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.
The MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities supports students’ development of:
- conceptual, theoretical and analytical skills in relation to social work practices and social policies
- appreciation of the changing conditions in social services and communities and the complexities and possibilities of ethical leading in the contemporary context
- the ability to apply these skills and modes of understanding to the practice of leadership
The MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities curriculum has two main components:
- Required courses that provide foundational knowledge of the critical analysis of social work practice, and the critical analysis of policy; and required courses that provide analyses and conceptual frameworks about changing conditions in social services and communities, and about leadership
- A leadership-focused practicum -- a practical experience of leadership with personalized feedback and mentorship that prepares students for leadership roles in social and community services
- SOC WORK *700 / Social Work Practice: Critical Frameworks
- SOC WORK *701 / Social Policy: Critical Frameworks
- SOC WORK *741 / Changing Social Services, Changing Communities: Focus on Leadership
- SOC WORK *742/ Organizational and Social Change: Theories, Practices and Possibilities
- SOC WORK *743/ Critical Approaches to Evidence and Evaluation in Social Services and Communities
- SOC WORK *750/ Leadership Seminar
- SOC WORK *751/ Leadership Practicum
And one of:
- SOC WORK *740 / Changing Social Service Organizations: Implications for Workers & Service Users
- SOC WORK *721 / Changing Communities: Tensions and Possibilities for Citizenship and Social Justice
Each student will have a leadership practicum (SOC WORK 751) in a social service agency or community organization. Students will take on a leadership project - for example, lead the development of a new policy, move a service initiative forward, or explore and provide recommendations about how a community need might be better met. An MSW-prepared social worker will provide field instruction. Students’ experiences, observations and actions in the field setting will become topics for reflection in the accompanying seminar (SOC WORK 750) with theory and concepts from coursework brought to bear on specific aspects of their leadership practice. The practicum will be 450 hours long (this number of hours is required for accreditation by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education).
To be eligible for admission to the MSW: Critical Leadership in Social Services and Communities stream, applicants are required to hold a B.S.W. degree from an accredited social work program. In addition, admission requirements are:
- half course in introductory social research methods;
- B+ standing in senior level social work courses;
- experience working in social services or communities/ community services
International degrees: The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) establishes if an applicant’s education is equivalent to a Canadian Social Work degree (Bachelor or Master).Click here to download an International Assessment of Credentials application form.
In order for your application to be considered complete, it must include the following items:
- Online Application Form and Fee
- Statement of Interest (applicant uploads pdf directly)
- Resumé (applicant uploads pdf directly)
- Referee Reports (referees complete online report directly using e-referencing system)
- Transcripts (applicant uploads unofficial transcript directly). Original transcripts must be sent directly from issuing institution*.
- English proficiency requirements, if applicable (applicant uploads unofficial copy directly). Original documents must be sent directly from issuing institution*.
*Note: Transcripts and English Proficiency documents must be sent directly from issuing institution(s) to:
Darlene Savoy, Administrative Assistant
School of Social Work, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West, KTH-319
Hamilton ON L8S 4M4
Timelines for Application
Applications will be reviewed starting January 20, 2017, and accepted until all positions are filled.
Offers of admission and financial support are normally sent out from early March to late May.
Application Form and Fee
Application forms must be completed online (portal is now open). Please note the search criteria for Academic Program is “Social Sciences MSW” and you must choose, "Full-time" option as our MSW: Critical Leadership program is not offered on a part-time basis. In the “Upload Documents” section, in addition to your CV & Statement of Interest, please also upload Samples of Writing, Unofficial Transcript(s) and TOEFL (if applicable).
A non-refundable $100 (CAN) application fee is applied to all applications. The fee can be paid on-line by MasterCard. Please note that you must upload all documents BEFORE you pay the online application fee. If you choose to pay by cheque or money order please send it to the School of Graduate Studies address noted below. There is a handling fee of $15 (CAN) for cheques or money orders, making the total amount due $115 (CAN).
School of Graduate Studies
Gilmour Hall, Room 212
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton ON Canada L8S 4L8
Applicants must provide one official transcript(s) of university academic work completed to date, sent directly from the issuing institution to the School of Social Work (address above).
Statement of Interest
All applicants must provide a Statement of Interest not exceeding 5 typed double-spaced pages, expanding on your resumé, covering the following areas:
- Briefly describe a dilemma facing a community or organization to which you are connected. What are the key leadership challenges linked with this dilemma?
- Discuss your work experience: reflect on opportunities you have had to participate in program planning, practice development, advocacy or administration - and particularly, how you have offered leadership in these contexts. Your description should reflect the length, range and diversity of your experience.
- Indicate why you are interested in this particular program and how you expect it to help you in pursuing your career and personal development.
The supplementary statement is assessed based on comprehensiveness, clarity of presentation, capacity for critical thinking, and capacity for critical reflection based on experience. The declaration of your career goals and your ability to connect these with the specific focus of this program is important.
Letters of Reference
A complete application includes three confidential letters of recommendation - one academic, and two from work colleagues. Referees will be asked to describe work that you have been involved in that they have direct knowledge of, and to comment on a) your understanding and analysis of the organizational, community or activist contexts in which you work, and b) your potential for justice-oriented leadership in social services or communities. McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. You must enter the email addresses of your referees as part of the on-line application form. The system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf to the referees.
English Proficiency Requirements
If applicable, an official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English is required. A minimum TOEFL score of 580 (or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) is needed.
Please complete our Pre-Application form so that we can verify your academic qualifications before you send a full application.
The School of Graduate Studies policy with regard to students with disabilities can be found in section 6.6 of the School of Graduate Studies Calendar. The full policy and further information may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies or the Student Success Centre 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
INTERNAL SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES
Ontario Student Assistance Program
Application forms and brochures can be obtained from the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office at McMaster University. Application to OSAP can be made on line at http://www.osap.gov.on.ca
The Sidney L. Blum Bursary
Established in 1989 by friends and associates in memory of Sidney L. Blum. To be awarded by the School of Graduate Studies, on the recommendation of the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, to any graduate student in good standing in the Master’s program of the School of Social Work.
EXTERNAL AGENCY AWARDS
The agency guidelines and deadlines are subject to change at any time without prior notice. For complete and accurate information about external scholarship opportunities, applicants should always consult the external agency directly.
Naomi Grigg Fellowship
Soroptimist International of Toronto, a service club of business and professional women, is offering a Fellowship with a value of approx. $6,500. This Fellowship is available to full time students enrolled in a post-graduate degree program (Masters, PhD) or in a program by which they acquire additional professional qualifications in an area related to gerontology. Application forms are available from Margot Ryan 32 Pricklewood Crescent, Thornhill, Ontario, LeT 4T9, (905) 764-9961. Deadline: March 15.
Northern Bursary Program, Ministry of Community & Social Services
This provincial program offers various levels of financial assistance to post-secondary students pursuing careers in psychology, social work, speech pathology and Native ancestry, who are interested in working in designated areas of Northern Ontario. Every student who receives a bursary must work in an area of the province designated by the Ministry of Community & Social Services, Northern Regional Office, 473 Queen St E, Ste 202, Sault Ste Marie, ON, P6A 1Z5. Application deadline: August 31.
MAJOR EXTERNAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)
Applicants apply directly via Research Portal.
- Deadline: December 1 (8:00pm)
School of Graduate Studies, Scholarships & Funding website:
- 1 year
- Required Credential:
- Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited social work program
- Program Type:
- Course Based, Practicum Based
- Program Options:
- Typical Entry:
- Current Deadline:
- Applications will be reviewed starting January 20, 2017, and accepted until all positions are filled.