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Field Placement Guide

As part of the degree requirements for an MA in Criminology and Social Justice, the program offers two streams for in-depth learning — the Major Research Paper (MRP) and the Field Placement.

Doing a Field Placement offers opportunities to:

  • get practical experience and knowledge of current developments in the sector.
  • improve professional knowledge and skills including ‘soft’ employability skills and specific technical skills and competencies.
  • learn about organizational culture and governance.
  • develop interpersonal skills while working with diverse populations.
  • interact with professionals who can offer advice and guidance.
  • network within the sector and build contacts.
  • identify potential references.

Through the Field Placement, students will apply and test their classroom learning in settings such as:

  • Community organizations and centres
  • Government services and ministries
  • Immigrant-serving organizations
  • Schools and universities
  • Law offices and legal aid centres
  • Foundations, boards


Typically, a Field Placement will involve 120-hours or four weeks of full-time equivalent placement with an appropriate organization during the Spring/Summer term (May – July). All placements must be completed by the end of the Spring/Summer term in order to graduate in the Fall.

The Field Placement may be paid or unpaid.

Students need to complete five requirements to receive a Pass grade:

  1. Attend at least four of the six scheduled seminars held over the Winter and Spring/Summer terms.
  2. Complete an online Environmental Health and Safety module
  3. Complete 120- hours on an approved placement
  4. Submit a placement report
  5. Present at a post-placement seminar in the Spring/Summer term


During the Winter term (January - April), students will prepare for their Field Placement.


Students will attend three seminars in the Winter term. The objective is to prepare the students to translate academic concepts and research evidence into practice, applying these to work with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.

  1. Orientation to the Field Placement
  2. Anti-Oppressive Framework in the Workplace
  3. Ethical Principles in Working with Diverse Populations

Note: Other seminars with guest speakers from the sector will be scheduled from time to time during the Winter term. Attendance at these seminars will be voluntary.

Vulnerable Sector Screening

In compliance with Toronto Metropolitan University policy, all students working with vulnerable members of society are required to complete a police vulnerable sector screening (VSS) before they can be part of a field placement.

Vulnerable Persons defined as: Persons who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, are in a position of dependence on others, or, deemed by the University, to be at greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in a position of authority or trust relative to them.

The process of applying and funding the cost of the VSS will be the responsibility of the student. The VSS must be valid for the duration of the Field Placement.

 (PDF file) Vulnerable Sector Screening Policy & Procedure (PDF)


Prior to commencing their Field Placements, students will complete and get the relevant signatures for:

  • A Confidentiality Agreement
  • Their individualized Work Plan
  • Letters of understanding for (1) the host agency and (2) the student regarding insurance coverage by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)