Skip to main content

Field Education

Field Education Overview

Field education is a vital aspect of your Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Field education provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Apply the values, knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a practical setting.
  • Practice and integrate social work theories and practice.
  • Develop a professional "self" and professional identity as a social worker.

The objectives for the field education program are set to meet the standards set by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) as outlined in the CASWE-ACFTS Standards for Accreditation.

As part of your field education, you will complete courses with approved agencies that provide micro, macro, or integrated learning opportunities. A qualified agency-based field instructor will provide supervision to help you develop social work practice skills that reflect the learning required from your field education course.

Field Education Placements

Students will be exposed to a variety of integrated learning opportunities in the placement. Students will be required to employ a range of social work theories and interventions, practice methods, and models applicable to small and large systems. These placements may or may not include direct practice with individuals and groups.

Examples of placements include: counselling agencies, hospitals, mental health clinics, nursing homes, school boards, government ministries and services, social planning councils, research groups, grassroots community agencies, child welfare, women's organizations, and community mental health projects.

Workplace Placements

Students may request a placement at their current place of employment if it meets the conditions of approval, which include:

  • The agency has available either different divisions or learning assignments that are new to the student and the student can demonstrate that they will be engaging in activities not experienced before and distinct from tasks performed as part of the student’s employment.
  • Learning opportunities are commensurate with the student’s level of study.
  • The learning opportunity is under the supervision of a field instructor who has not been the student’s past or current workplace supervisor.
Field placement credit will only be given for work that is outside of the student’s employment work assignments.

Field Placement Agencies

MSW field education placement agencies consist of social agencies/organizations that are approved by the Field Education Coordinator/Advisor with input from staff, faculty and students.

Field Instructors

The role of the field instructor is crucial, as the instructor teaches complex skills within the respective concentrations, model professional behaviours, and facilitate the growth and development of values and ethics in the student.

Field instructors are employed by agencies and normally have a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) for foundational placements and a Masters of Social Work (MSW) for advanced placements.