Course Descriptions

Students enrolled in the PhD in Social Work are required to take five core courses and two post-MSW electives. The Doctoral Seminar is the final core course and will be taken in year two.

Core Courses

Social Work 7000 3.0: Social Justice within a Social Work Context

This course explores social justice in the context of social work by examining the relations between redistribution and recognition. The impact on social work perspectives of theories of social justice that analytically integrate material relations and identity politics is considered.

Social Work 7010 3.0: Epistemology

This course offers critical perspectives on the knowledge bases that inform and challenge social work today. Foundational philosophical approaches from the era of the Enlightenment to today, and various critical responses are covered, and their implications for social work considered.

Social Work 7020 3.0: Seminar on Research Design and Methodology

This course examines a wide range of research designs and methodologies which are appropriate for answering social work questions. Both quantitative and qualitative designs are examined. Emphasis is placed on examining research questions relevant to social work and selecting appropriate methods for answering these questions.

Social Work 7030 3.0: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis

This course is designed to develop and enhance students’ skills in the analysis and interpretation of both quantitative and qualitative data. Emphasis is placed on issues and techniques of data analysis and interpretation.

Social Work 7040 3.0: Doctoral Seminar

This course facilitates the collaborative examination of key professional concerns for social work researchers and academics towards advancing students' scholarship. Topics include funding proposals, conference presentations, publishing, and strategies and resources for the comprehensive paper process. Students are expected to submit a comp paper outline to their committee and a scholarly work such as conference presentation, journal publication, or scholarship application.

Elective Courses

All post–MSW graduate electives are eligible

Social Work 6112 3.0 — Quantitative Analysis

The course focuses on the use of regression models to analyze surveys and other social data. Assuming no prior background, it covers the statistical basics, model building strategies, model assumptions and the interpretation of results.

Social Work 6125 3.0 — Statistical Literacy and Critical Reasoning

This course is designed to enhance social work researchers’ and practitioners’ ability to understand and analyze the computation and interpretation of social statistics, the assumptions and logic of quantitative methods, and their uses and misuses. A secondary objective is to develop critical reasoning and analysis skills through demystifying the use of numbers in social research and increasing confidence in evaluating statistical concepts and claims.

[Recommended perquisite: At least one undergraduate or graduate level statistical analysis/quantitative research course]

Social Work 7100 3.0: Social Work from Classical Liberalism to Neoliberalism

The course provides a searching reassessment of defining moments in the history of Canadian social work. Dominant social philosophies and social work practice modalities are extrapolated to discover why poverty and marginalization are still the main social problems.

Social Work 7110 3.0: Pedagogical Reflections on Social Work Practice

This course prepares doctoral students to act as effective university instructors and encourages the development of knowledge and skills for teaching critical social work.

Social Work 7905 3.0: Doctoral Career Development Skills

Through a philosophical critical reflective process this course provides doctoral social work students with skills to determine their career path with a PhD based on their research interests, professional skills and personal aspirations. Both academic and non-academic career paths are explored with corresponding career development assignments to prepare students for their future doctoral careers.

Note: Students may select other elective courses at the graduate level at York or other universities, subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director. Doctoral candidates shall not receive credit towards the PhD for more than one full integrated course.