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Social Work (MSW)


Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Social Work is a leader in the field of social work education through its integration and study of anti-oppression and marginalization. Anti-oppression practices draw on critical analysis of socio-economic inequalities and processes of marginalization to understand how people become users of social services.

This approach to practice involves critically interpreting and reflecting on social worker-client relations. Social workers with an anti-oppression perspective aim for social justice while addressing clients’ needs. This perspective is relevant to all major fields of social work, including practice within child welfare settings, hospitals, school boards, community agencies and government institutions.

Degree awarded: MSW

Administered by: Faculty of Community Services

Social Work graduate program website

 (PDF file) Social Work graduate program calendar 2023-24


Course Code Degree Requirements: Master of Social Work Credits

Major Research Paper



Criticl Persp on Marginalizatn



AOP Respons: Policy, Practice



Research for Social Change



Practice Research Seminar



Field Practicum



2 credits from elective list



Course code Course title Credits


Critical Appro Commun Work



Critc Perspec on Child Welfare



The Settlemnt Experiencs in CA



AOP in Health



Critcl Perspecs on Anti-Racism



AOP: Sexuality and Gender



Critical Social Policy



Indigen Knowldge in Social Wrk



Indigenous Resurgence in SW



International Social Work



Directed Studies



Criticl Persp on Mental Health



Socially Engaged Media



Special Topics in SW


  Note: students may substitute a relevant course from another graduate program in place of one elective, with the permission of the Program Director.  

Major Research Paper

The major research paper provides the students the opportunity to engage in original research. The students engage in critical analysis and knowledge development with respect to social work practice. The paper should include sections on research design, methodology and theoretical development. Findings should apply to both social work practice and future graduate research. Students will be supervised by a professor and papers are to be reviewed by a second reader. This is a “Milestone”. Pass/Fail

SK8101 Critical Perspectives on Marginalization

This course explores social marginalization, both as a descriptive concept and as a set of multidimensional explanatory processes. The course aims to produce a complex understanding of the various forms that marginalization has assumed at different times, and of how marginalization has been expressed in relation to particular groups in society. The aim of the course is to develop an analysis which fosters and encourages practical strategies of social work and political interventions. Corequisite SK8102. 1 Credit

SK8102 Anti-oppression Responses to Marginalization

This course, taken concurrently with SK8010, theorizes historical developments and examines contemporary contexts of globalization. A wide range of anti-oppression social work strategies for responding to marginalization is explored. The course examines the intricate and layered processes of oppression so that each person takes responsible action. Emphasis will be placed on critical analyses of anti oppression theories and practices. Students will also have opportunities to strengthen their self- reflexivity in terms of their own social location and their previous social work practice. Corequisite: SK8101. 1 Credit

SK8103 Advanced Research for Social Change

This course is focused on advanced research methods so that students are prepared to design and engage in original research. This course provides knowledge and skills to conduct research from a critical and interpretive perspective. Students will also have opportunities to understand the contributory role of research in any anti-oppression response to marginalization and in the development of inclusive practices. 1 Credit

SK8104 Practice Research Seminar

In the seminar and practice, students draw upon experience, theory and research in order to advance social work thought and/or develop theory focused practice responses. The seminar engages students in research that advances the knowledge base of anti oppression practice. The professor leads the seminar focused on applied research and theory. Knowledge development is guided by principles of promoting equity and social justice. 1 Credit

SK8105 Field Practicum

Students focus on the synthesis and application of advance anti- oppression social work practice knowledge. The student is expected to apply knowledge gained from practice, theory and research in their advanced practice role within practicum. Students are placed in field placement settings to experience and learn about advanced practice. Student field placements are congruent with the mission of the school and the field of study of the graduate program. 2 Credits. Pass/Fail.

SK8201 Critical Approaches to Advanced Community Work

This course provides students with a critical understanding of different models and trends of community work in Canada. The course critically analyzes issues that impact marginalized communities in the current political context of social work practice. Through discussions with practitioners and academics, students learn about strategies for building counter power of communities to achieve social change. 1 Credit

SK8202 Critcal Perspectives on Child Welfare

This course critically explores the different aspects that have influenced the relationship between the State and the family through the child welfare systems in Canada. Particular attention will be placed into the overrepresentation of marginalized populations such as racialized, aboriginal, and single mothers within the child welfare system. Discourses of risk, motherhood, and other elements that are relevant to social work interventions will be discussed. Alternative child welfare practices will be also explored. 1 Credit

SK8203 The Settlement Experience in Canada

This course examines the experience of immigrants who have settled in Canada, their integration into Canadian society, and their social processes of marginalisation and exclusion in those experiences. This course considers the lived experiences of immigrants and the practical interventions that may interact with, reproduce or challenge processes of social exclusion. Equitable and anti-oppression approaches to service provision and community development with refugees and immigrants, including social movement and immigrant-based services are explored in-depth. 1 Credit

SK8204 Advanced Anti-Oppression Practice in Health

This course critically explores frameworks used to understand health and its determinants, and to link these to clinical, community, and policy arenas of social work practice. This course examines the different ways that health is conceptualized and implications of each for social work’s role. 1 Credit

SK8205 Critical Perspectives on Anti-Racism

This course examines the critical anti-racism perspective as a necessary tool to challenge and dismantle oppressive social relations. The interconnections between social work research, policy, and practice from a critical anti-racism perspective is explored for the purpose of discovering avenues of social change possibilities that challenge the current status quo. 1 Credit

SK8206 Advanced Anti-Oppression Practice in Sexuality and Gender Variance

This course explores current theories and research concerning sexual diversity and gender variance. The focus is on critical examination of the role of social movements, queer and TS/TG theories, community organizations, and social work practices. Students develop advanced skills in critically reflecting upon various social work practices. 1 Credit

SK8207 Critical Social Policy

This course explores historical and current social policy formation within the framework of critical analyses of processes of marginalization, resistance, and state intervention. In addition to gaining a strong grounding in critical social policy literature, students also have opportunities to learn techniques for policy research, policy analysis and program development. 1 Credit

SK8208 Indigenous Knowledge in Social Work

This course explores Indigenous and marginalized knowledge forms in a global context in relation to the area of social work and its implications for social justice and transformative change. It includes a critique of what constitutes "valid" knowledge, helping practices and research methodologies. Questions regarding power, difference, identity, representation and spirituality is emphasized. 1 Credit

SK8209 Indigenous Resurgence in Social Work

This course provides an overview of Indigenous resurgence and activism that informs social work practice and research. The course draws upon the work of Indigenous scholars and social work and Indigenous resurgence literature to critically reflect on the nature and positioning of Indigenous helping practices in the profession. 1 Credit

SK8210 International Social Work

The course focusses upon the impact of globalization, post-colonialism and financial policies adopted by international organizations on the process of development in the countries of the ‘South.’ The course will critically analyze the social work response to these developments and explore the roles and scope of social work in addressing issues such as poverty, gender inequality and transnational relations. 1 Credit

SK8211 Directed Studies

Students arranges to work with an individual faculty member on a course designed to pursue readings in a specific area that is relevant to social work and/or anti-oppressive practice work with marginalized persons and communities. 1 Credit

SK8212 Critical Perspectives on Mental Health

This course explores ideas, texts, discourses and practices that have contributed to critical social work practice in mental health, introducing students to structural, feminist, aboriginal and post structural perspectives. Framed by anti-oppressive thought, the course centres voices, histories and approaches often marginalized by biomedical approaches to mental health and illness, using them to re-frame current issues in the field. 1 Credit

SK8213 Socially Engaged Media

Bringing together masters students in Social Work and Documentary Media, this research/creation seminar explores socially engaged practices which privilege collaboration and social interaction in an interdisciplinary dialogue. These practices adopt and borrow from such disciplines as pedagogy, theatre, ethnography, anthropology, art and social work. Through praxis we will explore common methodological problems faced by researchers and practitioners in relation to their subjects and communities.

Antirequisite: CD8350. 1 Credit.

SK8214 Special Topics in SW

This course examines selected topics in areas related to the program that are not covered by existing courses. The topic(s) will vary depending on the needs and interests of the students and the instructor. The course description will be announced prior to scheduling the course. 1 Credit