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Full-time Program Placements (Kitchener)

Students are informed of placement expectations at the time they apply to the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. All incoming students agree to the MSW Field Placement Agreement prior to acceptance to the program.

After acceptance to the Faculty of Social Work, students begin to participate fully in the placement planning process.

Students complete placements within a 150 km range of Kitchener. Many placement settings require students to have a car. Students are expected to be flexible regarding the geographical area of their placement, and the social work learning opportunities they are provided.

Placements are competitive and a successful interview with the agency to determine suitability is a prerequisite for participation in the placement. Following the interview, the agency determines if they can offer the student a placement opportunity.

When matching the student with a placement opportunity, the Field Education Office considers student interest individually and collectively, the student’s experience, instructor’s requirements, agency requirements and a student’s accommodation needs (through Accessible Learning). The field coordinator is ultimately responsible for the placement decision. For most placements, the coordinator assigns placement matches based on information provided by students and agencies. Students cannot arrange their own placement; however, they are invited to propose placements within a specific timeframe.

Placement Timelines

Field courses are structured within specific terms, with start and end dates that vary from the term start and end dates. This structure considers the student’s program as a whole, and ensures that students complete required courses within the appropriate course sequence and can graduate in a timely manner. Field courses and MSW courses are offered concurrently.

Change of Sequence

From time to time exceptional situations occur where a student is unable to complete their field placement as scheduled, but does not wish to temporarily withdraw from all their courses. In these circumstances students may request to complete their placement out-of-sequence using the Field Placement Change of Sequence Request Form. Prior to submitting the form, students are expected to contact their field coordinator. A change in placement timelines may delay graduation.

Regular Track Program

Students in the Regular Track Program complete two field placement courses: Foundational Field Education (SK541) and Advanced Field Education (SK649).

  • Foundational Placement (SK541)
    • Minimum 450 practice hours required
    • Placement timelines:
      • January to March, three days/week (21 hours/week), Monday – Wednesday
      • April to May, four days/week (28 hours/week), Monday – Thursday
  • Advanced Placement (SK649)
    • Minimum 500 practice hours required
    • Placement timelines:
      • September to March/April, three days/week (21 hours/week), Monday – Wednesday
      • Optional early start: May to August, five days/week

Thesis students are exempt from 100 hours towards the advanced placement. Exemptions may not be split between placements and cannot apply to the foundational placement.

Students completing the International Social Work Diploma fulfill 720 practice hours during the advanced placement.

Advanced Standing Program

Students in the Advanced Standing Program complete one field course: Advanced Field Education (SK649).

  • Advanced Placement (SK649)
    • Minimum 500 practice hours required
    • Placement timelines:
      • September to March/April, three days/week (21 hours/week), Monday – Wednesday

Thesis students in the advanced standing program are exempt from the advanced placement.