Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

Department of Anthropology

Discover Your Focus

Critical Practice & Leadership

'Critical' social work practice and leadership recognizes and attempts to address the historical and social inequities that cause (or make worse) individual, family and community troubles. Critical approaches also recognize the contradictions and harms of social work and social policies.

Struggles for Social Justice

Injustice - dismissal of and violence against indigenous people, disabled people, people labeled 'mad', racialized people, women, people who are queer, people who are old - is embedded in society. Social workers strive to understand, challenge and transform social injustice.

Political & Institutional Change

Social policies and social welfare institutions significantly affect the lives and life chances of individuals and communities. Social workers study and take action to improve and transform them.

Advocacy & Support

Social workers are actively involved in supporting people and communities to gain access and voice in decision making, in their own lives and circumstances and in the public sphere.

McMaster’s School of Social Work launches two new graduate programs

New programs in Critical Leadership Social Services and Communities respond to real world challenges social workers face today.

Dec 01, 2016

Outstanding MSW graduate celebrated with Judge Hugh C. Arrell prize

On November 17, 2016 at the Fall Convocation, Brittany Madigan, MSW was awarded the Judge Hugh C. Arrell prize in Social Work for her Master's Thesis, titled "The Voices of the Youth: How Indigenous Young People Experience Plans of Care".

Nov 21, 2016

How a dog named Boom is helping us learn more about the lives of service animals

With the help of the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship, Social Work PhD student Melissa Marie (emmy) Legge, pictured here with therapy dog Boom, has built an electronic sensor package to help better understand the experiences of therapy dogs.

Nov 08, 2016

We Are Not The Others

An Evening of Performance AHG Annex, 118 James St. N. Nov. 11 - 7:30pm, Nov. 12 - 7:30pm, Nov. 13 - 4:00pm Free Admission

Nov 01, 2016

Darina Vasek Presented with the Sheila Sammon Award for Excellence in Field Instruction

The McMaster School of Social Work celebrated the outstanding contributions and services of Darina Vasek, BSW, MSW, RSW, in her 12-year tenure as a McMaster Social Work Field Instructor.

Oct 26, 2016

Jane Aronson Graduate Scholarship in Social Work and Social Justice

We are delighted to announce that Jen Dustin is this year's recipient of the Jane Aronson Graduate Scholarship in Social Work and Social Justice.

Oct 24, 2016

B.S.W. Honours Bachelor of Social Work

Students who have completed a level I program can apply to the Honours B.S.W. program. The School of Social work aims to provide the milieu and learning resources for students at the undergraduate level to prepare themselves for the general practice of social work. Study is based on a search for the principles of social justice. Preparation for the general practice of social work requires the development of competence in effecting change in a variety of situations affecting individuals, families, groups, organizations or communities in the broader society based on a knowledge of social structure, human behaviour, social welfare services, and social work methods.

Learn more

B.S.W. Bachelor of Social Work (Post Degree)

Students who have completed an undergraduate degree from a recognized university can apply to our B.S.W. post degree program. The School of Social work aims to provide the milieu and learning resources for students at the undergraduate level to prepare themselves for the general practice of social work. Study is based on a search for the principles of social justice. Preparation for the general practice of social work requires the development of competence in effecting change in a variety of situations affecting individuals, families, groups, organizations or communities in the broader society based on a knowledge of social structure, human behaviour, social welfare services, and social work methods.

Learn more

M.S.W. Master of Social Work Critical Analysis

The primary objective of the MSW: Critical Analysis of Social Work is to provide opportunities for students to develop knowledge and skills necessary for the critical analysis of social work, and to examine the challenges and possibilities of working toward more inclusive and just policies and practices in the future.

Learn more

M.S.W. Master of Social Work Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities

The primary objective of the MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities is to foster progressive leadership in the community and social service sectors.

Learn more

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Social Justice

Building on our unique MSW program that emphasizes the critical analysis of social policy, social work practice and leadership, the PhD program focuses on social work and social justice. It is designed to stimulate and support scholarship on the ways in which social policies and social work practices can contribute to redressing social inequalities and enhancing social justice.

Learn more

G.Dip. Graduate Diploma in Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities

The Graduate Diploma in Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities is grounded in a recognition of the contemporary conditions of social service and community work, and in expansive and critical definitions of leadership. The diploma aims to enhance progressive leadership in the community and social service sectors. All students admitted to the program will have experience as leaders in community or social service settings. The Graduate Diploma enhances critical leadership practice through an academic exploration of issues that deliberately and consistently draws on students’ own leadership experiences

Learn more