the approved disciplines and courses.

  3. The number of courses students select for each Learning Objective in order to meet the admission requirements and the First Degree program of study requirements is outlined in Admissions Regulations for the School of Social Work and Program Regulations respectively.

  4. Table 1 Complementary Studies presents the six Learning Objectives and the approved corresponding disciplines and courses for each objective.

    Table 1 Complementary Studies

    The Six Learning Objectives for Complementary Studies Courses

    Approved Disciplines and Course Numbers

    • Learning Objective One
    • Students will develop university knowledge and skills in critical reading, writing, and analysis.

    Critical Reading and Writing Courses (CRW) or Designated Writing courses (W), Grenfell Campus, chosen from the following disciplines: Archaeology, English, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Humanities, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies

    • Learning Objective Two
    • Students will develop foundational knowledge and appreciation for the various expressions and experiences of human and cultural diversity.
    • Learning Objective Three
    • Students will develop foundational knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples of Canada.
    • Learning Objective Four
    • Students will develop foundational knowledge and awareness of the historical and contemporary realties of social inequities, imperialism, and racism.
    • Learning Objective Five
    • Students will develop foundational knowledge in governance and policymaking.
    • Learning Objective Six
    • Students will develop a critically reflective understanding of contemporary society (locally, nationally, and globally) and their place in it.

    Courses may be offered at St. John's and/or Grenfell Campuses. For further information refer to the appropriate Course Descriptions sections for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the St. John's Campus and the Course Descriptions section at Grenfell Campus.