Field Placement (Practicum)

The Practicum course(s) are a requirement in the Masters of Social Work program.

MSW Practicum

The Field Education Office works closely with hundreds of community partners in order to secure the best possible practicum opportunities for students each academic year.

There is a wide variety of practicum opportunities ranging from of micro to macro settings, including: policy and research, community development and outreach, and direct practice.

The Practicum Process

A mandatory Applying for Placement Orientation Session is arranged for students to provide an outline of the placement process, the responsibilities of the placement student and the Field Office. The on-line database placement application is also discussed.

Once a placement is secured by the Field Office, students are required to attend the mandatory Beginning Placement Orientation. This session provides information about the placement documentation required and an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the student, field instructor and faculty advisor.

Please review the Full-time, Part-time or 2-Year sections of this website for further information.

Full-time MSW students have a BSW degree and complete the program 3 terms.  Social Work 5150 3.0 Critical Perspectives in Social Work must be taken prior to the start of the placement

Time Requirements

The practicum consists of 450 hours to be completed at the placement site and will begin in the second (Winter) term. Full-time students will spend three (3) days per week beginning in the second (Winter) term and ending approximately by the middle of June.

Work Placements

A student can request to complete their practicum at their place of work. Students must  complete and submit to the Field Education Coordinator a Work Place Practicum Proposal in addition to the on-line placement application by the specified deadline.

Please note that a work placement is not guaranteed. Certain criteria must be met and work-placement proposals are subject to approval by the Field Education Manager. Please refer to the practicum manual and contact the Field Education Coordinator for more information.

Integrative Seminars

Students will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will lead four Integrative Seminars throughout the placement. These seminars provide a forum for students to share practicum experiences and further reflect and integrate theory with practice. Seminars are mandatory and CANNOT BE included in placement hours.

Part-time MSW students have a BSW degree beforehand and complete the program in 6 terms. Social Work 5150 3.0 Critical Perspectives in Social Work must be taken prior to the start of the placement

Time Requirements

The practicum consists of 450 hours to be completed at the placement site. The placement for MSW part-time students starts in the fall term (September) of the second year of the program.

The Field Education Office strives to support part-time students in their placement and work-life balance. Part-time students can complete their field placements by spending a minimum of two (2) full days to a maximum of five full (5) days per week at the placement site

The following are expected timelines depending on the number of placement days per week:

  • 2 placement days/week for approximately 8 months (to the end of April of the following year).
  • 3 placement days/week for approximately 5 months (to the end of January of the following year).
  • Block placement 4–5 days/week (4 days/week goes to the end of December, 5 days/week goes to the end of November).

It is important for students to note that while the Field Education Office strives to offer part-time students flexibility in completing their placements hours, flexible placement opportunities such as block (4-5 placement days/week) and evening/weekend placements tend to be limited. Therefore it is highly recommended that whenever possible, students attempt to make arrangements to complete 3 placement days/week during regular daytime working hours. This should be considered prior to entering the program.

Work Placements

A student can request to complete their practicum at their place of work. Students must complete and submit to the Field Education Coordinator a Work Place Practicum Proposal in addition to the on-line placement application by the specified deadline.

Please note that a work placement is not guaranteed. Certain criteria must be met and work-placement proposals are subject to approval by the Field Education Manager. Please refer to the practicum manual and contact the Field Education Coordinator for more information.

Integrative Seminars

Students will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will lead four Integrative Seminars throughout the placement. These seminars provide a forum for students to share practicum experiences and further reflect and integrate theory with practice. Seminars are mandatory and CANNOT BE included in placement hours.

MSW 2-year students have a bachelor degree (not in social work) upon entry into the MSW program

First-Year Placement

Core Courses

All core courses with the exception of two courses must be completed prior to the start of the placement.

Social Work 5010 3.0: Introduction to Social Work Theories and Critical Practice Skills Part1
Social Work 5020 3.0: Social Work from Charity to Social Transformation

Social Work 5030 3.0: Oppression and Intersectionality

Social Work 5040 3.0: Social Welfare and Social Policy

Social work 5011 3.0: Introduction to Social Work Theories Part 2 (to be taken concurrently with the practicum)

Social Work 5050 3.0: Understanding Organizations for Social Work Practice (to be taken concurrently with the practicum)

Time Requirements

The first year practicum consists of 550 hours to be completed at the placement site in the Winter (January) term of the first year of the program. Year 1 students will spend three (3) days per week at the placement ending by approximately mid-July.

Successful completion of the first year placement is a pre-requisite for the second year placement.

Second Year Placement

Core Courses

All core courses with the exception of two courses must be completed prior to the start of the placement.

    • Social Work 5310 6.0  Practicum
    • Social Work 5150 3.0  Critical Perspectives in Social Work (to be taken concurrently with the practicum in the fall term)
    • Social Work 5250 3.0  Graduate Research Seminar (GRS) (to be taken concurrently with the practicum in the fall term)
    • Social Work 5550 3.0  Indigenous Worldviews and Implications to Social Work (to be taken concurrently with the practicum in the winter term)

Time Requirements

The second year practicum consists of 450 hours to be completed at the placement site in the Fall (September) term of the second year in the program. Year 2 students will spend two (2) or three (3) placement days per week. The placement will end approximately by the end of January of the following year (at 3 days per week) or by the end of April of the following year (at 2 days per week).

Work Placements

A student can request to complete their practicum at their place of work. Students must complete and submit to the Field Education Coordinator a Work Place Practicum Proposal in addition to the on-line placement application by the specified deadline.

Please note that a work placement is not guaranteed. Certain criteria must be met and work-placement proposals are subject to approval by the Field Education Manager. Please refer to the practicum manual and contact the Field Education Coordinator for more information.

Integrative Seminars

Students will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will lead four Integrative Seminars throughout the placement. These seminars provide a forum for students to share practicum experiences and further reflect and integrate theory with practice. Seminars are mandatory and CANNOT BE included in placement hours.